April 2020 NPD: U.S. game spending breaks records

April 2020 NPD: U.S. game spending breaks records

Cooped-up consumers spent truckloads of cash on video games in April, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Spending on tracked new games, hardware, accessories, and game cards hit $1.5 billion. Games like Final Fantasy VII: Remake and Animal Crossing: New Horizons contributed to the growth. Here are the full results

April 2020 Dollar Sales, Millions

Apr’19
Apr’20
CHG

Total Video Game Sales

$846
$1,466
73%

Video Game Hardware

$160
$420
163%

Video Game Software (Physical and Full Game Digital Formats from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for DLP Participants)

$428
$662
55%

Video Game Accessories & Game Cards

$258
$384
49%

“April 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards totaled $1.5 billion, 73% higher when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “This is a new record high in reported spend for an April month, eclipsing the $1.2 billion generated in April 2008.”

The strong performance for March and April pushed up 2020’s year-to-date results as well.

“Year-to-date 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards reached $4.5 billion,” said Piscatella. “ 12% when compared to a year ago.”

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Let’s get to the software.

April 2020 NPD: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the U.S.

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. But not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party digital sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales. This chart also does not include microtransactions, subscriptions, or anything beyond full-game sales. With those caveats in mind, it is best to think of this as a very useful snapshot of a much more dynamic industry.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold.

Final Fantasy VII: Remake
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
NBA 2K20
Grand Theft Auto V
Resident Evil 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
MLB: The Show 20
Madden NFL 20
Red Dead Redemption II
Just Dance 2020
FIFA 20
Mortal Kombat 11
Borderlands 3
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
Persona 5: Royal
Need for Speed: Heat
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Like March, April was historic for game sales.

“Dollar sales of tracked video game software increased 55% in April compared to a year ago, to $662 million,” said Piscatella. “This is a new record high for an April month. The previous record of $642 million was set in April 2008.”

And 2020 is tracking well ahead of 2019.

“Year-to-date sales of tracked video game software now exceed $2 billion, 6% higher when compared to a year ago.”

Final Fantasy VII Remake

“Final Fantasy VII: Remake was the best-selling game of April and instantly becomes the No. 3 best-selling game year-to-date,” said Piscatella. “Final Fantasy VII: Remake is currently the best-selling game of 2020 on PlayStation 4.”

Square Enix’s massive reimagining of the PlayStation classic is also setting new highs for the franchise.

“Final Fantasy VII: Remake sets a new launch month Final Fantasy franchise sales record in both unit and dollar sales,” said Piscatella. “Both records were previously held by Final Fantasy XV, which launched in the December 2016 tracking period.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Remastered

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare repeats as the No. 2 best-selling game of the month, and remains the best-selling game both year-to-date as well as for the 12-month period ending April 2020,” said Piscatella. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is currently the fourth fastest-selling release in U.S. tracked history (dollar sales through the first seven months in market).”

The remaster of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3’s Modern Warfare 2 also did well.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Remastered finished April as the No. 7 best-selling game of the month following its release on the Xbox One platform,” said Piscatella. “Three Call of Duty franchise titles finished among the top 10 best-selling games of April on Xbox One, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.”

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons ranked as the third best-selling game of April, and repeats as the second best-selling game of 2020 year to date,” said Piscatella. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best-selling title on Switch for the 12-month period ending April 2020.”

Just Dance 2020

“Just Dance 2020 continues to climb the monthly best-sellers chart,” said Piscatella. “It finished as the eleventh best-selling game of April, after ranking at 17 in March. Just Dance 2020 is the fastest-selling Just Dance franchise release since Just Dance 2014, which first released in the October 2014 tracking period.”

Top 10 best-selling games so far this year

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
Final Fantasy VII: Remake
NBA 2K20
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
MLB: The Show 20
Grand Theft Auto V
Resident Evil 3
Madden NFL 20
Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*

Top 10 best-selling games of the last 12 months

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
NBA 2K20
Madden NFL 20
Borderlands 3
Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
Grand Theft Auto V
FIFA 20
Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*

April 2020: Top 10 best-selling Xbox One games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
Grand Theft Auto V
NBA 2K20
Resident Evil 3
Madden NFL 20
Red Dead Redemption II
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
FIFA 20

April 2020: Top 10 best-selling PS4 games

Final Fantasy VII: Remake
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
NBA 2K20
Grand Theft Auto V
MLB: The Show 20
Resident Evil 3
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Madden NFL 20
Persona 5: Royal
Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition

April 2020: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo Switch games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
Just Dance 2020
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
Luigi’s Mansion 3*
Pokémon: Sword*
Trials of Mana
Super Mario Party*

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