NPD Numbers Show $70 Games Haven't Weakened Sales

Published: December 11, 2020 10:10 AM /


Eivor in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which was part of a very strong November for the gaming industry

Gaming industry analytical firm The NPD Group has posted its market survey for November gaming sales. It's been a strong month for the gaming industry, driven mostly by next-gen console sales and big releases like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War.

How has next-gen affected November gaming sales?

It's worth checking out Piscatella's full thread if you want to get super-nerdy on statistics. In essence, next-generation consoles have led the charge in terms of hardware sales for November, as you might expect. The PS5 has performed predictably well; it was November's biggest-selling hardware platform in consumer spending and achieved the highest launch month sales for a gaming platform in US market history. Nintendo has performed pretty well, too; the Switch has been the best-selling platform in terms of units for a record 24 months in a row.

It's worth noting that it's difficult to know exactly what we're looking at when it comes to next-gen hardware sales because demand is vastly outstripping supply. In most territories, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S are all sold out. This means that we don't know how well the consoles could be selling if supply was greater and more gamers were able to purchase machines.

November gaming sales were driven in part by Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War (pictured)
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War was one of November's highest-selling games across all platforms.

In software terms, pricing games at $70 doesn't seem to have hurt sales at all. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War and Assassin's Creed Valhalla have both topped November's charts. The former immediately became the best-selling game of 2020 year-to-date, the 13th consecutive year a Call of Duty game has been the best-selling game in its launch month. Assassin's Creed Valhalla debuted as the second best-selling game of November, with the third-place slot being taken by PS5 launch title Spider-Man: Miles Morales (which is also available on PS4, and took second place on PlayStation only charts).

These strong sales figures for Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War suggest that the "transition price" phenomenon is set to continue. Back in 2005, Call of Duty 2 was one of the first games to adopt a $60 price tag, which then became the standard price for games in the seventh generation. Cold War is one of the first to adopt a $70 price tag, which is going to be standard for this gen. A new generation can often serve as a point for publishers to evaluate sales price, as we are seeing this year. You can take a look at Piscatella and The NPD Group's table of the top-selling games in November right here:

The top-selling games across all platforms in November

Overall, November 2020 has been one of the strongest months on record for the gaming industry, it seems. According to Piscatella, hardware spending increased 34% year-to-date on last year, while spending in the whole industry across November was up 35% in 2019 at $7 billion. Year-to-date spending has reached $44.5 billion, which is 22% higher than the same time period last year. Again, we'd strongly recommend checking out Piscatella's entire thread if you're interested in knowing more about these stats. Johnny Silverhand only knows how Cyberpunk 2077 is going to make December look.

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| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph