U.S. videogame sales surge in March as lockdown keeps people indoorU.S. videogame sales surge in March as lockdown keeps people indoor
Paris Games Week (PGW) trade fair for video games in Paris

By Ayanti Bera

(Reuters) – Videogame sales in March hit their highest in over a decade, as Americans turned to games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” because of lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavrius.

Sales of gaming hardware, software and accessories in the United States jumped 35% to $1.6 billion last month from a year earlier, according to data https://bit.ly/2VqVNtf from research firm NPD.

The sales and growth are the highest for the month since March 2008, when sales grew over 52% to $1.8 billion, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Nintendo’s life-simulation title “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, launched last month, topped NPD’s best-selling list, followed by Activision Blizzard Inc’s battle blockbuster “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”.

As the coronavirus shut down the country and forced millions inside their homes, certain businesses including gaming, online streaming and video conferencing have witnessed a boost in user engagement.

Analysts have expected gaming sales to benefit in the near-term from the stay-at-home orders.

“NBA 2K20” from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc and Sony’s baseball simulation game “MLB: The Show 20” were also among the most sold games, the data showed.

Sales of gaming consoles Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch rose 63% to $461 million in March from a year earlier. Nintendo Switch hardware sales more than doubled.

New-generation consoles, Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5, are expected to come out at the end of the year.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)