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Game sales soar in June, thanks to The Last of Us: Part II, Nintendo Switch

U.S. video game revenue nearly hit an all-time high in June, thanks to The Last of Us: Part II launch and continued interest in Nintendo’s Switch.

Video game hardware, software, and accessories sales topped $1.2 billion last month, representing a 26% year-over-year gain, NPD reported on Friday. It was the second-biggest June sales tally of all time, just behind June 2009’s $1.3 billion in spending. So far this year, players have spent $6.6 on gaming, nearly matching 2010’s six-month record of $7 billion.

June’s performance was driven by a 49% year-over-year leap in software spending to $570 million. <em>The Last of Us: Part II</em> was the top-selling game last month and is already the third-best-selling game of 2020. <em>Call of Duty: Modern Warfare</em>, which has dominated the top-selling games chart since its launch last year, landed in the second spot.

<em>Animal Crossing: New Horizons</em> took third place and <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em> fell from second place in May to the fourth slot last month. <em>Mortal Kombat 11</em> rounded out the top five.

The 2019 Nintendo Switch title <em>Ring Fit Adventure</em> landed in the 835th spot for top-selling games in May, NPD said. Last month, it soared to 19th place after retailers replenished their stock of the game.

Accessories sales surged 29% year-over-year to $417 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the top-selling accessory.

On the hardware front, Nintendo’s Switch remained the top-selling console in both unit sales and dollars spent. NPD’s data suggests, however, that consumers may be saving up for the next-generation console cycle. Hardware spending was down 17% year-over-year to $191 million — the first drop since February.

The game industry was one of the few to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic. With players locked in, they’ve turned to video games for entertainment and to reduce stress. Looking ahead, game companies expect that demand to continue and Sony earlier this week doubled its 2020 PlayStation 5 production target from 5 million units to 10 million.

NPD’s provides monthly glimpses into the video game industry’s performance. The research firm’s data includes physical sales of hardware, software, and accessories, as well as digital game sales data game publishers share with the company. NPD doesn’t publicly share game or hardware unit sales data.

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