Video games sales surged last month, unsurprisingly, as many people across the US found themselves cooped up inside their houses under self-isolation rules. According to data from research firm NPD, sales of gaming hardware, software and accessories jumped 35 percent to $1.6bn last month from a year earlier.
It is the highest growth for the month since 2008, when sales grew over 52 percent to $1.8bn NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. Sales of gaming consoles Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch rose 63 percent to $461m in March from a year earlier.
Sales have been up across the board, according to VGChartz.com. The Nintendo Switch has sold 396,497 for the week ending April 4, with the PlayStation 4 lagging behind at 159,783: Total console sales are up 155% from this time last year, while physical game sales are up 82% and digital are up 52%.
Another factor driving these sales increases are price cuts
PlayStation 4’s lead seller, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been sold at a 20% discount on the PlayStation store and fairly recent releases like Dragonball: Kakarot and Borderlands 3 have been sold at a 20% discount across all digital platforms.
EA Sports titles such as NHL 20, FIFA 20 and Madden 20 are all being sold at a 60% discount. While some games have reached historic lows, price-wise, others are reaching a peak. With the cancellation of sports seasons, the final installments of both the NCAA Football series, which released in 2014, and the NCAA Basketball series, which last released in 2010, have skyrocketed in price on the secondary market. NCAA Football 14 is selling for between $60 and $100 on Ebay currently, and NCAA Basketball 10 is going for around $45 for a 10-year-old game.
In the search to fill the sports void, Twitch viewership has jumped from 1.1 million viewers in December 2019 to 2.3 million viewers this month. ESPN has started filling primetime TV with professional athletes playing NBA 2K20 and Major League Baseball teams each have a player representative playing through a competitive season on MLB the Show 20.