US video game spending totaled $1.2 billion in June, according to a new report by NPD Group. That’s the most money spent in a June since 2009, and it’s a 26 percent increase compared to last year.
June is part of a larger trend. Year-to-date spending on game hardware, software, accessories and cards reached $6.6 billion. That’s up 19 percent compared to the same period last year. It’s also the highest total for the year-to-date period since 2010. At this rate, 2020 is on track to be the best year for gaming in a decade.
The industry did get a boost from some pretty strong titles, including The Last of Us: Part II, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Despite some score bombing, The Last of Us: Part II was June’s best-selling game and the third best-selling game of the year, NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella pointed out in a Twitter thread. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the top-selling Switch game in June, and Ring Fit Adventure jumped from 835th in May to 7th best-selling game in June.
JUNE 2020 US NPD THREAD - June 2020 tracked spending across Video Game hardware, software, accessories and game cards totaled $1.2 billion, gaining 26% when compared to a year ago. This is the highest tracked spend for a June month since $1.3 billion was reached in June 2009. pic.twitter.com/VliGtYt4sc— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) July 17, 2020
While hardware spending declined a bit in June, Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform, and the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory.
It’s likely that these numbers were driven, at least in part, by more people staying home during the pandemic. That tracks with what we’ve heard elsewhere. To keep up with a surge in demand, Sony will make millions more PlayStation 5 consoles than it originally planned, and Nintendo is ramping up Switch production. Despite some launch delays, less than 10 percent of developers say they’ve been laid off or furloughed, and a third of developers polled say they’re busier than they were pre-pandemic.