US game spending up 35% in March 2020

US game spending up 35% in March 2020

Video game sales in the United States are apparently up by 35 per cent year-on-year for the month of March.

That's according to market tracker NPD Group, which reports that $1.6bn was spent on games, hardware and accessories during the period. That's the highest monthly spend on video games during the month of March since 2008's $1.8bn, apparently.

Software sales rose 34 per cent, hitting $739m while hardware jumped by 63 per cent to hit £461m.

The big winner was Nintendo Switch exclusive Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which launched at the end of the month. That was the strongest-seller for March.

"As communities have practiced social distancing and observed stay at home orders across the United States over the past weeks, many people have turned to video games as a means of finding connections. Whether together on the couch playing locally, or playing online, gaming has generated increased engagement, which has resulted in corresponding increases in consumer spend," NPD industry analyst Mat Piscatella wrote.

"Social distancing and shelter in place orders certainly appear to have positively impacted consumer spending across gaming. However, one game impacted the market more than any other in March: Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

"In March, as the pandemic expanded across the United States, and as people looked for a sense of togetherness and community, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the player is flown to a lush island where they can then build a community of anthropomorphic virtual animal friends, while also inviting real world friends to come visit and spend time together in their newly-constructed virtual world."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.