In March, all video game categories saw double-digit sales increase in the United States, as people turned to video games to pass the time amid the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders.
In March 2020, spendings on gaming hardware, software, accessories, and game cards raked in $1.6 billion, a 35% gain over the same period last year. The figure is the highest since the $1.8 billion in sales recorded in March 2008.
Category wise increase in sales was 63% for hardware, 34% for software, and 12% for game cards and accessories.
For the year-to-date 2020 (Q1) period, spending amounted to $3 billion, a 4% fall compared with Q1 2019, according to data released by The NPD Group, a market research company.
Mat Piscatella, a games industry analyst at The NPD Group, attributed the robust sales to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. He said, “Whether together on the couch playing locally, or playing online, gaming has generated increased engagement, which has resulted in corresponding increases in consumer spend.”
Why It Matters
Nine of the ten best-selling video games of March 2020 generated higher sales than in the same period a year ago. According to NPD, video game software sales have reached $739 million, which is the highest number since 2011.
Hardware spending in March 2020 rose to $461 million, while total spending on accessories and game cards was $397 million, an all-time record high.
Piscatella tweeted that sales of the Nintendo Co., Ltd’s (NTDOY) Switch units doubled in March 2020 in the U.S. year-on-year compared.
Sony Corporation’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) Xbox One sales were higher by 25% in the same period as well.
Separately, the veteran analyst also revealed, “Nintendo Switch set a new all-time record for hardware unit sales in a March month, besting the previous high set by Nintendo Switch in its March 2017 launch month.”
Nintendo topped the software charts as debutant “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was the best selling game for March 2020.
Activision Blizzard Inc.’s (ATVI) “Call Of Duty New Horizons” was the runner up. Another new game, Sony’s “MLB: The Show 20,” took the third spot on the MLB charts.