The NPD Group has released its latest monthly sales report, detailing the best-selling games and hardware for April 2021 in the US, as well as providing a snapshot of the overall health of the North American games industry.
Total spending on games in the US–across hardware, content, and accessories–declined 2% to $4.6 billion in April, though spending year-to-date in 2021 jumped by 21% to $19.6 billion.
The Nintendo Switch was the top-selling home console in the US during April 2021, both for units and dollar sales. Total spending on hardware, however, fell 30% to $296 million compared to April 2020. Year-to-date sales for hardware is up 42% to $1.7 billion.
Moving to game sales, Sony’s MLB The Show 21 was the best-selling game of April 2021 and is now the third best-selling game overall in 2021 so far. The game had a particularly strong showing, setting a new record for highest first-month dollar sales in franchise history. That makes sense given the game launched on Xbox this year for the first time ever.
MLB The Show 21 was the top-selling game on PlayStation during April, while it ranked second on Xbox–though digital sales on Xbox are not counted by NPD. MLB The Show 21 launched on Xbox into the Game Pass library, and its strong sales seem to tally with the claim from Microsoft that Game Pass may not materially harm outright game sales.
Another notable new release in April was New Pokemon Snap, which was the top-seller on Switch during April and the third best-selling game overall of the month. Its first-month physical sales were more than double what the original Pokemon Snap achieved in July 1999.
You can see the full list of the 20 best-selling games in the US for April 2021 below.
In terms of accessories, the PS5 DualSense controller was the number one overall best-seller in terms of dollar sales for April 2021 and 2021 overall so far. Total spending on accessories, however, fell 23% year-over-year to $168 million. Year-to-date spending on accessories rose by 22% to $885 million.
The year-over-year declines for hardware, games, and accessories may be attributable to the fact that April 2020 was so strong due to the COVID-19 lockdowns that kept people at home and playing games. The massive results were always going to be difficult to compare against.
Top 20 Best-Selling Games In The US For April 2021 All Platforms
- MLB The Show 21^
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- New Pokemon Snap*
- Nier Replicant
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Monster Hunter Rise
- It Takes Two
- Mario Kart 8*
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Super Mario 3D World*
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
- Super Mario 3D All Stars*
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Pokemon Sword/Shield*
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
*Digital sales not included
^ Xbox digital sales not included