Video Game Sales Hit a Record During COVID-19

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 0 Comments

Video game sales in the United States hit a record $10.86 billion in the United States in the first quarter of 2020, according to NPD.

“Video games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time,”NPD analyst said in a prepared statement. “As people have stayed at home more, they’ve utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends. Whether it was on console or mobile, PC or virtual reality, gaming experienced play and sales growth during the first quarter.”

$10.86 billion is a big number, but it’s also only 9 percent higher than the figure from last year. One can assume that’s due, in part, to COVID-19 not impacting the U.S. until March, the last month of that quarter. Presumably, the current quarter will set another record as stay-at-home orders continue.

NPD notes that the biggest gains were seen across “digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories,” where sales hit $9.58 billion, up 11 percent year-over-year (YOY). The games Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, DOOM Eternal, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, MLB The Show 20 and NBA 2K20 were among the most popular titles in the quarter.

As for hardware, NPD singled out Nintendo’s Switch, whose sales were so strong they offset losses in PlayStation and Xbox hardware sales. Video game hardware sales were up just 2 percent YOY to $773 million.

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