Ghost of Tsushima tops charts four years after launch | Circana May 2024

Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut’s launch on PC has put the title up to the top of the May 2024 bestseller charts, according to industry-tracking firm Circana. May was not necessarily heavy with triple-A game releases, but I admit I was not expecting a 2020 release to come along and snatch the number one slot. Other highlights from the charts include the continued plummet of hardware sales, pulling the monthly spending total down 6% year-over-year.

“Projected U.S. total spending on video game hardware, content and accessories fell 6% in May 2024 when compared to a year ago, to $4.0 billion,” said Mat Piscatella, Circana’s executive producer for games reports. “Year-to-date 2024 spending was 2% higher than a year ago, at $22.8 billion.”

May 2024 Dollar Sales, MillionsMay
Total Video Game Sales$4,233$3,975-6%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$3,733$3,624-3%
Video Game Hardware$339$202-40%
Video Game Accessories$161$148-8%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

As noted in the report, video game hardware is down 40% in May and 30% across the whole year. Piscatella also said, “May video game hardware spending declined 40% when compared to a year ago, to $202 million, and is now 30% lower year-to-date. Through May, all current generation hardware platforms are showing double-digit percentage declines year- on-year in 2024, with Switch showing the most significant drop.” Piscatella also notes that this could be due to May 2024 suffering in comparison to the strong launch of Tears of the Kingdom last May.

This is the first time in 2024 that the monthly sales figures have all been in the red. While the hardware numbers have been in freefall for some time, usually video game content sales or accessories will be positive and bring the overall number up a bit. However, the year-to-date chart shows a positive 2% increase compared with May 2023’s similar chart. Games and accessories also have positive growth on the same chart.

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Circana May 2024: Top 20 best-selling games in the U.S.

171Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
2NEWPaper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door*Nintendo
33Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
42Helldivers IISony (Corp)
56MLB: The Show 24^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
64Sea of ThievesMicrosoft (Corp)
713MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
819Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
99Hogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. Games
101Stellar BladeSony (Corp)
115Fallout 4Microsoft (Corp)
1210EA Sports FC 24Electronic Arts
1320Marvel’s Spider-Man 2Sony (Corp)
14NEWHomeworld 3Gearbox Publishing
1518Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
1614Madden NFL 24Electronic Arts
1711Rise of the RoninSony (Corp)
18NEWF1 24Electronic Arts
1921Mortal Kombat 1Warner Bros. Games
207Dragon’s Dogma IICapcom USA
*Digital sales not included for marked titles
^Digital sales on Nintendo and Xbox platforms not included

As stated above, Ghost of Tsushima’s return to the top spot is probably the most startling aspect of the May chart. The Director’s Cut released on PC on May 16, and the game saw a similar boost in numbers when it launched on PS5 and PS4 in 2021. It was also a best-seller the month it launched in 2020. It’s possible that Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remake sold better than the Director’s Cut, however there’s no way to know this for sure since Nintendo doesn’t report digital sales to Circana.

Most of the other games from earlier this year have slid down the list, including April’s top-seller Stellar Blade and March’s Dragon’s Dogma 2. However, Elden Ring has received a boost, likely thanks to the then-imminent launch of Shadow of the Erdtree. Similarly, older titles on the comeback — such as Fallout 4 and Sea of Thieves — are still on the charts despite the length of time since the events which reinvigorated their sales.

May’s new game launches: What’s missing?

Three of May’s new games made it onto the Circana charts: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door remake, Homeworld 3 and F1 24. While May saw several new game launches, most of them were on the smaller, more indie side, such as Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, Animal Well and Little Kitty, Big City. It’s perhaps not a surprise that those games didn’t make it to the Circana charts, as indie launches rarely do.

However, it’s a bit of a surprise to see some of May’s bonafide triple-A releases missing from the chart. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 isn’t on it, for example. Neither is Endless Ocean Luminous, the relaunch of MultiVersus or Ubisoft’s XDefiant (though being free-to-play may factor in for some of those games). According to Circana’s engagement trackers, XDefiant was one of the most-played games of the month on both Xbox and PlayStation, and Multiversus jumped from spot 122 to 10 on the PlayStation list.

Circana May 2024: 20 best-selling games of 2024 so far

11Helldivers IISony (Corp)
22Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
33Dragon’s Dogma IICapcom USA
44MLB: The Show 24^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
55Final Fantasy VII: RebirthSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
66Tekken 8Bandai Namco Entertainment
77Madden NFL 24Electronic Arts
88Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice LeagueWarner Bros. Games
99Hogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. Games
1010Persona 3: ReloadSega
1111NBA 2K24**Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
1212EA Sports FC 24Electronic Arts
1319Sea of ThievesMicrosoft (Corp)
1414Marvel’s Spider-Man 2Sony (Corp)
1518MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1617Stellar BladeSony (Corp)
1715Rise of the RoninSony (Corp)
1820Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
1913Grand Theft Auto V**Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
2016Skull and BonesUbisoft
*Digital sales not included for marked titles
^Digital sales on Nintendo and Xbox platforms not included
** Mar-May Digital sales not included

The year-to-date list has mostly stayed static in May, similar to the aforementioned engagement trackers Circana also revealed. No new games have made the list, and no games have jumped much in the ratings since last month, which isn’t unusual. Perhaps the only change worth noting is that Sea of Thieves is climbing the rankings, probably thanks to the game’s release on other platforms.

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