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Gunfire Games’ Remnant II topped the list of best-selling games this July, according to industry-tracking firm Circana. The soulslike shooter joined Steam’s best-seller list shortly after it debuted in July. Other July releases that managed to snag a place in the top 20 include Pikmin 4 and Exoprimal, the latter despite its debut on Xbox Game Pass. Older Call of Duty games are also making a resurgence.
|July 2023 Dollar Sales, Millions||July
|Total Video Game Sales||$4,163||$4,187||1%|
|Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)||$3,641||$3,722||2%|
|Video Game Hardware||$362||$292||-19%|
|Video Game Accessories||$160||$173||8%|
“Spending on video game content increased by 2% in July when compared to a year ago, reaching $3.7 billion,” said Mat Piscatella, Circana’s executive producer for games reports. “On console and PC platforms, digital premium download spending gains offset declines in in physical and digital add-on purchases. Both mobile and non-mobile video game subscription spending were up slightly.”
Despite the dramatic drop in hardware sales year-over-year, overall sales are still up compared with 2022. This is likely because hardware sales last July were up thanks to the mitigation of supply chain issues. That month was also a slow one for the market thanks to the post-pandemic spending slump. So hardware sales being down while everything else is up or level isn’t a big surprise.
|Year-to-Date 2023 Dollar Sales, Millions||YTD End
|Total Video Game Sales||$30,277||$30,682||1%|
|Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)||$26,521||$26,516||0%|
|Video Game Hardware||$2,493||$2,919||17%|
|Video Game Accessories||$1,263||$1,247||-1%|
“Video game hardware spending fell 19% when compared to a year ago to $292 million. Declines were experienced across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series and Switch,” said Piscatella. He later added that hardware is no longer compensating for supply chain issues, and that we’re “not likely to see big growth rates as we have over past months” in year-over-year hardware sales.
Circana July 2023: Top 20 best-selling games in the U.S.
|1||NEW||Remnant II||Gearbox Publishing|
|2||1||Diablo IV||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|3||6||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|4||5||Hogwarts Legacy||Warner Bros. Games|
|5||2||Final Fantasy XVI||Square Enix Inc (Corp)|
|7||4||The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom*||Nintendo|
|8||3||Street Fighter 6||Capcom USA|
|9||16||Elden Ring||Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|10||8||MLB: The Show 23^||Multiple Video Game Manufacturers|
|11||7||Star Wars: Jedi Survivor||Electronic Arts|
|12||12||Mario Kart 8*||Nintendo|
|13||83||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|14||14||Minecraft||Multiple Video Game Manufacturers|
|15||11||FIFA 23||Electronic Arts|
|17||9||Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales||Sony (Corp)|
|18||10||Marvel’s Spider-Man||Sony (Corp)|
|19||13||Dead Island 2||Plaion|
|20||28||Call of Duty: Black Ops III||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
Remnant II is the best-selling title of the month, generating much higher interest than its predecessor. It not only topped the Steam best-seller list shortly after it launched, but also reached a concurrent player count peak of almost 111,000 players — a record for the series. It’s also worth noting that the game launched on July 25, and Circana’s data for the month only extends to July 29, meaning its place on this list was set within four days.
The other July releases that made it onto the top 20 list are Pikmin 4 and Exoprimal. Pikmin 4 would likely have received an even higher ranking if Nintendo shared digital sales data with Circana, a familiar conundrum for this list. According to Famitsu, its sales in Japan during its first week were higher than all three previous games combined.
Exoprimal, on the other hand, was a bit more of a sleeper hit, garnering over 1 million players shortly after launch. The game launched on Xbox Game Pass, which Microsoft recently admitted can cannibalize game sales. This makes its addition to the list more impressive, and Capcom said in an earnings call that the game is doing relatively well for a new IP.
Older Call of Duty games come back
Call of Duty: Black Ops II and III both jumped back into the top 20 list, with the former returning to the list for the first time since 2017. This is likely due to Activision fixing matchmaking for several of its older titles on Xbox, including those two games and the original Modern Warfare. Thousands of players began playing the titles, as they are available on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles via backwards compatibility.
Circana July 2023: Best-selling games of the year so far
|1||1||Hogwarts Legacy||Warner Bros. Games|
|2||2||The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom*||Nintendo|
|3||3||Diablo IV||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|4||4||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|5||5||Star Wars Jedi: Survivor||Electronic Arts|
|6||6||Resident Evil 4 (2023)||Capcom USA|
|7||7||MLB: The Show 23^||Multiple Video Game Manufacturers|
|8||8||Dead Island 2||Plaion|
|9||9||Final Fantasy XVI||Square Enix Inc (Corp)|
|10||10||Street Fighter 6||Capcom USA|
|11||11||FIFA 23||Electronic Arts|
|12||12||Dead Space (2023)||Electronic Arts|
|13||14||Elden Ring||Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|14||13||Madden NFL 23||Electronic Arts|
|15||15||Mario Kart 8*||Nintendo|
|16||17||Minecraft||Multiple Video Game Manufacturers|
|17||16||The Last of Us: Part 1||Sony (Corp)|
|18||NEW||Remnant II||Gearbox Publishing|
|19||18||God of War: Ragnarok||Sony (Corp)|
The year-to-date sales have remained almost completely level since last month, with the sole major exception of Remnant II joining the list. It’s the only game out of the July releases to join the list, and in the relatively low position of 17th place. Other best-sellers of the year, such as Diablo IV or Tears of the Kingdom, debuted much higher in the year-to-date charts. That said, it’s still a respectable accomplishment.