The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most troubling events ever for many people the world over. It has caused death, economic insecurity, and forced most of us to stay indoors more than ever before. That last bit is the reason that people are spending more on video games than ever before.
The NPD Group — a marketing research company — stated that consumers spent $10.86 billion on video games between January and March of this year. This is an 11% increase compared to last year. The best-selling game was as you might expect Animal Crossing New Horizon. DOOM Eternal, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and GTA 5 also performed well.
Mat Piscatella of The NPD Group stated “Video Games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time, As people have stayed at home more, they’ve utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends. Whether it was on console or mobile, PC or virtual reality, gaming experienced play and sales growth during the first quarter.”
GameStop, which has been struggling for years, saw its online sales jump an astonishing 1500% between March 1 and April 10. Meanwhile, their total video game sales were $1.6 billion in March, which is the highest since 2008. It’s the first good news for investors in a while. GameStop shares have dropped 84% since 2016. But how long will this uptick last?
Many countries and most U.S. states have started to reopen. Which could cause sales to lower to usual rates until the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. But then again, everything is still up in the air. If a second wave hits everything could go back to how things were in March and April. While we all hope that doesn’t happen at least we know we’ll have video games to help us to get through the tough times.