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4% December sales boost sees 2023 finish up 1% year-over-year | US Monthly Charts

After 2022 saw US spending on games dip 5%, 2023 saw a return to growth, according to the latest figures from industry-tracking group Circana.

Total US spending on games was up 1% to $57.2 billion in 2023, with slight gains in software, add-ons and subscriptions (up 1% to $48 billion) and accessories (up 4% to $2.6 billion) offsetting essentially flat hardware sales (down a fraction of a percent to $6.59 billion).

Circana had Hogwarts Legacy as the best-selling game of the year in terms of dollar sales. That marks the first time that the top game was neither Call of Duty nor a Rockstar-developed game since 2008, when Rock Band and its pricey peripheral-loaded packages took the honors.

On the full-year hardware front, PS5 was the best-selling platform of the year in units and dollars. Sony’s system saw its dollar sales grow as the Xbox Series X|S and Switch saw theirs drop.

Switch was the second-best-selling console of the year in both units and dollars.

Accessories saw the largest growth in 2023, driven by a 7% jump in gamepad sales, with the PS5 DualSense Edge being the year’s best seller when it came to dollar sales.

Looking at December specifically, the industry finished the year on a comparatively strong note with total spending up 4% to $7.9 billion.

Spending on games content was up 3% to $5.73 billion, with hardware up 4% to $1.6 billion. Accessories enjoyed the largest leap of the month, with sales up 14% to $584 million, with game pad sales again driving the growth, up 21% year-over-year.

The PS5 led the hardware category in December much as it did for the full year, posting record-high dollar sales for the system during the month. The Xbox Series X|S also saw growing sales for the month that partially offset a double-digit percentage drop in Switch dollar sales.

As for what people played in December, Fortnite claimed the largest unique monthly active users on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S for the month, with 36% of active Sony users and 31% of active Xbox users playing the game at least once during the month.

Over on PC, Lethal Company boasted the highest active user base on Steam.

Circana partner Sensor Tower said mobile game spending in December was up 2.7% year-over-year.

“Looking at the top games, while the top four continue to be stable with Monopoly Go on top, Clash of Clans made a huge run this month, moving up 9 ranks,” Sensor Tower’s Samuel Aune said.

After Monopoly Go, the top five on the mobile charts was rounded out by Royal Match, Roblox, Candy Crush Saga, and Clash of Clans.

December 2023 sales chart

Here are the top 20 selling games from the period of November 26 to December 30, data courtesy of Circana:

Rank Last month rank Title
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
2 5 Super Mario Bros. Wonder*
3 4 Madden NFL 24
4 3 Hogwarts Legacy
5 2 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
6 NEW Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
7 6 EA Sports FC 24
8 8 Mortal Kombat 1
9 9 NBA 2K24*
10 21 Mario Kart 8*
11 7 Super Mario RPG (2023)*
12 13 Sonic Superstars
13 19 Minecraft
14 15 God of War Ragnarok
15 14 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
16 41 Elden Ring
17 33 The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
18 20 Just Dance 2024 Edition
19 11 Assassin’s Creed: Mirage
20 10 UFC 5

*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2023 sales chart

Here are the top 20 selling games for 2023 up through December 30, data courtesy of Circana:

Rank Title
1 Hogwarts Legacy
2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023)
3 Madden NFL 24
4 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
5 The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
6 Diablo 4
7 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
8 Mortal Kombat 1
9 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
10 EA Sports FC 24
11 Starfield
12 Super Mario Bros. Wonder*
13 Resident Evil 4 (2023)
14 MLB: The Show 23^
15 Dead Island 2
16 Final Fantasy 16
17 Street Fighter 6
18 Elden Ring
19 Mario Kart 8*
20 Minecraft

*Digital sales not included

^Xbox and Switch digital sales not included

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