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Nintendo Sales Panic: December 2020 US NPD Group Results

by Donald Theriault - January 15, 2021, 9:14 am EST
Discuss in talkback! Source: NPD Group

For those wondering about the effect of returns on sales charts, the answer is "not much" apparently.

Nintendo finished 2020 with another triumph in hardware sales and a strong month of software sales in the US.

All data from November 29/20 to January 2/21 and are based on dollar sales unless noted. Most third parties contribute digital eShop sales to the survey, but Nintendo does not provide sales for its titles.

Hardware saw the Switch as the best selling hardware for the record-extending 25th month in a row, leading both hardware dollar and unit sales. For 2020 in North America, the Switch's dollar sales are the second highest for any platform in the history of the survey, behind only the 2008 sales of the Wii.

Although the top 5 slots in the sales chart are not on Switch (Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Spiderman: Miles Morales, and Madden NFL 21), Nintendo takes up ten slots in the remaining 15. Animal Crossing leads at #6, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe follows at #7, Super Mario 3D All-Stars finished 10th, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is 11th, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity 13th, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe 15th, Super Mario Odyssey 16th, The Legend of Zelda; Breath of the Wild 17th, Super Mario Party 18th, and Ring Fit Adventure 19th.

For third parties on Switch, NBA 2k21 was 8th, Immortals: Fenyx Rising 9th in its debut month, Just Dance 2021 was 12th (and 6th on Switch), FIFA 21 is 14th, and Mortal Kombat 11 rounded out the list in 20th. Nintendo's retail debuts for December, Fitness Boxing 2 and the special edition of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, both missed the charts.

NPD also supplied calendar 2020 charts for software, and Nintendo placed four titles in the top 20. Animal Crossing: New Horizons finished 3rd behind only the last two Call of Duty titles, with the highest dollar sales for a Nintendo game since Wii Fit Plus in 2010. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario 3D All-Stars finished 8th and 9th, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate was 14th. Among third parties, NBA 2k21 was 13th, FIFA 2021 was 15th, and Mortal Kombat 11 16th.

The top 10 Switch games of 2020 based on dollar sales are:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  3. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  5. Ring Fit Adventure
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  7. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3
  9. Super Mario Party
  10. Super Mario Odyssey
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