Nintendo Switch Lite

As we head into fall, we’re officially sitting in the annual spot known as Madden season.

Beyond the annual update to the long-running NFL title, the video game industry continues a slump as we approach the end of the current console cycle. The bright spots, according to the NPD Group‘s August video game sales report, are largely led by Nintendo, with Switch sales and software soaring despite the industry-wide decline.

Overall sales for the entire video game category, including hardware, software, and accessories, was $666 million, an 18% decline versus last year. In terms of overall software sales, this August’s $257 million was a 22% decrease from the same period last year — and the lowest total software sales in August since 1998 ($234 million).

Madden NFL 20 scored the top spot in software sales for a second month, already taking its spot as the third-best-selling game of the year. This is the seventh consecutive year that a Madden NFL title held the top spot in August.

Notably, five of the top 10 titles for the month — and nine of the top 20 — are Nintendo platform exclusives.


  1. Madden NFL 20 | Electronic Arts
  2. Minecraft | Multi
  3. Grand Theft Auto V | Take 2 Interactive
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses |  Nintendo
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate |  Nintendo
  6. Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo
  7. Mario Kart 8 | Nintendo
  8. Mortal Kombat 11 | Warner Bros. Interactive
  9. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege | Ubisoft
  10. Astral Chain | Nintendo
  11. Marvel’s Spider-Man | Sony
  12. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | Nintendo
  13. Red Dead Redemption II | Take 2 Interactive
  14. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII |  Activision Blizzard
  15. Age of Wonders: Planetfall | Paradox Interactive
  16. Super Mario Party | Nintendo
  17. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order | Nintendo
  18. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe | Nintendo
  19. The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan | Bandai Namco Games
  20. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey | Ubisoft

The Nintendo Switch remains the top-selling console of the year, with double-digit growth for both the month and year to date. Hardware spending declined 22% overall in August compared to last year.

Overall, year-to-date spending for the video game industry as a whole is down 6% at a flat $7 billion.

With most new consoles set for release next year, more challenging months lie ahead, with further declines expected in hardware sales. Still, some big game releases going into the holidays should give software a bit of a boost to offset the overall declines.

Photo: Nintendo

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.