Nintendo's new 'Hyrule Warriors' out later this week
"Game On" is The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
NEW RELEASES: This week's big new game release is Nintendo's (NTDOY) "Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity," an action game based on the "Legend of Zelda" franchise. The game launches exclusively on Switch consoles November 20.
NPD DATA: Late last week, the NPDGroup reported that overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. continued to break records, reaching $11.2B in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 24% compared to the same time period last year. Sales of video game content reached $10.04B in the third quarter, up 24% when compared to a year ago. Gains were seen across new physical software, digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories. The most significant gains were in mobile and subscription spending, full-game downloads for consoles and portables, and video game accessories. Hardware and accessories experienced double-digit percentage gains, increasing 16% and 35%, respectively.
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella later added that consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached $3.8B in October 2020, 14% higher compared to the previous year, bringing year-to-date spending in the sector to $37.5B, up 20% year-over-year. Mobile, subscription, hardware and accessories were among the largest growth segments. October 2020 video game hardware spending gained 41% when compared to a year ago, to $259M. Growth in sales of Nintendo Switch offset declines on other console platforms. Nintendo Switch set a new U.S. October hardware dollar sales record, besting the previous high set by Nintendo Wii in October 2008. Nintendo Switch has been the best-selling hardware platform in the U.S. for 23 consecutive months, also a record high, Piscatella noted.
On the software side, the NPD analyst said that Electronic Arts' (EA) "FIFA 21" was the best-selling game of October with EA's "Madden NFL 21" coming in second, Ubisoft's (UBSFY) "Watch Dogs: Legion" in third, EA's "NHL 21" in fourth, and Nintendo's "Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit" rounding out the top five. Of the top 20 best selling games in October, four were published by EA, three were published by Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Ubisoft and Take-Two (TTWO) each had one, and nine were published by Nintendo. Year-to-date, the top ten best-selling games according to NPD are Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," Nintendo's "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," EA's "Madden NFL 21," Sony's (SNE) "The Last of Us Part II," Sony's "Ghost of Tsushima," Square Enix's "Final Fantasy VII Remake," Square Enix's "Marvel's Avengers," Nintendo's "Super Mario 3D All-Stars," Nintendo's "Mario Kart 8: Deluxe," and Bandai Namco's "Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot."
CIVICSCIENCE SURVEY: American consumers appear slightly more likely to buy Sony's newest console, the PlayStation 5, instead of Microsoft's (MSFT) new Xbox Series consoles, CivicScience said last week, citing a survey of thousands of Americans on their intent to purchase each of these gaming consoles. The survey data show that PlayStation's newest offerings have a slight edge over the next-gen Xbox consoles. About 12% of Americans, ages 13 and up, say they have firm plans to buy either a PlayStation 5 or a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Meanwhile, about 10% of Americans say they plan to purchase either an Xbox Series X or an Xbox Series S, according to CivicScience. The firm noted that a large number of Americans are still on the fence about buying each of these consoles, which may mean that Americans' plans will become clearer as the holiday season approaches.
OTHER STORIES TO WATCH:
Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer said on Twitter last week that the company's new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles had the biggest launch in the history of the Xbox brand.
Meanwhile, Microsoft reported on November 10, the launch day of the Series X and Series S, its Xbox Live online gaming service experienced outages.
China's Tencent (TCEHY) has expressed that it will cooperate with authorities and played down the potential impact of China's strict regulatory environment as a boom in video gaming resulting from COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns continued to power the company's performance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Capcom (CCOEY) said yesterday that it has been the victim of a customized ransomware attack following unauthorized access to its network and has verified that some personal information maintained by the Capcom Group has been compromised. The company said that the personal information of a maximum of roughly 350,000 people may be potentially compromised.
Keywords: video games, game on, ndp, hyrule warriors, ps5, xbox series x