May was a slow, slow, slow month for video games. So slow, Skyrim was one of the top 20 games in the US by dollar sales.
According to The NPD Group’s monthly report, game sales were at their lowest for a single month since February 2020, down 19% year-over-year to $3.7 billion. It’s a significant milestone after the surge of spending gaming saw during pandemic-related lockdowns. Why is it happening now? One major reason: no massive new games.
Elden Ring was the best-selling game of May, after taking the No.2 spot in April to LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and it remains the best-selling game this year. LEGO Star Wars dropped to No.2 this month, followed by Nintendo Switch Sports – though it’s always possible Nintendo first-party games sell better than depicted since Nintendo doesn’t share digital sales data with The NPD Group.
At No.4 was the only new game release in May to breach the top 50 best sellers for May: Evil Dead: The Game. With only one new game in the top 50 and even blockbusters like Elden Ring starting to slow down, that left room for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, of all things, to rank No.20 in its first appearance in the top 20 since November 2017, with Steam accounting for nearly half of its May sales. Welcome back, Dragonborn.
While hardware sales were doing their best to help, it’s not like May is a massive month for people trying to buy an Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch. Overall hardware sales dropped 11% year-over-year to $216 million, with the Switch selling the most in both unit and dollar sales for the month.
The top 20 games by dollar sales for the month of May are as follows:
- Elden Ring
- LEGO: Star Wars: The Skywalker saga
- Nintendo Switch Sports
- Evil Dead: The Game
- MLB: The Show 22
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Mario Kart 8
- Gran Turismo 7
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus
- Horizon 2: Forbidden West
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
- FIFA 22
- Mario Party Superstars
- Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
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