The Lockdown is over, and video games are still on an upward wave. What is this phenomenon?

Users are still spending record amounts of money on gaming, even though they don’t have to sit indoors at all anymore because of the pandemic, plus it’s summer in full swing, which is more conducive to outdoor activities.

We’ve written many times before that while the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on many industries that didn’t have a chance to reach customers with their offerings, there are also a few that flourished thanks to it. One of them is definitely video games, which were one of the few activities available to us during the mandatory lockdown at home (right next to watching movies and TV series, so it’s no surprise that Netflix’s results are phenomenal as well), except that no one probably expected this boom to last much longer. Of course, you might have guessed that some people would love this new kind of virtual play and reach for it more often, but the latest results suggest that there are definitely more people than you might have thought.

The data released by industry analysis firm NPD Group provides hard evidence here, and while it relates directly to the US market, it’s fair to assume that trends in Europe look similar. They show that in the second quarter of this year in the US alone people spent $11.6 billion on video games, a 30% increase over the same period last year and a 7% increase over the first quarter, which with $10.9 billion was also a record. By the way, we can take a look here at the breakdown of the games themselves and the platforms needed for gaming, which also provides a lot of interesting information.

Indeed, it turns out that the lion’s share of that money is spent on video games alone, which account for $10.2 billion of that total, a 28% increase over the previous year (which also confirms data recently revealed by Sony, which reported a doubling of software sales for PlayStation consoles). As for hardware, we’re talking about $848 million, which, while it looks pale next to games, still represents a 57% increase over the second quarter of 2019. According to NPD, sales of consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 jumped strongly, although these have been on the market for quite some time.

On top of that, we also got confirmation that gaming accessories scored a 50% increase over last year – perhaps extra pads were needed to play together at home? However, the data shows that people who already had the necessary equipment and just dusted it off are more likely to play. And as for the games that drove that interest, the most popular include Fantasy VII: Remake, The Last of Us Part II, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Warzone, Grand Theft Auto V, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and Minecraft. Will the next quarter be record-breaking as well? It’s hard to say, but the latest figures are certainly good news for Sony and Microsoft as they gear up for the launch of their next-generation consoles.

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