Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Photo: Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). Photo: Activision Blizzard

We knew that gamers were spending some big bucks during the quarantine, but now we have a clear picture of just how much coin is being dropped on video games.

According to the Q1 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report from The NPD Group, gamers spent a record $10.86 billion in the first three months of 2020. That’s 9% more than last year, but what’s more impressive is that the majority of sales — $9.58 billion — came from video game content, much of which was delivered direct-to-consumer via digital storefronts with no need to step foot in a physical store. While that might sound like more bad news for the folks at GameStop, according to The New York Times, even the troubled retailer benefitted from a 1,500% increase in digital sales.


While new systems such as the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 are looming on the horizon, sales of Nintendo Switch hardware and software continued to grow, offsetting other declines and carrying the entire hardware side of the industry to a 2% increase. You can pretty much figure that Animal Crossing: New Horizons (reviewed here) is driving all of those sales.

Other hot games for the first quarter include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (reviewed here), DOOM Eternal, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (reviewed here), Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, MLB The Show 20 and NBA 2K20.