This Month

May 2022 Was US Video Game Industry’s Worst Spending Month Since February 2020

The NPD Group has released its latest monthly sales report for the US video game industry, and May 2022 saw the lowest monthly spending since just before the pandemic in February 2020.

Total spending in May 2022 fell 19% year-over-year to $3.7 billion. The last time a monthly spend in the US was this low was February 2020 when spending reached $3.5 billion. It is perhaps not all that surprising to a decline in May 2022, as life returns to “normal” for some people following a pandemic period that saw big gains as people stayed home and bought and played more games. May 2022 also had a lack of major new releases, while supply constraints continue to impact console availability. Additionally, there is the ongoing threat of inflation that might be leading some to spend money on anything besides video games.

Hardware sales slipped 11% to $216 million in May 2022. The Nintendo Switch was the top-seller for units and dollar sales in May 2022, while the Switch remains the best-selling console of 2022 in terms of unit sales. The Xbox Series X|S family of consoles, meanwhile, drove the most dollar sales during the past year due to the platform’s comparatively higher price point. No sales data for PlayStation consoles was provided.

Shifting to games, Elden Ring returned to the No. 1 spot in May, after dropping to No. 2 in April behind Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Elden Ring continues to be 2022’s best-selling game overall.

The only new release for May that tracked in the top 50 best-selling games list was Evil Dead: The Game, which finished May as the fourth best-selling game. Another notable title was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which surged back into the top 20 for the first time since November 2017. Skyrim sales on Steam made up “nearly half” of the game’s overall sales in the US during May.

As for mobile, spending dropped year-over-year, with consumer spending on Google Play specifically slipping by 23%. Spending on the App Store dropped only 2.6%.

“While this points to inflation and other macroeconomic factors impacting spend on Google Play, where consumers are typically more cost-conscious, a positive sign for mobile games revenue as a whole came in the form of a small-yet-perceivable year-over-year increase in spending of 1.3% for the top 10 earning games across both stores combined,” NPD said.

As for accessories, this category declined 7% year-over-year to $131 million. The PS4’s DualShock 4 was the best-selling accessory in May 2022, while the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is still the best-selling accessory of 2022 so far.

Top 20 Best Selling Games In The US For May 2022

  1. Elden Ring
  2. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  3. Nintendo Switch Sports*
  4. Evil Dead: The Game
  5. MLB The Show 22^
  6. Kirby and the Forgotten Land*
  7. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  8. Mario Kart 8*
  9. Gran Turismo 7
  10. Pokemon Legends: Arceus*
  11. Minecraft
  12. Horizon: Forbidden West
  13. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  14. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  15. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  16. FIFA 22
  17. Mario Party Superstars*
  18. Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl*
  19. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
  20. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

*Digital sales not included

^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

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The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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