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One year into the pandemic, video game sales aren’t slowing down

April 16, 2021, 3:42 PM UTC

The video game industry, which saw huge sales gains through all of 2020, isn’t seeing any sign of a slowdown as vaccines begin to roll out and communities begin to lift restrictions.

Brick-and-mortar sales hit $5.6 billion in March, according to the NPD Group, an 18% increase over a year ago. In the first quarter, consumers spent $14.9 billion, a 30% increase over the first three months of 2020.

Much of that was driven by hardware sales as consumers still scramble to find a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. Hardware sales were up 47% to $680 million—a record figure for March. The Nintendo Switch was the bestselling system in terms of units sold. Sony’s PS5 made the most in dollars spent.

Year to date, hardware spending has totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of 81% compared with a year ago.

Game software sales were up 18%, though that figure does not include digital sales, which have become the preferred buying method for many gamers. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the month’s bestselling title at brick-and-mortar stores. Newcomers Monster Hunter: Rise and Outriders took the second and third spots.  

Here’s a look at the year’s top 10 bestselling games, per NPD.

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  2. Monster Hunter: Rise
  3. Outriders
  4. Super Mario 3D World
  5. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  6. Mario Kart 8
  7. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  9. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  10. Minecraft

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