US games sales hit record high in April with 73 per cent year on year lift

US games sales hit record numbers this April according to figures released by the NPD. A 73 per cent increase year on year was driven by a huge surge in hardware sales, which were up 163 per cent on last year, as consumers rushed to buy hardware (most notably the Nintendo Switch) for lockdown.

The total hardware spend was $420m, which is the best April seen since April 2008, the height of the Xbox 360 era. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella summed it up neatly: “I’ve been working with video game sales data for over 15 years now and April is, by far, the wildest month I think I’ve ever seen.”

Sales of software (physical and digital from participating publishers) surged by an impressive 55 per cent year on year. Final Fantasy 7 Remake took the top spot, with Call of Duty Modern Warfare holding in second, and Animal Crossing coming in third. 

“I’ve been working with video game sales data for over 15 years now and April is, by far, the wildest month I think I’ve ever seen.”

Modern Warfare remains the best-selling game of the last year in the US. With recent sales driven by the popularity of its free-to-play Warzone mode. 

It’s also intriguing to look at the top-selling games on each major platform. The PlayStation 4’s best-selling games largely follows the all-format best-sellers, unsurprisingly, though there’s a couple of Sony exclusives in the mix. The Xbox has three Call of Duty titles in the top ten, but none of Microsoft’s own games, possibly due to Game Pass taking a big slice off any such sales. Meanwhile Nintendo remains Nintendo-dominated, with eight of the ten best-selling titles coming from its own developers. 

Total sales of games, hardware and accessories for the year to date are up 12 per cent to $4.5bn from $4bn, with hardware year to date up 30 per cent as part of that. 


About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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