Video game sales jumped 35% in March because of COVID lockdowns, says research firm

Video game sales jumped 35% in March because of COVID lockdowns, says research firm

iStock/Georgijevic(LOS ANGELES) — Here’s more evidence that we’re all looking for something to keep us entertained while we shelter in place because of the COVID-19 crisis.  Industry research firm NPD Group says video game sales shot up 35% from the same time last year. 

Consumers spent $1.6 billion on video games and hardware last month, NPD Group says, the highest March total since 2008. 

“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,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Whether together on the couch playing locally, or playing online, gaming has generated increased engagement, which has resulted in corresponding increases in consumer spend.”

Interestingly, the company’s analysts say sales for video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards fell 28 percent in the first two months of 2020.

“All video game categories, however, experienced double-digit sales increases in March, with hardware, software, and accessories and game cards increasing 63 percent, 34 percent, and 12 percent, respectively,” NPD Group says.

The kid-friendly Nintendo Switch title Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the top selling title in March, followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which has become best-selling game of 2020 to date. In fact, sales of all the titles in the Modern Warfare multiplayer, 1st-person shooter series have been selling well as we’re all locked down. 

And, perhaps because we’re all jonesing for baseball, MLB The Show 2020 became the fastest-selling game in that franchise’s history.

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