Not a single exclusive made the NPD's best-selling games of 2015 list, proving once again that third-parties rule supreme right now. Video game sales totalled $13.1 billion in the United States for the year overall, exactly the same as in 2014. This ultimately means that, while new-gen hardware is on the rise, it's being cancelled out by falling sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The top ten reads much like you'd expect it to: Call of Duty: Black Ops III headlined, with Madden NFL 16, Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, and, unbelievably, Grand Theft Auto V rounding out the top five. Meanwhile, NBA 2K16, Minecraft, FIFA 16, Mortal Kombat X, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare padded out the bottom half of the list. It's worth noting that these numbers don't take into account bundles or digital sales.
But again, it's a reminder that exclusives aren't the needle-mover that they once were: Bloodborne, Halo 5, and Super Mario Maker – three of the biggest first-party releases of the year – couldn't breach the top ten. It's not a surprise considering that these titles are targeting fewer formats, but the complete dominance of third-parties is a recent phenomenon – and it doesn't look likely to change.
Top Ten Physical Retail Releases: 2015 Overall
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One) 360, PS3, PC)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
- FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)