The gaming industry showed few signs of a struggling economy in March setting new sales records, according to data from the NPD Group.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons led the pack as the top-selling game of March, and it dethroned the now-second place Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was the top-selling game of February. Even without digital sales factored in, New Horizons is already the second-bestselling game of 2020, behind only Modern Warfare.
New Horizons was a massive success and was Nintendo’s third highest-grossing launch month since NPD started tracking in 1994, bested only by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Brawl. First-month sales of the Switch exclusive already exceeded lifetime sales for all previous entries in the series, making it the bestselling Animal Crossing game yet.
With millions stuck at home, gaming hardware sales were up 63% from last year, with over $461 million made from hardware alone. Nintendo Switch sales doubled from 2019 to become the bestselling console ever in March. Nintendo beat its own record since the Switch previously held the standard for its March 2017 performance. The system’s first-quarter sales of 2020 are the highest for any platform since the Nintendo DS in the first quarter of 2010.
Two other new releases cracked the top five spots with MLB The Show 20 taking third and horror remake Resident Evil 3 followed right behind. The Show is now the fifth bestselling game of the year and had the best launch month in series history. Rounding out the top five is NBA 2K20, which continues to sell well despite the basketball season being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. NBA 2K20 was the second-best-selling game in February, as well.
It’s not just systems and software that are reaching sales milestones. Spending on gaming accessories in March was up 12%, totaling $397 million. Consumers set a record for most money spent on controllers in March with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller bringing in the most revenue. PlayStation 4 controllers weren’t far behind as the platform set an all-time monthly single platform high in gamepad spending. Similarly, headsets saw an increase with Turtle Beach’s Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset selling the most in both March and the first quarter of 2020.
Updated on April 21, 2020: Added details regarding sales on accessories.
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