The long-running video game sales slump is over. Gamers in the first quarter (ended March 31) spent a record $10.86 billion on hardware, software and accessories, according to new data from The NPD Group. That’s up 9% from $996 million in the previous-year period.
After months (if not a year or so) languishing, the games market got a boost when national and local governments mandated at-home quarantine measures to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. With millions of people limited to home entertainment, video game use/consumption spiked.
Software sales across all physical formats and digital increased 11% to $9.58 billion, from $8.63 billion last year. Ongoing strong sales of Nintendo Switch upped hardware sales 2% to $773 million, from $758 million.
Top-selling titles in the quarter included Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Doom Eternal, and Grand Theft Auto V, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Fortnite, Minecraft, MLB The Show 20 and NBA 2K20.
“Video games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time,” analyst Mat Piscatella said in a vlog post. “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.”