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U.S. Video Game Spending Climbs to $977 Million in May

Analysts NPD Group report video game hardware and software sales in May rose 52% from the prior year

Americans spent 52% more on video game hardware and software this May than the same time last year, gaming analysts NPD Group reported Friday.

U.S. digital gaming spending throughout the month of May totaled $977 million. NPD Group notes this is the highest total in the U.S. games market “for a May month since the $1.2 billion achieved in May 2008.”

New York-based NPD Group also found that year-to-date sales of games and gaming equipment in the U.S. are up 13% from the prior year to $2.5 billion.

Sales of gaming hardware, such as consoles, and software were up 56% and 67% from May 2019, NPD Group reported. Video gaming accessories also saw a jump in purchases from the previous May, up 32%.

NPD Group charts the 20 top-grossing games part of its monthly rankings. No new releases made the charts this month.

May’s top-selling game title was Activision Blizzard and Infinity Ward’s multiplayer shooter “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” followed closely by Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V.” Developers Electronic Arts had an outsized presence on this month’s chart, with its top-grossing titles “Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order” (No. 10 in sales), EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 20” (No. 11), “FIFA 20” (No. 20).

“‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ returns to the top of the chart as May’s best-selling title… and remains the best-selling game of 2020 year-to-date, as well as for the 12 month period ending May 2020,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said in a statement Friday.

NPD’s rankings also include analysis of the top sales of games per gaming console. On the Nintendo Switch, the recently released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” game maintained its spot as the top title for the second consecutive month. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players both played “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” the most this month.

The “Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in May in both unit and dollar sales,” Piscatella said. “Nintendo Switch unit sales were the highest for an individual platform in a May month since the Nintendo DS in May 2009.”