Video Game Sales in April Reach the Highest Record | Instant News

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

, Target

, Wholesaler and Home BJ Depot

benefit from higher demand while clothing and other traders are not important, from Macy’s

and Kohl to Foot Locker

and Urban Outfitters

, already posted very low sales.

In a surefire sign, at Best Buy

The entertainment segment, including drones, game hardware and software, showed a 9.5% increase when electronics retailers reported a comparable 5.7% drop in sales in the fiscal first quarter ended May 2. Other Best Buy segments, including consumer electronics, cellular phones, equipment and services, are all posted on either lower or flat sales.

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.

Since GameStop

, the largest US specialty game retailer, closed its physical store on March 22, it was able to maintain “more than 90% of the planned sales volume in two-thirds” of stores offering roadside pickup, said the company at the end of April. GameStop, which has seen a comparable 23% decrease in sales in the nine weeks to April 4, said sales had grown 3% since the store closed because “there was a surge in demand across products.”

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

, which owns Twitch, the game-streaming site, was released this week Trial, the first big-budget original game. Amazon Game Studios released it to compete against titles like Fortnite and The highlight of the legend.

Related: Amazon is reportedly eyeing J.C Penney, who went bankrupt because the coronavirus stopped M&A activity

Related to Forbes: The potential combination of Uber Eats-Grubhub will make the largest US food delivery application

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