NPD December 2015: Minecraft Pays Dividends


According to the NPD December 2015 results, people are still buying into Minecraft, with another title entering the fold.

Each month industry experts are given a report that details all of the consoles and software numbers sold from physical retail brick-and-mortar stores within the United States, which are then reported on by sites privileged with that sort of information. They are published from the NPD group, with this month’s numbers reporting for NPD December 2015.

Top 10 most sold physical software titles in the US, according to NPD December 2015 numbers (bracket order=most-to-least sold version):

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  6. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  7. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  8. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  9. Minecraft: Story Mode: A Telltale Game Series (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  10. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)

Per the usual public relations spawning after NPD results, Sony reports they have sold the most hardware units in the United States this past December. Additionally, has been made clear throughout the monthly reports throughout 2015, the PS4 has outsold all its competitors in terms of hardware and, per the statement, third-party software.

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Microsoft issued a statement, noting the total number of hours spent playing Xbox One gaming in December 2015 almost doubled that of December 2014, with July – December 2015’s exclusive games sales up 61% year over year. Also, of note, is that the Xbox One is “the only console that has all top 10 best-selling titles of this generation that launched in 2015.” Considering that Minecraft, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto V are the three titles that ranked in the Top 10 2015 NPD results that didn’t launch in 2015, it’s hard to tell exactly what that stat means.

Oddly enough, the only statement coming out of Nintendo is from NPD analyst Liam Callahan, noting that December 2015, despite being the most recent holiday month with the largest number of US Wii U units sold, was the second-best month for the Wii U in terms of software sold. Considering that Nintendo recently released a Super Smash Bros. + Splatoon bundle (bundles aren’t counted in the NPD in terms of software), that might be a mitigating factor.

Overall, according to the NPD December 2015 results, the industry took a bit of a hit year over year. The month saw a six percent decrease in hardware sales, 32% dip in portable hardware sales and a staggering 71% decrease in Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii hardware sales. The increase came in a minuscule four percent in overall spending on the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U.