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July 2019's Best-Selling Games Have Been Revealed; Can You Guess What's No. 1?

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The NPD Group today released its monthly sales chart for July 2019, revealing the best-selling games and consoles of the month in the US. There are pretty much no surprises in the report, though there are several notable takeaways and key points to consider.

Starting with game sales, Madden NFL 20 was the best-selling title across all platforms. It is a notable achievement given that the game's official release date was August 2, just one day before the NPD's July reporting period ended on August 3. According to the NPD Group, 2019 marks the 20th straight year that the year's Madden release was No. 1 during its launch month.

No sales numbers of Madden NFL 20 were announced (the NPD report never shares actual sales numbers for any games) but Electronic Arts separately shared some additional insight. The company said it sold more digital copies of Madden NFL 20 during its launch-week than physical ones; that's the first time in history that's happened.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses was No. 2 in July 2019; it recorded the highest first-month sales for a Fire Emblem game of all time in the US. Very importantly, digital sales for Three Houses are not included, but whether or not including those would have been enough to unseat Madden as No. 1 is unknown. First-month sales of Three Houses tripled the sales of the previous record-holder, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Three Houses now trails only Fire Emblem: Awakening in terms of lifetime US sales.

Rounding out the top five best-sellers for July 2019 were Super Mario Maker 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Minecraft, and Grand Theft Auto V. Mortal Kombat 11, which was released in April, sold well again in July (finishing No. 8), and the game remains the best-selling title overall for 2019 so far in the US.

You can see a list of July 2019's top-selling games at the bottom of this post.

Total spending on games during July 2019 came out to $340 million, which is up 34 percent compared to the same month last year. The big uptick was due primarily to the fact that Madden NFL 20 was released during the July reporting period (July 7-August 3) this year compared to the historical release during the August tracking period.

Looking at 2019 so far, total spending on games has reached $2.9 billion, with Switch and PlayStation 4 (but not Xbox One) seeing sales growth.

Moving to hardware, the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console platform in July; it's been on top for months now, and the hybrid consoles is still 2019's overall best-selling platform over PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (which are relatively much older).

Total spending on consoles in July 2019 dropped 22 percent to $169 million, while total hardware sales for 2019 so far are down 21 percent to $1.5 billion. Every console platform experienced declines in July, and on a year-to-date basis, only the Switch is growing. This is all mostly to be expected, as the PS4 and Xbox One are in the final stages of their lifecycles with next-generation systems expected to release in Holiday 2020. It's a historical pattern for sales to not only decline over time but especially so when new platforms are announced as consumers hold off their purchases in anticipation of the new boxes coming out.

Total spending on video games--comprising consoles, games, and accessories--amounted to $762 million for July 2019 in the US; that's up "slightly" from $759 million in July 2018. On a year-to-date basis, total spending fell 4 percent to $6.4 billion.

July 2019 Top Selling Games

  1. Madden NFL 20^
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses*
  3. Super Mario Maker 2*
  4. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order*
  5. Minecraft#
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  8. Mortal Kombat 11
  9. Mario Kart 8*
  10. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*

*Digital sales not included

^PC digital sales not included

#Minecraft digital sales on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One included

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