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.
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