Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” was the top selling videogame for the second month in a row in October, according to NPD Group, selling nearly 1.1 million units.
The game, which raked in more than $800 million on its first day of release and crossed the $1 billion mark in just three days, represented 15% of revenue generated by all games sold last month.
After a mostly depressing year for the games biz, October marked the third straight month of growth for the industry.
Overall, the industry earned $495 million, a gain of 10% from hardware, software and accessories. Software $483 million, up 12% while hardware
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With new consoles from Sony and Microsoft hitting the market over the next week, hardware sales fell 8% to generate $172 million. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 generated the most coin from hardware and accessories, earning $283 million, more than devices from Sony and Nintendo.
The fall is typically when videogame publishers release their high-profile tentpole titles and October was no different, with Rockstar, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. Take Two Interactive and Ubisoft successfully launching sequels to their “Grand Theft Auto,” “Battlefield,” “Batman,” and “Assassin’s Creed” franchises.
October marked the first WWE-licensed game through Take Two Interactive, with “WWE 2K14″ debuting in the 10th spot for the month.
NPD no longer releases the number of units each title sells, making it difficult to determine just how successful a game has performed. NPD tracks sales of new games, hardware and accessories, which account for 50% of the industry’s revenue, although it estimates the videogame industry earned $1.9 billion overall when factoring in used games sales, rentals and transactions generated from digital platforms.
“Growth in videogame software sales over the last few months has reversed negative year-to-date trends caused by declines seen earlier in the year with videogame software sales currently flat to last year,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, we hope to see positive trends over November and December which would lead to an increase in software sales for the year.”
During the month, Nintendo scored with strong sales of its “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” games for the 3DS handheld device.
Strong interest in “Disney Infinity” and “Skylanders SWAP Force” also helped raise the accessory category by 1% to $137 million.