June 15, 2024
Stellar Blade beats older Fallout titles to top the charts | Circana April 2024



Stellar Blade was the only one of April’s new releases to make it onto the U.S. bestsellers list, according to industry-tracking firm Circana. Shift Up’s action title managed to make it to the number one spot on the list in a month marked by older games climbing the charts. Hardware sales have also declined precipitously in both this month and year-to-date.

“Projected total U.S. spending on video game hardware, content and accessories fell 3% in April 2024 vs. YA, to $4.1B,” said Mat Piscatella, Circana’s executive producer for games reports. “A 2% increase in content spending could not offset a 43% drop in hardware and a 4% dip in accessories.”

April 2024 Dollar Sales, Millions Apr
2023
Apr
2024
Change
Total Video Game Sales $4,202 $4,096 -3%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms) $3,675 $3,736 2%
Video Game Hardware $368 $208 -43%
Video Game Accessories $159 $152 -4%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Most of the growth appears to have come from mobile spending, according to Sensor Tower’s data. While consoles’ sales numbers are still suffering in comparison to 2023’s boom period, that doesn’t appear to be the only reason for the drop. Piscatella added, “All current console hardware platforms fell a minimum of 26% year-on-year, with Switch showing the strongest year-on-year decline (-69%).”

The year-to-date chart shows that hardware sales for 2024 are tracking at 28% lower than they were in April 2023. Overall video game sales are up only 4% from 2023 YoY, and game content spending is up 8%. Accessories, on the other hand, are up 18% YTD from 2023, though this is obviously not driven by April’s 4% drop. According to Piscatella, the PlayStation Portal is the best-selling accessory for both April and 2024 YTD.


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Circana April 2024: Top 20 best-selling games in the U.S.

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Title Publisher
1 NEW Stellar Blade Sony (Corp)
2 2 Helldivers II Sony (Corp)
3 4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
4 55 Sea of Thieves Microsoft (Corp)
5 87 Fallout 4 Microsoft (Corp)
6 3 MLB: The Show 24^ Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
7 1 Dragon’s Dogma II Capcom USA
8 159 Fallout 76 Microsoft (Corp)
9 10 Hogwarts Legacy Warner Bros. Games
10 12 EA Sports FC 24 Electronic Arts
11 5 Rise of the Ronin Sony (Corp)
12 167 Grounded Microsoft (Corp)
13 13 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
14 11 Madden NFL 24 Electronic Arts
15 6 Princess Peach: Showtime!* Nintendo
16 16 Rainbow Six: Siege [Tom Clancy’s] Ubisoft
17 15 Tekken 8 Bandai Namco Entertainment
18 18 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
19 17 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
20 19 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Sony (Corp)
*Digital sales not included for marked titles
^Digital sales on Nintendo and Xbox platforms not included

Stellar Blade, which was the subject of much online discourse from the time of its recent trailer reveals, topped the charts in April. The action game, which is the console debut of Shift Up, was the only one of April’s new releases that made it to the best-seller list. Others, like Tales of Kenzera: Zau and Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes, failed to chart.

Piscatella noted that this isn’t to say that Stellar Blade performed spectacularly when removed from comparison, saying, “Not to take away anything from Stellar Blade — any title ranking 1st in U.S. sales in any month is a great achievement — but it did have the lowest sales to lead an April since Prototype 2 ranked 1st in April 2012… The game did great. But it’s okay to recognize that not every game is going to be the biggest hit ever released or the biggest failure.”

Old games get new life in April

One of the bizarre quirks of Circana’s April report is the resurgence of several older titles. Multiple games from many genres jumped up the list from relatively low (or even extremely low) rankings. This is likely in part due to a multitude of factors. Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 both jumped onto the top 20 from positions 87 and 159 respectively, likely thanks to the release of the Fallout Prime show. Fallout 4 was also the second best-selling game on Xbox and the 8th most-played game on PlayStation in April, and both games charted on the top 10 most-played lists on Steam and Xbox. Fallout; New Vegas was also the 8th most-played game on Steam.

Grounded and Sea of Thieves also made the top 20 from positions 167 and 55 respectively. Both were part of Xbox’s recent multiplatform initiative, in which it ported four of its titles (these two, plus Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment) onto Switch and PlayStation 5 in an attempt to boost their sales. It appears to have worked. They were also among the top 10 best-selling games on PlayStation in April. Immortals of Aveum has also received a huge boost in engagement on PlayStation, rising to 10th most-played from position 291, most likely due to its addition as a free game for PS Plus subscribers.

Circana April 2024: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Title Publisher
1 1 Helldivers II Sony (Corp)
2 2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 3 Dragon’s Dogma II Capcom USA
4 5 MLB: The Show 24^ Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
5 4 Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth Square Enix Inc (Corp)
6 6 Tekken 8 Bandai Namco Entertainment
7 8 Madden NFL 24 Electronic Arts
8 7 Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Warner Bros. Games
9 10 Hogwarts Legacy Warner Bros. Games
10 9 Persona 3: Reload Sega
11 11 EA Sports FC 24 Electronic Arts
12 12 NBA 2K24** Take-Two Interactive
13 14 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Sony (Corp)
14 15 Rise of the Ronin Sony (Corp)
15 13 Skull and Bones Ubisoft
16 NEW Stellar Blade Sony (Corp)
17 19 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
18 42 Sea of Thieves Microsoft (Corp)
19 18 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
20 17 Super Mario Bros. Wonder* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included for marked titles
^Digital sales on Nintendo and Xbox platforms not included
** Feb-Apr Digital sales not included

Helldivers 2 and Modern Warfare 3 continue to hold their first and second places on Circana’s year-to-date charts, with Dragon’s Dogma II also staying in third place. In fact, most of the YTD chart is just a reshuffling of the same titles, with two exceptions in April. First, Stellar Blade claimed a spot, which is not unusual for number-one placers on the monthly list. Second, Sea of Thieves’ momentum has carried it to 18th place on the YTD chart, up from 42 where it was in March.



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