The pandemic and new game systems helped drive December video game revenue to $7.7 billion, up 25% from $6.1 billion during the previous-year period. 2020 also set an all-time high in revenue with $56.9 billion, an increase of 27% from $44.3 billion in 2019, according to new data from The NPD Group.
The November launches of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles contributed to hardware revenue jumping 38% to $1.35 billion from $978 million last year — the highest hard ware sales in eight years. The tally almost equaled $1.41 billion in hardware sales in 2019.
While Sony and Microsoft hardware get the headlines, it was Nintendo’s Switch that quietly proved to be the best hardware seller throughout 2020 when it comes to unit sales and revenue. NPD said 2020 Switch sales were the best for a hardware device since the Nintendo Wii in 2008.
Accessories revenue spiked 15% to $546 million from $475 million last year. Accessories totaled $2.6 billion in 2020, up 21% from $2.14 billion in 2019. Sony’s DualSense Wireless Controller was the best-selling gamepad, while Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Recon 70 Gaming Headset Black for Xbox was the best-selling headgear.
Software sales in December rose 23% to $5.8 billion from $4.71 billion in 2019. Full-year sales jumped 26% to $48.98 billion, compared with $38.8 billion a year ago.
The top-selling title in December and 2020 was Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision), followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons.