Market research and consumer trends company The NPD Group revealed that the video game industry has become a “haven” during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, with spending on accessories in March 2020 increasing to a high of 35%.

Gamespot reported that the rise brought the total revenue up to $1.6 billion. The last time Americans spent anything like this on video games was in March 2008, where gamers spent $1.8 billion. Software sales also seen an increase of 34% in sales last month. It was up to $739 million compared to last year’s numbers; this was yet another record, according to the analysts, compared to sales of $787 million in March 2011.

It’s the same thing for hardware sales, where console revenue had grown by 63% to $461 million. Nintendo Switch sales led the way, making a record-high in March this year and erasing its own previous record. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales, meanwhile, grew by more than 25% during the first quarter alone, with an increase of 2% to $773 million.

It’s a good thing, particularly because there had been delays and interruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese plants had halted production, while conventions and other gaming-related activities have all been suspended, postponed, or altogether scrapped for this year.

According to Digital Trends, both the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the Game Developers Conference had to be postponed because conventions and large group gatherings have been prohibited during this time. The latter had been rescheduled to summer, although that now remained to be seen. Attendees had been promised a refund of their tickets.

Even the Switch, with demand spiking during quarantine, has had delays in production. No release date has been announced for those who pre-ordered “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”-themed Switches. While Japan is facing a problem in the supply chain, Nintendo of America promised that they don’t expect any similar issues in North America and Europe.

The NPD report also included March 2020’s best-selling games in the US. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” made headlines when it was released last month, but “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” has been 2020’s best-selling game to date. Meanwhile, the PlayStation-exclusive “Final Fantasy VII Remake” has been doing good, possibly helped by the COVID-19 quarantine.

Strong demand for Nintendo's Switch consoles has boosted the video game giant's earnings
Strong demand for Nintendo's Switch consoles has boosted the video game giant's earnings AFP / Behrouz MEHRI