The pandemic continues to turbo-charge games sales around the globe. Today NPD reported that sales in Q2 (April to June) in the US hit an incredible $11.6bn.
That’s a 30 per cent hike over the same period last year, which even at the tail end of the console cycle (with huge install bases) is just an incredible figure. It also represents a 7 per cent rise over last quarter’s record $10.9bn spend, which shows that the kickstart from the pandemic appears to be more than a blip, though it will really come under scrutiny as more people return to work and education in the autumn.
NPD said: “Gains were seen across new physical content, digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending. Strong growth across Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One led to an overall hardware category sales increase of 57% to $848 million. Sales of video game accessories including gamepads, headsets, steering wheels and other peripherals increased 50% to $584 million.”
While the biggest performers in terms of individual titles were: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Warzone, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Grand Theft Auto V, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, Minecraft, NBA 2K20, Pokémon Go and The Last of Us: Part II.”
“Today, we have more video game players playing for more hours, while spending more in the process; and what gamers old and new are discovering is an industry that has a wide array of experiences available to them regardless of device and budget,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group.
“During the pandemic, many have turned to video games not only to keep them preoccupied, but also to stay in touch with family and friends. This has resulted in an acceleration of what were already established trends towards heightened video game player engagement. I don’t see any signs of this slowing down.