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Circana: ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Top-Selling Video Game in 2023 as Industry Embraces Streaming Video Media Play News

January 29, 2024

The video game market may be embracing subscription streaming and artificial intelligence (AI) along with the rest of the entertainment industry, but at the same time, legacy physical and digital media remain popular among consuming gamers.

According to Mat Piscatella, executive director of games research at Circana, there is no exclusive distribution model for gaming, but rather a mix of premium sales, subscription, add-on content, streaming and future business models that have not been thought of yet.

Chicago-based Circana says Warner Bros. Games’ Hogwarts Legacy was the top-selling video game in 2023 across both physical and digital channels with more than 22 million unit sold. A fact not lost on publishers, which continue to remain indifferent to competing distribution channels, preferring to grant access to games across myriad platforms. The consensus being that access via premium models, free-to-play, subscription, or some combination of all three, remain unencumbered.

“Whether it’s Grand Theft Auto, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox or Call of Duty, the most successful games are everywhere and available for play on just about anything — whether a dedicated device or streamed on a remote play device,” Piscatella wrote in a post.

The analyst believes the gaming industry remains fluid and highly adaptable in consumer trends and economic pressure.

“Games are living, breathing things that change over time,” Piscatella wrote, adding that the video game market will learn from the pitfalls both the music and movie industries endured embracing streaming video.

“It’s easy to look at other industries that went through a subscription or streaming revolution and say, ‘well, the music industry went this way. The movie industry went this way. Games are going to follow it eventually,” Piscatella wrote. “The gaming industry will follow those models in some respects, but in other respects, it won’t.

2023 Top 10 Selling Video Games Physical/Digital

Rank Title Publisher
1 Hogwarts Legacy Warner Bros. Games
2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023) Activision Blizzard
3 Madden NFL 24 Electronic Arts
4 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Sony Interactive
5 The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo
6 Diablo IV Activision
7 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022) Activision
8 Mortal Kombat 1 Warner Bros. Games
9 Star Wars Jedi Survivor Electronic Arts
10 EA Sports FC 24 Electronic Arts

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Erik Gruenwedel

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