The video games industry has reportedly had its best March sales since 2008. Contributing factors include the coronavirus pandemic, and the Nintendo Switch.
The New York Post reports that the video game industry (presumably the in the US) made $1.6 billion USD in March 2020- reportedly a 35% rise from the same time last year (citing NPD Group). This also breaks “a seven-month streak of declines to hit the highest March total since 2008.”
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing many to stay at home is an obvious factor, with Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter telling the New York Post that gaming is up 20%. What metric this is by (number of hours played or number of people playing) was not specified.
“Nintendo released a big game and they had parents who are locked in with their kids feeling guilty,” Patcher said. “But the numbers shocked me.”
This includes the postponement of GDC, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020 (including digital events), the physical event for Gamescom 2020, and Comiket 98. We also recently reported on Death Stranding’s PC release being delayed, and the Pokemon anime’s broadcast.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 2.492 million total confirmed cases worldwide, and over 1.665 million active cases. There have been over 171,000 deaths, however over 656,000 people have made a “total recovery.”
The New York Post also claims the increased numbers was “fueled in large part” by the Nintendo Switch. The console reportedly had sales in March 2020, more than double those in March 2019. This reportedly surpassed its launch sales in March 2017. At the end of January 2020, we reported that the Nintendo Switch had sold over 52.48 million units worldwide.
In addition, The New York Post also state that nine of the top-10 best selling games in March generated more sales than “titles ranked similarly” in March 2019. The top two were Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Nintendo shares are also reportedly up more than 20% since Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched. The game sold 1.8 million copies in three days when it launched in Japan, making it the best opening week for a Nintendo Switch game.
What do you think? Will this momentum keep up after the quarantine is lifted? What other effects will this sudden change have on the industry? Sound off in the comments below!