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Despite Heavy-Hitting Titles In January, US Video Game Sales Down 19% Year-Over-Year

This January saw the release of two of the biggest games of 2019, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2. However, even though January delivered both of these titles along with other popular games, it looks like games sales have fallen below last January’s numbers.

The NPD Group, an organization that tracks sales performance and data in various industries to help predict future sales figures, released their data on video game sales for January 2019.  The total figure turned out to be $893 million, which on paper doesn’t seem like a bad result. However, when it’s held against last year’s number of $1.1 billion, it certainly does lose some of its luster. This means that game sales are down by 19% year-over-year. Hardware sales were also down by 28%, with a total result of $199 million.

To be fair, last year did see some heavy hitters come out right at the start of 2018. Monster Hunter World and Dragonball FighterZ both came out at the beginning of January, which made for a very profitable start to the first quarter of last year. Both series were highly anticipated among their very active fan bases.

This January was no slouch however when it came to game releases. Kingdom Hearts fans were salivating for the incredibly long-awaited third entry in the series. The Resident Evil 2 remake was also highly sought after by fans of the series and survival horror. Both games did sell quite well, but apparently, they couldn’t compare to last year’s pair of January juggernauts.

The NPD group also revealed the top 20 best selling games for January 2019. There weren’t many surprises on the list, with Kingdom Hearts 3 coming in at a strong number 1 and Resident Evil 2 following right behind at number 2. Other notable January best sellers include Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Red Dead Redemption 2, and the Nintendo Switch re-release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe which was the third best selling game of the month. It is important to note that The NPD Group only tracks digital sales from a certain number of online storefronts, so these numbers may not be completely accurate.

Thankfully it’s not all bad news. Despite sales being down for most developers, Nintendo actually saw increases in their overall sales numbers. They managed to have their software and hardware sales increase over last year’s numbers, although The NPD Group didn’t release the exact sales figures. So even as sales dwindle for others, Nintendo continues to see growth.

Now while these numbers aren’t as spectacular as last year’s $1.1 billion haul, this is only for the month of January. February saw the release of arguably the most important game of 2019 so far, Apex  Legends. The battle royale is already proving to be quite profitable for EA, and with its microtransactions and an upcoming battle pass, it has the potential to rake in even more money. Alongside games like Anthem, Metro: Exodus, and Far Cry: New Dawn, February could prove to be a very profitable month for the games industry.

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