'Animal Crossing' and the latest 'Call of Duty' dominated March as game sales spiked while millions sheltered at home

‘Animal Crossing New Horizons’/Nintendo‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is the latest smash-hit game for Nintendo’s Switch.
  • 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 $US1.6 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.
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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”

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”

Release date: October 25, 2019

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


3. “MLB The Show 20”

Release date: March 17, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


4. “Resident Evil 3”

Release date: April 3, 2020

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


5. “NBA 2K20”

Release date: September 6, 2019

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


6. “DOOM Eternal”

Release date: March 20, 2020

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


7. “Persona 5: Royal”

Release date: March 31, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


8. “Grand Theft Auto V”

Release date: September 17, 2013

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


9. “Borderlands 3”

Release date: September 13, 2019

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


10. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”

Release date: April 28, 2017

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


11. “Nioh 2”

Release date: March 13, 2020

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


12. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Release date: October 26, 2018

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


13. “FIFA 20”

Release date: September 6, 2019

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


14. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”

Release date: December 7, 2018

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


15. “Pok√©mon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX”

Release date: March 6, 2020

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


16. “Madden NFL 20”

Release date: August 2, 2019

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


17. “Just Dance 2020”

Release date: November 5, 2019

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


18. “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”

Release date: November 15, 2019

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


19.” Mortal Kombat 11″

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”

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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