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November 2016 NPD: Pokémon has its biggest debut in franchise history

JEFF GRUBB DECEMBER 15, 2016 3:30 PM
TAGS: 3DS, CONSOLE GAMING, MICROSOFT, NINTENDO, NPD, PC GAMING, PLAYSTATION 4, SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT, THE NPD GROUP, XBOX ONE
Who can resist this?
Above: Who can resist this?
Image Credit: Nintendo
We’re in it now, folks. It’s the time of year when gaming companies look to earn a return on their investments, but the industry is seeing a decline in spending overall.

The video game industry generated $1.97 billion in revenues in the United States in November, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s down an enormous 24 percent year-over-year from $2.6 billion as consumers didn’t have the software options last month that they had in November 2015 (despite an abundance of games on the market). Spending on hardware and accessories were also down.

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November 2016 results
NPD’s data tracks game sales at physical retailers and some online stores in the U.S. These sales figures include data from the Xbox Game Store, the PlayStation Game Store, and Steam, but only certain publishers share their results with the NPD (you won’t find Blizzard Entertainment’s Battle.net store, for starters). This makes these numbers a snapshot of a larger industry that is far more dynamic.

Hardware November 2016: $723.8 million (down 35 percent) November 2015: $1.12 billion
Console software November 2016: $955.2 million (down 18 percent) November 2015: $1.17 billion
PC software November 2016: $27.5 million (down 28 percent) November 2015: $38.1 million
Accessories November 2016: $259.8 million (down 6 percent) November 2015: $277.1 million
“The year-on-year software revenue decline was driven by the strong comparison to last November’s top 3 titles,” NPD analyst Sam Naji explained in a statement. “Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Star Wars: Battlefront, which were all full-priced console new releases. This month’s top three games were Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, and Pokémon: Sun. Battlefield 1 launched in October, and Pokémon: Sun launched at a lower [price] than last November’s console games. As all titles outside of the top three grew a combined 12 percent vs. year ago, it is the top three title grouping that drove the year-on-year decline.”

As for hardware, less expensive consoles mean that revenues from Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales continues to decline rapidly.

“Total hardware spending in November declined 35 percent compared to year ago as growth in portable hardware sales was offset by declines in console hardware spending, particularly on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One,” said Naji.

That’s probably going to continue as Microsoft and Sony keep discounting their consoles through the holidays to compete with each another.

Here are the top 10 best-selling games of the month.

Software
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Battlefield 1
Pokémon Sun*
Pokémon Moon*
Titanfall 2
NBA 2K17
Madden NFL 17
Watch Dogs 2
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim*
FIFA 17
*No digital sales counted for this game.
http://venturebeat.com/2016/12/15/november-2016-npd-pokemon-sun-and-moon-have-biggest-debut-in-franchise-history/