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Third-Parties Nudge Exclusives Out of USA's 2015 Best Sellers List

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Black Ops III the best-selling game of the year

Not a single exclusive made the NPD’s best-selling games of 2015 list, proving once again that third-parties rule supreme right now. Video game sales totalled $13.1 billion in the United States for the year overall, exactly the same as in 2014. This ultimately means that, while new-gen hardware is on the rise, it’s being cancelled out by falling sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The top ten reads much like you’d expect it to: Call of Duty: Black Ops III headlined, with Madden NFL 16, Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, and, unbelievably, Grand Theft Auto V rounding out the top five. Meanwhile, NBA 2K16, Minecraft, FIFA 16, Mortal Kombat X, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare padded out the bottom half of the list. It’s worth noting that these numbers don’t take into account bundles or digital sales.

But again, it’s a reminder that exclusives aren’t the needle-mover that they once were: Bloodborne, Halo 5, and Super Mario Maker – three of the biggest first-party releases of the year – couldn’t breach the top ten. It’s not a surprise considering that these titles are targeting fewer formats, but the complete dominance of third-parties is a recent phenomenon – and it doesn’t look likely to change.

Top Ten Physical Retail Releases: 2015 Overall

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One) 360, PS3, PC)
  6. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  7. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  8. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  9. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
  10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)

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