Thanks in part to the lockdowns stemming from the spread of COVID-19, U.S. video game spending in the first quarter of 2020 reached the highest quarterly total in the country’s history.
According to a report by the NPD Group, U.S. video game spending between January and March 2020 totaled $10.86 billion – a year-on-year increase of nine percent. Sales of video game content alone reached $9.58 billion, which is an increase of 11 percent compared to the same period last year. Physical sales were hit by the lockdowns so it was digital spending that understandably saw the most gains. This includes mobile and subscription spending.
Top performers of the first quarter include 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.
“Video Games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “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.”
On the hardware side, Nintendo Switch’s strong performance helped to offset the decline seen by other platforms. Sales of accessories, including controllers and headsets, totaled $503 million in Q1 – an increase of one percent year-on-year.
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