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March 2020 NPD Sales Results

Even though many states had issued stay at home orders, and indeed perhaps in part because of the threat of COVID-19, video game sales for March 2020 were up 35% year-over-year – coming in at a massive $1.6 billion. That’s the highest March on record since 2008. Hardware sales came in at $461 million (up 63%), software sales garnered $739 million (up 34%), and accessories and game cards took in $397 million (up 12%).

The biggest winner for March 2020 is Nintendo. The Switch set an all-time record for number of systems sold for any March – and that includes 2017 when it launched on March 3! In fact, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella dove into the data and has revealed that Switch sales have more than doubled when compared a year ago. Switch had the highest first quarter hardware sales of any platform since Nintendo DS back during the first quarter of 2010. It also sold more hardware units in March than any other system in recorded history. As a result, it’s no wonder there are Switch hardware shortages reported worldwide.

Part of the Switch’s massive sales increase is due to the stellar launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on March 20. It has already outsold the lifetime sales of each prior Animal Crossing game. Let that sink in for a moment. In just two weeks it has sold more copies than any other in the series during its lifetime. Wow! The title is now the third highest launch month for physical game sales of an Nintendo published game in tracked history. Only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) managed to sell more during their launch months. Keep in mind that the NPD doesn’t have access to the number of digital copies sold, and given that Animal Crossing games lend themselves more toward digital than some other Nintendo franchises, it’s quite possible New Horizons would be at the top.

Thanks to NPD and VentureBeat for the data below:

March 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.

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. MLB: The Show 20
  4. Resident Evil 3
  5. NBA 2K20
  6. Doom Eternal*
  7. Persona 5: Royal
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Borderlands 3
  10. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  11. Nioh 2
  12. Red Dead Redemption II
  13. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]
  14. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  15. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX*
  16. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
  17. Just Dance 2020
  18. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
  19. Mortal Kombat 11
  20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered

* Digital sales not included
^ Steam sales not included
# Minecraft digital sales on Xbox and PlayStation included

 

Top 10 games so far this year

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  3. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  4. NBA 2K20
  5. MLB: The Show 20
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Resident Evil 3
  8. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
  9. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  10. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order

Top 10 games of the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. NBA 2K20
  3. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
  4. Borderlands 3
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  9. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]
  10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*

March 2020 NPD: Top 10 Xbox One Games

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Resident Evil 3
  3. Doom Eternal*
  4. NBA 2K20
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
  7. Red Dead Redemption II
  8. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
  9. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]
  10. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition

March 2020 NPD: Top 10 PS4 games

  1. MLB: The Show 20
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. Persona 5: Royal
  4. Resident Evil 3
  5. NBA 2K20
  6. Nioh 2
  7. Doom Eternal*
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
  10. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]

March 2020 NPD: Top 10 Nintendo Switch games

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  2. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  4. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX*
  5. Just Dance 2020
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  7. Super Mario Party*
  8. Luigi’s Mansion 3*
  9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
  10. Pokemon: Sword*

 

[Source: VentureBeat]

 

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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