The world is under a lot of duress right now, but life has to go on somehow. And when you’re stuck inside for the vast majority of your day, turns out you need things to do. So it’s probably not much of a surprise that, since most of the United States is locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video game sales have exploded. According to NPD sales and a report from Reuters, March 2020 video game sales have been the highest they’ve been for the month of March in over ten years.
According to the data, March 2020 video game sales as a whole (which includes hardware and accessories in addition to the games themselves) shot up in the United States by a whopping 35% compared to 2019. That measures out to a total of $1.6 billion in sales. This is the biggest jump since March 2008, which saw a massive 52% jump ($1.8 billion).
The stars of the show last month were obviously Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, both of which have been doing extremely well. The timing for Animal Crossing in particular couldn’t have been better, launching just as lockdown orders were really popping off around the country. Sports titles NBA 2K20 and MLB: The Show 20 were also big contributors.
While this is great for the industry in the moment, the numbers are coming out in front of a wave of production and logistical issues that have already impacted planned release dates. With the way things have gone since March, the NPD data for April and May will be just as fascinating.