The corona virus pandemic has weakened sales of clothing and many other insignificant items, but consumers who stay at home looking for an escape provide a big surprise for video game sales.
Spending in April for hardware, software, accessories and video game cards jumped 73%, to $ 1.5 billion, from a year earlier, reaching a record high in April and beating the previous record of $ 1.2 billion set. in April 2008, according to a report Friday from the NPD Group’s market research firm.
Software sales rose 55%, driven by the best-selling games included Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Hardware spending jumped 163%, also to April’s highest demand in 12 years, because sales of Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One each increased by more than 160%.
Blockbuster sales in April followed a 9% increase in first quarter sales, to a record $ 10.9 billion, according to the NPD.
“A growth rate of 73% is certainly rare,” Mat Piscatella, NPD game industry analyst, told me, adding that the April growth rate also marked a record and more than double the previous peak level, from April 1998.
Video game sales actually declined in January and February before in-house orders began in mid-March, increasing sales this month by 12%. Piscatella, who had originally expected the sale of the U.S. industry to see a total decline this year, say annual growth is now possible.
As many large retailers report their fiscal first quarter results this week, video games emerge as a discretionary bright spot in rare categories. Generally, a retailer that sells food and other basic necessities such as Walmart
In a surefire sign, at Best Buy
Target, which reported an increase in sales comparable to the fiscal first-quarter 10.8% thanks to increased online shopping orders, said video game sales helped drive a 45% jump in its electronics business.
All of those requests have also been translated into booms in video-game related advertisements. Ad spending from video game retailers, console makers and game title publishers more than doubled in April from the January level, according to the MediaRadar ad industry tracker. Spent by video game retailers, including GameStop and online players such as PlayStation Store, Fortnite’s Epic Games Store and GameFly game rental subscription services, seeing “the most dramatic increase,” the data showed.
It will be interesting to see if one particular advertiser title will appear in May total: Amazon
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