People Are Spending Way More Money On Games In The US During The Coronavirus Pandemic
March 2020 was, in essence, the best month for video games sales in a while.
The NPD Group has revealed some new statistics about the video game industry, concluding that spending on accessories, hardware, and software in March 2020 has increased by 35 percent in the past year. This brings the total revenue up to $1.6 billion, the most spent on video games in a March month since March 2008's $1.8 billion. The marketing research firm split the numbers by category.
Software sales grew by 34 percent in March 2020 to $739 million when compared to last year. The NPD Group acknowledged that this is another milestone for a March month since March 2011's $787 million. However, the company said that 2020's first-quarter software spending fell by eight percent to $1.4 billion.
Hardware sales paint a similar picture, with spending on consoles growing by 63 percent to $461 million. According to The NPD Group, Nintendo Switch sales more than doubled when compared to last year, setting an all-time record high for March 2020 and besting the previous record set in the system's launch month. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales grew by more than 25 percent, with first-quarter console spending increasing by two percent to $773 million.
Accessories and game cards saw an uptick as well, increasing by 12 percent to $397 million when compared to last year. March 2020 saw a record high for accessories and gamepads, with both the Nintendo Switch Pro controller becoming the "best-selling individual gamepad" and the DualShock 4 generating an "all-time single-platform high [for] gamepad spending" in a March month. Headset sales also set a new record for a March month, with Turtle Beach's Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset for Xbox One becoming the "best-selling headset/headphone in both March and the first quarter [of 2020]."
Despite the uptick in sales, however, year-to-date spending on video games declined by three percent to $905 million. And year-to-date spending across gaming accessories, hardware, and software totaled to $3 billion, declining 4 percent when compared to last year.
In addition to these statistics, The NPD Group also disclosed March 2020's best-selling games in the US. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons was last month's best-selling game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is 2020's best-seller game to-date. Though it didn't make the list since it launched on April 10, Final Fantasy VII Remake sold exceptionally well in just three days despite being on a single platform.