Nintendo Switch Sets Huge Sales Record As Video Games Soar During Lockdown – Forbes
You may have heard that people have been playing a lot of video games during lockdown. We’ve had anecdotal data to support that so far, with increased traffic on networks, sellouts, social chatter and more. Now, NPD has some numbers for us, and they’re massive. Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch all increased more than 160% compared to April 2019, and the Switch broke the Wii’s record for highest year-to-date dollar sales for any hardware platform. If you’ve been trying to buy a Switch over the past few weeks, this shouldn’t be a shock.
Sales seem to be up in all measured segments, from accessories to game cards, in-game purchases and software. The top selling game for the month was Final Fantasy VII Remake, which set a series record. It was followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, lifted by the free-to-play Warzone, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Software increased 55% compared to April 2019 to $662 million, setting a new record for the month. Overall video game spending went up 73% compared to last year to to $1.5 billion.
NPD released a handy video overview of its results on Youtube:
It’s not hard to find causation for these massive records: people are at home, bored, and playing videogames. I would expect May to still put up some huge numbers, though I would not expect hardware to jump quite as high as it did for April. That’s my biggest question surrounding these record numbers: we assume that this rate of incredible growth is not sustainable, but we also wonder whether or not things will settle down to a higher baseline rate. If people who don’t typically get on board with gaming are buying Switches, downloading games or just generally finding themselves more comfortable with the hobby than they might have thought, we could easily see a fair number of them sticking around even after lockdown. And then there’s the question of what “after lockdown” means, here. Even as many states cautiously beging to repoen, polls show that a large majority of Americans are still wary of catching COVID-19 and are unlikely to return to pre-Pandemic routines.