Injustice: Gods Among Us was April's top-selling title in the United States, according to data released by the NPD Group today. It marks the first time since April 2011 (Mortal Kombat) that a fighting game ranked in the top spot. No specific sales figures were provided, though it is estimated to have sold 424,000 units in the month.
Overall, industry sales slid by 25 percent to $495.2 million. However, NPD analyst Liam Callahan points out that the sales figures make up only about half of the total consumer spend for the month.
"When taking into account our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in April such as used and rentals at $76 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $267 million, the total consumer spend in April is $802 million," he said.
In addition, Callahan pointed out that the Easter holiday typically accounts for a 10 percent boost in sales for the month. Since Easter fell in March this year and in April last year, a direct comparison is "difficult," he said.
Regarding hardware, total sales plummeted by 42 percent to $109.5 million. Microsoft was again the market leader, selling 130,000 Xbox 360 units in the month, down from 236,000 systems this time last year. Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform (hardware, software, and accessories) was $208 million.
Sony has not divulged PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita sales information for the month, while Nintendo reportedly sold just 55,000 Wii U units during the month, some 20,000 fewer than the 75,000 Wii systems in the period.
As for software, this category decreased 17 percent in April to $267.8 million in April. Though the overall sector declined year-over-year, sales of April 2013 titles posted positive figures over April 2012, which was led by Activision's Prototype 2.
"Despite overall declines, April title launches in 2013 fared better than games that launched in April 2012, up 118 percent in unit sales and 130 percent in dollar sales," Callahan said. "This increase was driven by games like Injustice: Gods Among Us, Dead Island: Riptide, and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins."
Separately, Nintendo announced that it has sold 2.1 million first-party 3DS games through the first four months of the year, up 52 percent over last year.
"In 2012, it took 30 weeks for Nintendo 3DS to sell 2 million units of first-party software. In 2013, the platform accomplished that same feat in 18 weeks," Nintendo said.
Nintendo said Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins shifted nearly 94,000 combined physical and digital copies. Notably, it was released on April 24, near the end of the NPD Group's reporting period. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon sold 140,000 units in the month (physical and digital), boosting its life-to-date total to 530,000 units.
The only Wii U title Nintendo revealed sales statistics for was New Super Mario Bros. U, which has now sold nearly 770,000 combined physical and digital units to date.
Shifting to accessories, this sector fell 19 percent to $131.4 million for April 2013.
"Though every accessory type experienced year-over-year declines in April 2013, year-to-date trending increased by over 20 percent for the combined sales of point cards, headsets/headphones, and All Other Accessories (which includes Skylanders)," Callahan said.
APRIL US GAME SALES (April 7-May 4, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $495.2 million (-25%)
Non-PC hardware: $109.5 million (-42%)
Non-PC software: $254.3 (-17%)
Accessories: $131.4 (19%)
Total software: $267.8 million (-17%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR APRIL 2013
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us (X360, PS3, Wii U) - Warner Bros.
2. Dead Island: Riptide (X360, PS3, PC) - Deep Silver
3. BioShock: Infinite (X360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
5. Defiance - (X360, PS3, PC) - Trion Worlds
6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Nintendo
7. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
8. Skylanders Giants (Wii, X360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
9. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins (3DS) - Nintendo
10. MLB 13: The Show (PS3, PS Vita) - Sony