Video game sales skyrocketed 35 per cent throughout March as demand marking the highest spend in the sector for over a decade.
Game-related purchases, including software, consoles and accessories hit $1.6 billion (£1.29 billion) in March according to NPD Group’s latest figures.
This represented a 35 per cent year-on-year increase in sales, and marks the most lucrative month of sales since they hit $1.8 billion (£1.46 billion) in 2008.
Software sales helped drive overall growth, seeing a 34 per cent rise to $739 million (£598 million), while hardware sales saw a whopping 63 per cent growth to $461 million (£373 million).
This was led by sales of the Nintendo Switch, which set a sales record in March doubling sales from a year prior.
Meanwhile Xbox One and PS4 sales enjoyed a 25 per cent rise in sales, leading to console sales in the first quarter rising two per cent to $773 million (£625.5 million).
Despite this first quarter software sales were down eight per cent year-on-year to $1.4 billion (£1.13 billion).
Alongside top selling titles including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, NBA 2K20 and Resident Evil 3, the Nintendo Switch’s Animal Cross: New Horizons topped the charts last month.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons … truly defined March 2020 for the video game market and the corresponding period of social distancing,” NPD Group’s games industry analyst Mat Piscatella said.
“There is a synthesis between this game and this time in history that will leave the two forever connected in the world of video games. Practicing social distancing and observing stay at home orders have motivated many people to play more video games in order to find connection.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game designed around developing communities and forging connections, was certainly the right game at the right time. And there’s no doubt that its success helped lift an entire market beyond what would have otherwise occurred.”