A look back at the financial performance for the video game industry in 2014 saw the end of a multi-year losing streak in terms of sales, but a more detailed breakdown shows there’s not much cause for celebration.
According to The NPD Group, hardware and software sales in the United States raked in $13.1 billion, a one percent increase over sales in 2013. While this is just a small bump, it is the first time the industry has seen an overall sales increase since 2008.
Of course the increase is directly attributed to a boost in sales from the release of new consoles, with more players purchasing the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Hardware sales alone totaled $5.07 billion, a 20 percent increase from 2013. While The NPD Group does not disclose console sales, Microsoft issued a statement (citing NPD data) that the Xbox One was the industry’s best-selling system. This can likely be attributed to a major price cut during the holiday season.
While 2014 saw a good performance in console sales, software sales from brick-and-mortar retailers fell short overall. Game purchases for the year totaled $5.3 billion, a 13 percent drop compared to last year. In the month of December, a hot time for video game sales, the industry saw a 2 percent decrease in sales compared to 2013.
Despite a lackluster year for the industry as a whole, it wasn’t a bust for everyone. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare topped the charts in December, as well as for the entire year. The title beat out other favorite franchise entries Grand Theft Auto V and Madden NFL 15. The Nintendo exclusive Super Smash Bros. fell in at the number 4 spot for the month of December, and the number 6 spot for the year overall in terms of sales. The full breakdown for game sales for the entire year is as follows:
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Madden NFL 15
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Super Smash Bros.
- NBA 2K15
- Watch Dogs
- FIFA 15
- Call Of Duty: Ghosts
It should be noted that The NPD Group does not disclose actual sales figures, nor does it account for used game products, rentals, or digital sales.