Mat Piscatella, the lead analyst at NPD, has predicted the upcoming top sellers of 2019. The list, which has the likes of Call of Duty finding itself frequently on top sales charts for the past 11 years, is a useful insight into the analytical side of profit predictions in gaming.
NPD has been providing sales data for over 50 years in various industries, and for 25 years in video games. It frequently provides the top sellers during the year at the end of each month, and has a reliable track record of data analysis. It is not uncommon for predictions to be made about the projected top sellers at the end of a year as it is used in marketing strategy to determine the loss to benefit ratio of how much a game may earn as either a franchise or stand-alone title, or even if it can be useful for hosting platforms. An example of this is Steam indie sales dropping 70% for 2019.
In a part of a Twitter thread, Mat Piscatella provided a list of the top 10 potential best selling games of 2019, some of which are unreleased. Leading the pack is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, followed by NBA 2K20, Madden NFL 20 and Borderlands 3. Some of this information is not unexpected as the Call of Duty franchise has been within top sales figures for 11 years, leading in 9 of them.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is predicted as 2019's best-selling game, the 9th time a Call of Duty game would lead in sales over the past 11 years. 7 of the top 10 predicted best-sellers launch in 2H. pic.twitter.com/tbg1Xe0Mba— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) September 20, 2019
When looking at the predicted data, it is important to note that all of these game sales predictions are part of a larger franchise. The reason for this is that franchises tend to be more reliable in their income growth both because the companies pushing them are more confident in their market expenditure and customers are more likely to trust the game will be a success after playing the previous titles. Reviews and news, like our Borderlands 3 review for instance, may also affect the statistic for later purchases. This does not rule out that there may be a breakout of a new game, but without any reliable data to go off, the end market predictions can only go off what is already happening.
Some people might question the ranking of some games on the list, to which they are free to debate this prediction. Going off what is provided so far, it is not unreasonable to assume that majority of the games within the list, regardless of where they are, will likely end up in the top 10 of sales figures. That being said, anything can happen between now and the year close, such as datamines finding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare not including a battle royale, so what the actual outcome will look like by the end of the year could be starkly different.