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Tears of the Kingdom tops the May | Best Seller List about May 2023

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In what I’m sure is the most shocking news of this month, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was the best-selling game in May, according to industry tracking company Circana (formerly known as the NPD Group). It’s also the only new game released in May that’s on the list, but again, that’s probably not a big surprise to anyone. Video game sales in general – and console game sales in particular – also increased in May compared to the same period last year.

May 2023 Dollar sales, millions Be able to
2022
Be able to
2023
Change
Total video game sales $3,665 $4,118 12%
Video Game Content (physical and digital full game, DLC/MTX, and consumer subscription subscriptions across console, cloud, mobile*, portable, PC, and VR platforms) $3,310 $3,622 9%
Video game hardware $216 $338 56%
Video game accessories $139 $159 14%
*Mobile releases provided by Sensor Tower

“Spending on video game content increased 9% in May compared to a year ago, to $3.6 billion,” said Mat Piscatella, Circana’s executive producer for games reports. “Console spend for full game and add-on content increased 58% compared to May 2022, offsetting declines in mobile and PC. Spending on new physical video game software hit its highest May total since May 2014.

Last month I noted that a slight drop in sales of the April games could be due to players saving up for Tears of the Kingdom since it was a highly anticipated major release. In hindsight, May sales aren’t drastically higher than April – it’s likely that’s why the drop in April was due to the then-lingering effects Elden Ring and LEGO Star Wars had on sales last year.

Year-to-date 2023 dollar sales, millions YTD End
May 2022
YTD End
May 2023
Change
Total video game sales $21,770 $21,826 0%
Video Game Content (physical and digital full game, DLC/MTX, and consumer subscription subscriptions across console, cloud, mobile*, portable, PC, and VR platforms) $19,096 $18,729 -2%
Video game hardware $1,761 $2,160 23%
Video game accessories $913 $937 3%
*Mobile releases provided by Sensor Tower

“PlayStation 5 continues to lead the 2023 hardware market both in terms of units and dollars,” added Piscatella. “Year-to-date content spend is down 2% compared to the same period in 2022.” He also added that while the black PlayStation DualSense controller is the hottest accessory of the year so far, Tears of the Kingdom Series 1 Amiibo Character Pack led accessory sales in May.

May 2023 Cirana: Top 20 Best Selling Games in the US

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Title Publisher
1 NEW The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom* Nintendo
2 6 Hogwarts legacy Warner Bros. Interactive
3 1 Star Wars: Jedi: Survivor Electronic art
4 2 Dead Island 2 Plaion
5 5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
6 3 MLB: The Show 23^ Multiple video game manufacturers
7 9 FIFA23 Electronic art
8 10 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
9 2 Resident Evil 4 (2023) Capcom USA
10 49 Far cry 6 Ubisoft
11 12 Elder ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
12 13 Minecraft Multiple video game manufacturers
13 28 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
14 23 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
15 19 Madden NFL 23 Electronic art
16 21 God of War: Ragnarok Sony (company)
17 16 New Super Mario Bros.* Nintendo
18 18 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
19 30 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
20 20 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included. ^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included.

Several of the bestsellers from earlier this year are still going strong on the monthly bestseller lists. Jedi: Survivor and Dead Island 2 maintain strong points on the list after their April launch, with Hogwarts Legacy back in second place (probably due to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions in May). Sports games continue to score well and Resident Evil 4 holds on to the top 10.

A few games jumped from further down the bestseller list. This also applies to Far Cry 6, whose resurgence in popularity and sales is likely due to its Steam launch earlier this month. Likewise, LEGO Star Wars probably got a sales boost thanks to May 4, when everything Star Wars goes on sale. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on the other hand, likely jumped up from 28th place thanks to fans’ anticipation of Tears of the Kingdom’s launch.

As mentioned, it probably comes as no shock that a new Legend of Zelda title tops the list. The game sold 10 million copies within three days of its launch. The franchise’s name recognition, coupled with positive word of mouth and the fact that it’s the sequel to the popular Breath of the Wild, all played a part in its success. It’s worth noting that Cirana only includes Nintendo’s physical sales data, as Nintendo doesn’t provide the company with any digital sales information, so the sales numbers are likely to be even higher.

While Tears of the Kingdom was May’s biggest release, it wasn’t the only game released that month. Usually at least one other release makes it onto the bestseller list, even if it dwindles by the time the next month arrives. However, Tears of the Kingdom is the only May game to make it onto Circana’s best-selling list. This means that May’s fellow releases like Redfall and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum didn’t even rate curiosity-driven spikes in sales, likely due to poor word-of-mouth for both titles.

May 2023 Cirana: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Title Publisher
1 1 Hogwarts legacy Warner Bros. Interactive
2 NEW The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom* Nintendo
3 2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
4 4 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Electronic art
5 3 Resident Evil 4 (2023) Capcom USA
6 5 MLB: The Show 23^ Multiple video game manufacturers
7 6 Dead Island 2 Plaion
8 8 FIFA23 Electronic art
9 7 Dead Space (2023) Electronic art
10 9 Madden NFL 23 Electronic art
11 10 Elder ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
12 11 The Last of Us: Part 1 Sony (company)
13 13 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
14 12 God of War: Ragnarok Sony (company)
15 14 Minecraft Multiple video game manufacturers
16 15 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
17 16 Fire Emblem Engage* Nintendo
18 18 Sonic Limits Sega
19 17 To leave Square Enix Inc (Corp)
20 20 NBA 2K23* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
*Digital sales not included. ^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included.

Again, last month’s bestsellers so far haven’t changed much except to make room in the #2 slot for Tears of the Kingdom. Jedi Survivor is high on the list and doesn’t slide down at all. Dead Space, Dead Island 2, Resident Evil 4, and Hogwarts Legacy are still high on the list. As mentioned earlier, Circana doesn’t have Nintendo’s digital sales data to factor into these charts, so it’s likely that Tears of the Kingdom will catch up with or possibly even catch up with Hogwarts Legacy in sales.

GamesBeat’s credo in covering the gaming industry is “where passion meets business”. What does this mean? We want to tell you how important the news is to you — not only as a decision-maker in a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you’re reading our articles, listening to our podcasts, or watching our videos, GamesBeat helps you learn about and have fun with the industry. Discover our Briefings.

Shreya Christinahttp://ukbusinessupdates.com
Shreya has been with ukbusinessupdates.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider ukbusinessupdates.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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