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

Nathan Birch
Animal Crossing

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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