Boy opened a Paytm account from his father's phone and linked it to his bank account for downloading online games. REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE

Video game sales surge as lockdown keeps people indoor

Video game sales hit their highest in over a decade

Reuters April 22, 2020
Videogame sales in March hit their highest in over a decade, as Americans turned to games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” because of lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Sales of gaming hardware, software, and accessories in the United States jumped 35% to $1.6 billion last month from a year earlier, according to data from research firm NPD.

The sales and growth are the highest for the month since March 2008, when sales grew over 52% to $1.8 billion, said Mat Piscatella, an analyst at NPD.

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Nintendo’s life-simulation title “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, launched last month, topped NPD’s best-selling list, followed by Activision Blizzard’s battle blockbuster “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”.

As the coronavirus shut down the country and forced millions inside their homes, certain businesses including gaming, online streaming and video conferencing have witnessed a boost in user engagement.

Analysts have expected gaming sales to benefit in the near-term from the stay-at-home orders.

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“NBA 2K20” from Take-Two Interactive Software and Sony’s baseball simulation game “MLB: The Show 20” were also among the most sold games, the data showed.

Sales of gaming consoles Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch rose 63% to $461 million in March from a year earlier. Nintendo Switch hardware sales more than doubled.

New-generation consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 are expected to come out at the end of the year.