The Last of Us tops June US sales

NPD Group reveals Naughty Dog's latest the top-performer during the month; total game sales slide 15 percent to $593.3 million.

Naughty Dog's postapocalyptic action game The Last of Us was the top seller in the United States during June--a month that saw overall industry sales slide 15 percent--according to data released by the NPD Group today.

Specific sales figures for The Last of Us were not disclosed, though Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz believes the game sold 700,000 units during the month.

Rounding out the top five best-sellers for June wre Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and NBA 2K13.

Total industry sales slid 15 percent to $593.3 million during June, according to NPD data. However, analyst Liam Callahan pointed out that this figure only accounts for about half of total consumer spend on games.

"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software, and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games," Callahan said in a statement.

"When taking into account our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in June such as used and rentals at $118 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including micro-transactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $544 million, the total consumer spend in June is $1.2 billion."

Hardware for June in the US dropped 30 percent to $142 million. Nintendo's 3DS was the top overall performer for the month, selling 225,000 units. Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold 140,000 systems in the month and remained the top-selling console for the thirtieth straight month. Sony has not disclosed PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita sales.

Concerning the Ouya, which launched in late June, Callahan said sales were "relatively light for a new console."

"This may be due to the lack of a major marquee title driving consumers to seek out the console, low awareness due to Ouya being a new brand, or low inventory volume due to manufacturing constraints," he said.

Total June software sales fell 14 percent to $313.8 million, though Animal Crossing: New Leaf and The Last of Us were bright spots.

"The Last of Us was the top selling game at retail in the month of June. To put this in context, it had the second highest first-month sales of a PS3 first-party game, after God of War 3 in March 2010," Callahan said. "The Last of Us was also the third highest game to launch during the month of June since NPD began tracking sales in 1995."

Meanwhile, Callahan said Minecraft's success as a physical product shows that digital games can enjoy a second life.

"Minecraft’s successful foray into physical retail shows that digital products can reach a new market when launching a physical disc," he said. "While many have downloaded the game, these sales indicate that there are plenty of consumers willing to buy a physical disc who are either not connected to the Internet, don’t have a credit card to purchase digital games online, or simply prefer the physical disk over digital copies."

The accessories category fell 9 percent to $155.2 million during June due to a drop in three major accessory types: Gamepads, headsets/headphones, and "all other" accessories, Callahan said.

JUNE US GAME SALES (June 2-July 6, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $593.3 million (-15%)
Non-PC hardware: $142.0 million (-30%)
Non-PC software: $296.1 (-10%)
Accessories: $155.2 (-9%)
Total software: $313.8 million (-14%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR JUNE 2013
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. The Last of US (PS3) - Sony
2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - Nintendo
3. Minecraft (X360) - Microsoft
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
5. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us (X360, PS3, Wii U) - Warner Bros. Interactive
7. Donkey Kong Country Returns (3DS, Wii) - Nintendo
8. Deadpool (X360, PS3) - Activision
9. Battlefield 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
10. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Nintendo

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