January NPD: PlayStation 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 lead a slumping month

The start of 2016 is looking a lot like the end of 2015, except with a lot less overall sales.

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A new year means a fresh start for console makers, but 2016 is starting off much like 2015 ended. Sony and PlayStation 4 have emerged on top in the latest monthly NPD Group report. But it looks to be something of a Pyrrhic victory, as hardware and software sales across the board appear to be down from last year.

"Combined video game sales in January 2016 across new physical software, hardware, and accessories declined by 5 percent from January 2015," states the NPD Group's Liam Callahan. "The 14 percent growth in video game accessory sales was not enough to offset new physical software and hardware declines of 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively."

The drop in software sales can be attributed to the lack of major new physical releases. And with no major new titles, that means it's time for Call of Duty to take its usual #1 spot, as Black Ops III tops this month's sales list. Grand Theft Auto V, another major staple, trails behind it at #2, while NBA 2K16 rounds out the top three. In fact, the only new release to appear on the list this month is LEGO Marvel Avengers, which trickles in at #9, though the NPD Group does not that on a SKU-basis, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam would crack the top ten.

January Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC; new releases in bold)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
  • NBA 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2015 (XBO, PS4, PC)
  • Fallout 4 (PS4, XBO, PC)
  • Minecraft (360, XBO, PS4, PS3)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (XBO, PS4, PC)
  • Madden NFL 16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
  • LEGO Marvel Avengers (PS4, XBO, 360, NWU, PS3, 3DS, PSV)
  • FIFA 16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 11, 2016 3:46 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, January NPD: PlayStation 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 lead a slumping month

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      February 11, 2016 3:58 PM

      I feel sorry for the cow. Only a matter of time before they take it out back, shoot it, and replace it with a goat, or chicken. At the end of the day they are trying to apply a John Madden NFL style to CoD/BF, but that only works so long on proper gam..... oooh shiney!

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      February 11, 2016 4:04 PM

      It's scary that GTA charted so high. That game came out in 2013.

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        February 12, 2016 12:20 AM

        Actually the PS4 version came out at the end of 2014, so it's a little over a year old for PS4 owners. It also seemed stuck at the $60 price point until just recently.

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          February 12, 2016 10:33 AM

          I think a lot of PS4 owners at the time would have been 360 and PS3 owners who had access to the game. It's striking to me because it hints at the idea that there's not a lot of software competition out there.

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      February 11, 2016 4:15 PM

      I wonder to what degree increasing digital purchases might account for this.