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Switch Was 2021’s Best-Selling Console In US, Call Of Duty: Vanguard Was Best-Selling Game

It is important to keep in mind what is going on within Activision Blizzard at this time regarding ongoing allegations about the work culture. The ongoing lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the company is over reported toxic workplace culture. The bulk of the suit focuses on “violations of the state’s civil rights and equal pay laws,” specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. To learn more about the proceedings thus far, including details listed in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, please check out our previous coverage here.

With 2021 behind us, there’s still plenty of year-end sales numbers coming out as it relates to video games, and today, the NPD Group, which tracks sales figures for games, consoles, and gaming accessories, released both its December and 2021 round ups. 

Coming out on top of 2021 was the Switch, which the NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella revealed was the best-selling hardware in both unit and dollar sales in the U.S. today on Twitter. Switch was also December’s best-selling platform in units sold, and in terms of dollar sales, it tied the PlayStation 5 last month. That means more Switch consoles were sold since even the cheapest PS5 costs more than the most expensive Switch model. Of course, it’s important to note that buying a Switch right now is much easier than buying a PS5 due to the ongoing chip shortage. 

US NPD HW – Nintendo Switch was December 2021’s best-selling hardware platform in units sold, while Switch and PlayStation 5 effectively tied for dollar sales leadership in the month. Nintendo Switch led 2021 hardware in both unit and dollar sales.

— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 18, 2022

Overall, December hardware dollar sales declined 3% compared to December of 2020, dropping to $1.3 billion. However, despite that drop, full-year 2021 hardware spending reached $6.1 billion, which is up 14% compared to 2020. 

On the games side of things, Call of Duty: Vanguard, the latest in the long-running Activision Blizzard, err soon-to-be Xbox, franchise, was December’s best-selling game. This led to Call of Duty becoming the best-selling video game franchise in tracked dollar sales for a 13th consecutive year, according to Piscatella. Halo Infinite was the number two best-selling game of December 2021, which is quite the feat considering many players didn’t purchase the game as it was available to download on Xbox Game Pass. 

Coming in at third was Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which was not only December’s best-selling game on Switch, but the best-selling Switch game of 2021.

Here’s a look at the top 10 video games in December in the U.S.:

Call of Duty: Vanguard
Halo Infinite
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pear
Madden NFL 22
Battlefield 2042
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Mario Party Superstars
NBA 2K22
Animal Crossing: New Horizons

And here are 2021’s top 10 video games in the U.S.

Call of Duty: Vanguard
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
Madden NFL 22
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Battlefield 2042
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Mario Kart 8
Resident Evil: Village
MLB: The Show 21
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

For a look at the top 20 for these lists, as well as platform-specific lists and details about December 2021 accessory spending, be sure to check out Piscatella’s full thread here. For more, check out the top 10 digital PS5 and PS4 games in 2021, and then check out the top December digital downloads on PlayStation 5 after that.

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