As many an industry suffers due to the continuing effects of the lockdown, the same cannot be said of the gaming industry – and video gaming in particular. With entertainment drifting away from live sporting events given the danger that they pose, people have had to devise their own type of fun in the home. This has, inevitably, led to a greater focus on consoles and devices. No wonder then that the American gaming industry has seen a new quarterly spending record.
What the numbers are
A remarkable statistic rises above them all: American consumers have spent more this past quarter on video games than they ever have before – up nine percent from 2019, that figure equates to $10.9 billion. Game sales and in-game microtransactions made up $9.6 billion of that with top titles including Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Fortnite amongst others.
For sporting fans, they have had to make do with their favourite console games, many of which include FIFA 20, NHL 20 and NBA 2K20. Of course, nothing is quite the same as enjoying live sport and choosing from an array of NHL or NBA parlays and picks. But, video games have certainly been vital for people keeping entertained without the pull of live sport or the thrill of a wager. Naturally, once seasons and competitions resume, the pull of the accumulator and parlays and picks will no doubt recommence.
Why the increase in spending
One major observation stands out when analysing this gargantuan increase in spending. The coronavirus pandemic that hit American shores in January has kept the public indoors for a good few months. No wonder then that it is nearly impossible to find a Nintendo Switch at present in the States as hardware sales topped an incredible $770 million with the Japanese company the biggest winner.
The Switch managed to beat the Wii’s record for the highest year-to-date sales for any hardware platform, so if that doesn’t impress you then not much will – although if you are looking to purchase one, it would frustrate you at the same time.
Software sales have also shot up during the pandemic – April saw an increase by over 50% of software sales which quite obviously established a new record from this time last year. It appears as though whilst money could be an issue for those currently out of work, the desire to keep the household entertained during troubling times supersedes that.
As the pandemic has the public staying at home – or has done for a good few months – it seems that the vast majority of them have decided to game their way through it. And, with the pandemic unlikely to go anywhere soon, the gaming industry will be licking its lips at the thought of even greater sales and perhaps even more records as the months tick by.