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Destiny Helps Elevate Console Sales, But The Shadow Of GTAV Looms Large


Console hardware sales in the U.S. were up 200% in September, over September 2013, the NPD Group reported this afternoon. This was due to increased sales of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, benefitting from the launch of Activision’s Destiny.


That having been said, software sales for September 2014 couldn’t match those of the year prior, mainly due to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V in September 2013, NPD said. So great was GTAV’s success that the top 10 best-selling games in the U.S. this September only amounted to 59% of the top-10 during September 2013, in terms of total units sold.


“It is important to note that September 2013 was the best performing September on record for new physical video game software sales, driven by the launch of Grand Theft Auto V, therefore making for difficult comparisons for this September to last,” stated NPD analyst Liam Callahan.


“The launch of Activision-published and Bungie-developed Destiny in September 2014 proved successful in a number of ways: year-to-date through September data it is the top-selling video game on a unit basis, making it the most successful launch of the year so far as well. But an even more prestigious feat was the fact that Destiny had the best launch month of all-time for any new IP in video game software.”


The top-10 best-sellers in the U.S. during the month of September were as follows:


Rank Title System Publisher
01. Destiny XBO, PS4, 360, PS3 Activision
02. Madden NFL 15 360, PS4, PS3, XBO Electronic Arts
03. FIFA 15 PS4, 360, PS3, XBO, Wii, PSV, 3DS Electronic Arts
04. Super Smash Bros. 3DS Nintendo
05. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor PS4, XBO, PC Warner Bros.
06. NHL 15 PS4, XBO, 360, PS3 Electronic Arts
07. Minecraft 360, PS3 Microsoft/Sony
08. The Sims 4 PC Electronic Arts
09. Disney Infinity 2.0 360, PS3, NWU, PS4, XBO Disney
10. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls PS4, 360, PS3, XBO, PC Warner Bros.

 Tracking period: August 31st – October 4th, 2014


Something interesting to note is that, while Destiny sold more on PlayStation 4 worldwide, it actually sold more on Xbox One in the U.S. That said, Sony do have an exclusive marketing arrangement with Activision, and even published the game in Japan, so it makes complete sense for sales to be higher on PS4 worldwide.


Update: Thanks to reader popo123 reminding us that the NPD Group do not count hardware bundles as part of their software sales figures. That would account for the missing PS4 sales.


Finally, NPD revealed that if you were to include the #11 game on the above list, it would have been Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.