As the Coronavirus pandemic continues spreading throughout the world, it has sent large populations of residents in almost every nation to the side lines in the form of lockdowns at home. Predictably, parents have been left trying to figure how to keep their kids entertained while schools, summer camps and malls have been shuttered. The answer should have been clear, just give kids more access to what they enjoy doing the most, playing video games.
It is notable that adults have also shown an interest in finding ways to keep themselves entertained while on lockdown status. The US online gambling industry saw its revenue and participation rates explode while gambling enthusiasts took to the internet in states like Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia to play online video slots and real cash table games like Roulette and Blackjack. PA online casinos have been performing very well for almost a year now, but nothing can compare to the growth online casinos have seen in the last two months.
Aside from the online gambling industry, one industry after another has been hit hard by the wrath of the COVID-19 virus. However, it looks like another industry will be coming out of the pandemic unscathed. The numbers are in for the month of April and clearly, the U.S. video gaming industry has been a surprising beneficiary of the pandemic.
By the Numbers
As locked-down consumers sought ways to get through long days at home, they turned to their favourite online video game stores in search of the latest releases. When the smoked cleared from a record breaking month of April, the video gaming industry had racked up an amazing $1.5 billion in sales of video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards.
According to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, the prior record for the month of April came in 2008 when the video gaming industry recorded $1.2 billion in sales. A 20% increase in sales while consumers struggled to make ends meet is an impressive feat.
Video game software accounted for $662 million in sales with games like “Final Fantasy VII: Remake”, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”, and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” leading the way. Even the latest edition of “Just Dance” from Ubisoft appeared on the ranking charts, perhaps as consumers went looking for ways to burn off a little of their excess energy during the lockdown.
While Nintendo Switch ruled as the number one gaming console for the month, video gaming hardware providers were able to rack up $442 million in April sales. That too is an impressive number given the news that new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are scheduled to be released later this year.
Reports have also been released that indicate video game streaming services have also seen a big uptick in traffic during the pandemic.
As the pandemic issue stabilizes, people will be heading back to work. Many states are still encouraging residents to spend more time at home, which bodes well for video game providers for the rest of the year. By the time the 2020 holiday season has come and gone, this will be a year the video gaming industry will remember for decades.