‘Animal Crossing’ and the latest ‘Call of Duty’ dominated March as game sales spiked while millions sheltered at home (SNE, MSFT, NTDOY, EA, ATVI)

Animal Crossing New Horizons CharacterAnimal Crossing New Horizons Character

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is the latest smash-hit game for Nintendo’s Switch.

“Animal Crossing New Horizons”/Nintendo


  • Video game consoles and games were in especially high demand in March, as the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of Americans to stay indoors.
  • Sales of “video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards” topped $1.6 billion for the month, according to The NPD Group’s monthly report — the biggest March for the game business in over a decade.
  • Nintendo was the big winner, with its Switch console and “Animal Crossing” game topping the charts. 
  • The Switch outsold the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and “Animal Crossing” joined “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” at the top of the 20 best-selling games list.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Starting in March, millions of Americans were forced indoors by the coronavirus pandemic as shelter in place orders took place and social distancing was encouraged.

Unsurprisingly, at the same time, video game hardware and software sales skyrocketed. Millions of people, many with young children, suddenly needed ways to occupy vast quantities of time at home.

As such, Nintendo’s Switch has been outright sold out. The company’s latest major game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is outright having a moment. And the latest “Call of Duty” is more popular than ever — despite having launched months ago. 

Though “Animal Crossing” and “Call of Duty” lead the pack, March’s top 20 best-selling games list offers a fascinating look into what games people are playing in quarantine — here’s the full list:

1. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”

Animal Crossing New Horizons Exploring



“Animal Crossing: New Horizons”/Nintendo


Release date: March 20, 2020

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Notably, this list is compiled by The NPD Group and includes sales data from March 1, 2020 through April 5, 2020. In some cases — like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” — data for online sales isn’t available. 

2. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”

Call of Duty Modern Warfare multiplayer



“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”/Activision


Release date: October 25, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

3. “MLB The Show 20”

MLB The Show 20



Sony


Release date: March 17, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

4. “Resident Evil 3”

Resident Evil 3 Cover Blank



“Resident Evil 3” / Capcom


Release date: April 3, 2020

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC

5. “NBA 2K20”

Kyrie Irving NBA 2K20



“NBA 2K20″/Take Two Interactive


Release date: September 6, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and PC

6. “DOOM Eternal”

DOOM Eternal



id Software/Bethesda Softworks


Release date: March 20, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Google Stadia

7. “Persona 5: Royal”

Persona 5: Royal



Atlus


Release date: March 31, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

8. “Grand Theft Auto V”

Grand Theft Auto 5 (cash)



Rockstar Games


Release date: September 17, 2013

Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC

9. “Borderlands 3”

Fl4K Borderlands 3



“Borderlands 3″/Gearbox Software


Release date: September 13, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, MacOS, and Google Stadia

10. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”

mario kart 8 deluxe



Nintendo


Release date: April 28, 2017

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

11. “Nioh 2”

Nioh 2



Sony Interactive Entertainment


Release date: March 13, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

12. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Red Dead Redemption 2



Rockstar Games/Take-Two Interactive


Release date: October 26, 2018

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, and PC

13. “FIFA 20”

FIFA 20



“FIFA 20″/Electronic Arts


Release date: September 6, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia

14. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (online)



Nintendo


Release date: December 7, 2018

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

15. “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX”

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX



Nintendo


Release date: March 6, 2020

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

16. “Madden NFL 20”

Madden NFL 20



EA


Release date: August 2, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

17. “Just Dance 2020”

Just Dance 2020 Ubisoft



Just Dance 2020/Ubisoft


Release date: November 5, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Stadia

18. “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order



EA/Respawn Entertainment


Release date: November 15, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC

19.” Mortal Kombat 11″

Mortal Kombat 11



“Mortal Kombat 11″/NetherRealm Studios


Release date: April 23, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia

20. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered



Activision


Release date: March 31, 2020 (Xbox One and PC version scheduled to arrive on April 30)

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

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