July 2016 NPD Report: Whole Industry Down

This July did not have any gigantic surprises in terms of video game software sales. The real surprise comes in the form of the hardware sales in last month’s NPD report.

Overall, the industry was down in comparison to last July. The wizards over at the industry tracking NPD firm claim that only $480.1 million was spent on video game related items. This number includes software, hardware, and accessories. That is almost a 15% decrease compared to the $559.1 million that was spent in July 2015.

“Lack of strong new titles for the month resulted with poor comparison with last July’s Batman: Arkham Knight with consumers spending 14 percent less year-on-year on hardware, software, and accessories,” NPD analyst Sam Naji said.

Monster Hunter: Generations (3DS) was the only newly released game in July that anyone really paid attention to. Carrying a whole industry is a tall task for such a niche game that came out on a handheld. It was still a great time for the game to come out, due to Nintendo dropping the price of the 2DS to $79 USD.

“Spending on portables increased by 23 percent, but this was offset by a 37 percent decline in spending for consoles. Total spending came to $141 million, a decline of $61 million compared to July 2015,” Sam Naji said.


Video game hardware took a major hit this month. Spending was down 30 percent. Last July, consumers spent $202.1 million, versus the $141.3 million that was spent this July. That could be attributed to the announcement of the Xbox One S in June. Consumers might have had the mindset that buying a new Xbox would be foolish right before a new model came out.

Sony actually managed to take the hit, despite the new Xbox One S announcement. Xbox One was the highest selling home console for July. This victory is backed by a massive price drop on the Xbox One.

“The average price of the Xbox One fell by 30 percent compared to July’15; this helped the platform become the best-selling [current-generation] console in terms of units sold for the month,” said Sam Naji.

Video game hardware sales are extremely well overall, compared to the last console cycle. Sam Naji explained that at this same point in the last console cycle, sales were 41% less than what they currently are.


  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Overwatch*
  3. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. Monster Hunter: Generations **
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  6. Minecraft **
  7. NBA 2K16
  8. Doom **
  9. Destiny: The Taken King
  10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

* sales not included in Overwatch results.

**No digital sales for this title.

The June 2016 NPD report had Overwatch leading the way and GTA 5 not far behind. This month they managed to switch places. Grand Theft Auto 5 has been out for almost three years, and it still continues to sell more than most newly released games. The sales of this title can be directly correlated with the sales of new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, via ZhugeEx on Twitter.


There are not too many other surprises in the NPD software report. New video game releases are going to be back in form with the release of the new Madden game marking the start of the season on August 23.

Console software actually took the smallest hit this month. July 2015 consumers spent $221.2 million, which is down 5% versus this July’s $210.3 million.


“There were declines in spending among the top-selling accessory types. Consumers spent less on gamepads, headphones/headsets, and on interactive-gaming toys versus last July. This resulted in the total spend on accessories declining by 4 percent to $98 million,” according to Sam Naji.

This month features two of the biggest competitive video game tournaments around: The DoTA 2 International 6 and the League of Legends LCS Summer Split Playoffs. More money will be spent on video game accessories around these events due to the heavy marketing of companies like Logitech and Razer surrounding eSports.