It looks like COVID 19 has led to some breaking sales for the video games industry during the month of April in the US, a point at which lockdown measures were in full effect across the country. In the NPD report figures have shown that in April 808,000 Switch consoles were sold, 411,000 PS4s sold, and 329,000 Xbox One consoles sold. All of those figures are new records in terms of platform sales for April. It is likely people turned to video games as a way to entertain themselves when everything else was shut down.
Michael Pachter, the analyst who disclosed the numbers said:
“We believe that robust Internet spending was largely offset by store closures and curbside service across much of the country, with room left over for year-over-year retail growth in April following a breakout March performance. The Switch’s status as a must-have item among many stay-at-home consumers drove a terrific April figure that would have been meaningfully higher if not for widespread sellouts throughout the month. The Switch led industry unit sales for the 17th consecutive month.”
Pachter had made predictions of 400,000 Switch consoles sold, 235,000 for PS4, and 175,000 Xbox consoles, so he was a bit off but I think a worldwide pandemic is something you could not really assess for when making predictions. COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the games industry. With the cancellation of a number of events including E3 and Paris Games Week, and other conferences moving to digital showcases, as well as new conferences coming up, as a result, the industry has had to shift quickly in terms of showing games to consumers and also working on them as studios have moved to work from home setups. Games such as The Last of Us Part II, Iron Man VR, Ghost of Tshusima, and Fairy Tail were all delayed as a result of COVID-19.