Animal Crossing and Switch Dominate the Biggest March in 12 Years According to NPD

Apr 21, 2020
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The NPD Group has released their full North American sales data for March 2020, and while the month wasn’t great for a lot of people, it sure was good for Nintendo. Animal Crossing: New Horizons topped the charts, delivering the third-best opening month of any game in Nintendo history (behind only Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Ultimate). For the first time in quite a while, the industry was up year-on-year, with consumers spending $1.6 billion on games and hardware, an increase of 35 percent compared to March 2019. The Switch was the top console as usual, doubling sales year-on-year, but sales of Xbox One and PS4 were also up 25 percent. A lot of people stocking up for self-isolation!

A number of new games made the charts in March – as mentioned, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was #1 with a bullet, followed by MLB The Show 20 at #3, Resident Evil 3 at #4 (the cut-off date for the March charts was actually April 4, so RE3 squeaked in), Doom Eternal at #6, Persona 5 Royal at #7, Nioh 2 at #11, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX at #15 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered at #20. Of course, the unstoppable Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and NBA 2K20 also hung around the top 5, and Borderlands 3 snuck back into the top 10 due to sales and release of new DLC.

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Here are March’s top 20 games according to NPD:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. MLB The Show 20
  4. Resident Evil 3
  5. NBA 2K20
  6. Doom Eternal
  7. Persona 5 Royal
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Borderlands 3
  10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  11. Nioh 2
  12. Red Dead Redemption II
  13. FIFA 20
  14. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  15. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
  16. Madden NFL 20
  17. Just Dance 2020
  18. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
  19. Mortal Kombat 11
  20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

And here are the top-10 best-selling games of 2020 so far:

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  4. NBA 2K20
  5. MLB The Show 20
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Resident Evil 3
  8. Madden NFL 20
  9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  10. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order

Definitely a unique month for the industry -- it will be interesting to see how COVID-19 continues to affect sales going forward. What do you think? Any surprises on this month’s charts?

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