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Ghost Recon: Wildlands bests Zelda in US sales for March

Mass Effect Andromeda sales are the second-best in the series.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands took the top spot in US sales for the month of March, according to analyst firm NPD Group.

See those mountains?

The stat-tracking company noted that Ghost Recon: Wildlands had the best launch of any Ghost Recon title and the second-best launch of a Tom Clancy game, after The Division.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came in second, even though it shifted 1.3m units in its launch month, making it the fastest-selling Zelda title ever. Over 900k of these were on Nintendo Switch, a system that's seen stock shortages since its 3rd March launch.

A previous NPD report said that Zelda sold more copies on Switch than the new console itself, but now it's estimated that the attach rate is only 99 per cent, which is still the highest NPD Group has seen for a console launch since the firm began tracking this stuff 22 years ago.

Since then the Zelda series has earned just under $1.4bn in sales, making it 54 per cent more financially fruitful than the runner-up in the "adventure" genre, Resident Evil.

Bear in mind that Ghost Recon: Wildlands launched on three platforms (PS4, Xbox One, and PC), while Zelda only arrived on two: the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. Neither of these has a large install base as Switch only launched a month ago, while the Wii U confused everyone with its bewildering name and general lack of third-party support.

Also, NPD was calculating digital sales in addition to retail for most titles, but not Zelda (not that many bought Breath of the Wild digitally, given the paltry hard drive space on Nintendo's latest consoles).

In third place for US sales was Mass Effect Andromeda. Despite falling noticeably shy of the critical acclaim ascribed to its predecessors, Andromeda's sales were the second-best in the series during its launch month, only falling short of the massively hyped Mass Effect 3.

There's no telling if that met, exceeded, or felt short of publisher EA's expectations - and actual sales figures haven't been revealed - but not besting Mass Effect 3's launch doesn't seem surprising, given that that was the final chapter in a trilogy. The fact that it did better than Mass Effect 2, which was viewed far more favourably and also had a lot of hype around it, is more perhaps a greater twist.

It's worth noting that NPD Group ranks its sales based on revenue earned rather than copies shifted. This keeps smaller indie games off the list, but when it comes to new big-budget retail titles, they all launch at the same price in the States.

So bearing that in mind, the full top 20 list of US sales from March are as follows:

  1. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (retail only)
  3. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn (retail only)
  5. MLB 17: The Show (retail only)
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. For Honor
  8. NBA 2K17
  9. Nier: Automata
  10. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  11. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix
  12. Battlefield 1
  13. 1-2 Switch (retail only)
  14. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  15. Overwatch
  16. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
  17. Super Bomberman R (retail only)
  18. FIFA 17
  19. Lego Worlds
  20. Madden NFL 17