Accord­ing to The NPD Group, March 2020 saw a huge increase in spend­ing across the entire video game indus­try. Hard­ware, soft­ware, acces­sories and game cards have all seen a boost, earn­ing more mon­ey than the same time last year.

In total, gamers spent $1.6 bil­lion, the high­est record­ed total since March of 2008 at $1.8 bil­lion. For the past sev­er­al months, spend­ing across the board had declined by 28%. This large­ly due to the upcom­ing con­sole gen­er­a­tion being released lat­er this year and games being delayed. 

How­ev­er, due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, most of Amer­i­ca is home and they need enter­tain­ment (which is com­ing most­ly in the form of gam­ing). The NPD Group broke up the sales by category:

  • Soft­ware — up 34% mak­ing $739 mil­lion (high­est since March of 2011)
  • Hard­ware — up 63% mak­ing $461 mil­lion in March, with first quar­ter spend­ing up 2% total­ing $773 mil­lion for the year
  • Acces­sories and Game Cards - up 12% reach­ing $397 mil­lion, a record high for the month of March.

Mat Pis­catel­la, the games indus­try ana­lyst at The NPD Group gave a state­ment regard­ing such large increases.

As com­mu­ni­ties have prac­ticed social dis­tanc­ing and observed stay at home orders across the Unit­ed States over the past weeks, many peo­ple have turned to video games as a means of find­ing con­nec­tions. Whether togeth­er on the couch play­ing local­ly, or play­ing online, gam­ing has gen­er­at­ed increased engage­ment, which has result­ed in cor­re­spond­ing increas­es in con­sumer spend.

Mat Pis­catel­la

Nine of the top ten best-sell­ing games of March 2020 gen­er­at­ed more rev­enue than sim­i­lar­ly ranked titles the year before. Ani­mal Cross­ing: New Hori­zons achieved the third high­est launch month phys­i­cal dol­lar and unit sales of any Nin­ten­do pub­lish game. Only Super Smash Bros. Ulti­mate and Super Smash Bros. Brawl sold more in their launch month. 

MLB The Show 20 is the fastest sell­ing game in the entire fran­chise, with launch month sales exceed­ing those of MLB The Show 19. Call of Duty: Mod­ern War­fare is the best-sell­ing game of 2020 so far. The fran­chise reached an all-time high for a March month, pass­ing the pre­vi­ous peak set back in March of 2010.

If the pan­dem­ic con­tin­ues, who real­ly knows what the future for the gam­ing indus­try holds. Games have been delayed and may be fur­ther delayed depend­ing on how every­thing unfolds in the com­ing weeks. Hope­ful­ly, no more game delays will occur and the next con­sole gen­er­a­tion can release as planned.

Source: NPD Group