Video game spending in the US reached its highest ever in Q1 2020

No one and nothing has remained unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic but while most industries experienced a slump or even a drop, a few markets saw an opportunity to break records instead. Streaming services, unsurprisingly, saw a sharp increase in subscribers and, at least in the US, consumer spending on video games and related products soared to its highest numbers in the first quarter of the year.

The NPD Group's Games Market Dynamics report revealed that consumer spending on that market reached $10.86 billion in the period covering January to March 2020. Compared to the same period last year, the numbers jumped 9%. It might be a small leap but, considering the global situation, it's still impressive it reached a historical figure for the US video gaming market.

Bulk of that figure naturally came from the games themselves, amassing $9.58 billion in total sales. That's a rather substantial 11% jump from last year, boosted by titles such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, DOOM Eternal, and, of course, Fortnite. This large number crossed platform boundaries, covering PC, console, mobile, and even the young subscription services.

Hardware sales amounted to $773 million, led by none other than the Nintendo Switch, whose own surge can perhaps be credited to the new Animal Crossing exclusive. And then there's the gaming accessories market that increased by 1% for a total of $503 million last quarter. The latter group covers products such as gamepads, phone and console cases, and even headsets.

Gaming has become not only a tool for survival for escaping into fantasy worlds during these difficult times. As NPD put it, many of these games also carry a social aspect and have allowed players in the US and all over the world to bond over something beyond the dreary realities of the coronavirus.