Millions of Americans turned to video games as a source of entertainment and social connection in March. And that led to a significant increase in spending, according to industry monitoring company The NPD Group. Total video game activity in the United States generated record spending of $ 10.86 billion in the first quarter. This represents a 9% increase from the same three-month period in 2019. Home orders were a major factor in these results.
Content spending alone reached $ 9.58 billion in the first quarter. This represents an 11% year-over-year increase. NPD data shows that spending has increased for digital content on PCs and consoles as well as for mobiles and subscriptions. In addition, equipment and accessories also increased compared to the 2019 period.
“Video games have brought comfort and connection to millions of people during this difficult time,” said Mat Piscatella, analyst at NPD. “As people stayed more at home, they used the game not only as a diversion and escape, but also as a way to stay in touch with family and friends. Whether on console or mobile, PC or virtual reality , gaming experienced game and sales growth in the first quarter. “
This surge in demand comes at the end of a generation of consoles – at least for Microsoft and Sony. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are at the end of their races. Even though consumers are spending more on games, hardware sales have declined for these platforms from year to year.
Nintendo Switch, however, offset these declines and resulted in a 2% increase in hardware sales to $ 773 million from Q1 2019.