February 2022 NPD: Elden Ring is a smash hit

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Elden Ring is not just buzz anymore. The game is out and is a certified blockbuster success, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. And it is also part of a group of games that led the industry to $4.67 billion in total sales. While that was down year-over-year, it is still up historically over previous years. Here are the full results:

February 2022 Dollar Sales, Millions Feb 2021 Feb 2022 Change
Total Video Game Sales $4,671 $4,384 -6%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $4,071 $3,908 -4%
Video Game Hardware $406 $295 -27%
Video Game Accessories $194 $180 -7%

“February 2022 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 6% when compared to a year ago, to $4.4 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Declines were experienced across all major categories of spend, with hardware showing the largest year-on-year percentage decline. Year-to-date spending reached $9.1 billion, a 4% decrease when compared to the same time period last year.”

One of the biggest drags on sales is hardware. Like last year, Microsoft and Sony are both riding high demand for their new consoles. But unlike last year, neither company has much supply to meet demand.

Software was also down, though. And that seems like it is related to the hardware problem. As people picked up PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in February 2021, they also bought a lot of games. In February 2022, they did the same, but again, fewer people were able to pick up those consoles.

Let’s get to the software sales charts.

February 2022 NPD: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the United States

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. Not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold. And this is for full-game sales and does not include in-game spending. 

Rank Last Month Rank February 2022 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 NEW Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
3 1 Pokemon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
4 NEW Dying Light 2: Stay Human* Square Enix Inc (Corp)
5 NEW Total War: Warhammer III Sega
6 2 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
7 4 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
8 8 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
9 7 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
10 13 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
11 6 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
12 15 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
13 16 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
14 19 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
15 20 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
16 57 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy: The Definitive Edition* Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
17 14 NBA 2K22* Take-Two Interactive
18 11 Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl* Nintendo
19 12 Far Cry 6 Ubisoft
20 27 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

February featured one heck of a sprint between some of the biggest games of the year so far. Dying Light 2, Horizon Forbidden West, and Elden Ring all debuted while Pokémon Legends Arceus entered its second month. Each game had a lot going for it. Horizon is a sequel to a 20-million seller. Dying Light 2 is also a sequel to a very popular game, but it’s also multiplatform. Elden Ring is one of the most anticipated games of all time. And Pokémon is a perennial best-seller.

But with the results in, Elden Ring came out on top. More than that, it seems like it was potentially not even close (even if you were to add Pokémon’s digital sales for February).

Elden Ring

FromSoftware, the studio responsible for Elden Ring and Dark Souls, has built its niche audience into something formidable. But with Elden Ring, you can no longer even call it niche. This is the new mainstream.

“Elden Ring debuted as both the best-selling game of February 2022 as well as 2022 year to date,” said Piscatella. “Launch month sales of Elden Ring were the second highest for any tracked title released in the past 12 months, trailing only Call of Duty: Vanguard, which was released in November 2021. After one month on the market, Elden Ring ranked as the 5th best-selling game of the 12-month period ending February 2022. Elden Ring ranked 1st on Steam and Xbox platforms in February, while placing 2nd on PlayStation.”

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon’s second-place finish in February is also impressive as PlayStation exclusive. While it is a cross-gen game, it is clear that many fans consider it a must-have for the PS5.

“Horizon Forbidden West was the second-best-selling game of February 2022, while also ranking first on PlayStation platforms,” said Piscatella. “Dollar sales of the PlayStation 5 version of Horizon II: Forbidden West set a new launch month record for the PlayStation 5 platform.”

Total War: Warhammer III

“Total War: Warhammer III debuted as the No. 5 best-selling game of February 2022, while also ranking second on Steam,” said Piscatella. “The title also launched as part of the PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription services.”

February 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

Rank Last Month Rank YTD 2022 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 1 Pokemon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
3 NEW Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
4 2 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
5 4 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
6 NEW Dying Light 2: Stay Human* Square Enix Inc (Corp)
7 3 Monster Hunter: Rise Capcom USA
8 NEW Total War: Warhammer III Sega
9 5 God of War (2018) Sony (Corp)
10 6 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
11 8 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
12 7 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
13 13 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
14 15 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
15 16 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
16 11 Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl* Nintendo
17 12 Far Cry 6 Ubisoft
18 14 NBA 2K22* Take-Two Interactive
19 19 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
20 10 Battlefield 2042 Electronic Arts
* Digital sales not included

February 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games of the last year

Rank Last Month Rank 12 Months Ending February 2022 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
3 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
4 4 Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl* Nintendo
5 NEW Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
6 5 Battlefield 2042 Electronic Arts
7 8 Far Cry 6 Ubisoft
8 7 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
9 10 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
10 12 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
* Digital sales not included

February 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last Month Rank February 2022 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Pokemon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
2 2 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
3 4 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
4 5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
5 6 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
6 3 Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl* Nintendo
7 8 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
8 9 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
9 7 Just Dance 2022 Ubisoft
10 10 New Super Mario Bros.* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

February 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

PlayStation Platforms
Rank Last Month Rank February 2022 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
2 NEW Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
3 NEW Dying Light 2: Stay Human* Square Enix Inc (Corp)
4 1 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
5 3 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
6 2 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
7 4 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
8 6 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
9 13 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
10 9 NBA 2K22* Take-Two Interactive
* Digital sales not included

February 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

Xbox Platforms
Rank Last Month Rank February 2022 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
2 1 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 NEW Dying Light 2: Stay Human* Square Enix Inc (Corp)
4 2 Madden NFL 22 Electronic Arts
5 10 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
6 6 Forza Horizon 5 Microsoft (Corp)
7 5 Halo: Infinite Microsoft (Corp)
8 9 FIFA 22 Electronic Arts
9 11 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
10 3 Far Cry 6 Ubisoft
* Digital sales not included

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