March 12, 2021
The skyrocketing ride for the video game industry shows no signs of slowing. New data from The NPD Group found that sales of games, hardware and accessories hit a record $4.6 billion in February, up 35% from $3.4 billion in the previous-year period.
The cross-category spike is due in part to year-over-year comparisons with a non-COVID-19 month versus the current climate that has seen a spike in gaming underscored by new consoles from Microsoft’s Xbox platform and Sony Interactive Entertainment’s PlayStation 5, as well as government-mandated isolation.
Year-to-date spending was up 39% to $9.31 billion, from $6.7 billion a year ago. Hardware revenue increased 121% to $406 million, from $335.5 million. Notably, Nintendo’s Switch game unit outsold the PS5 in February, with unit sales and revenue rivaling the 2009 debut the Nintendo Wii.
Accessories spiked 41% to $195 million from $138.3 million, while packaged media and digital content revenue increased 30% to $3.99 billion, from $3.06 billion a year earlier.
The top-selling game in February was Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, which supplanted Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.