SuperData’s monthly report on worldwide digital video game spending is in for March, which turned out to be a record-breaker for a number of AAA franchises. Most notably, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold five million digital copies in a single month, the most for a console game ever — a record previously held by Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
To put the numbers into perspective, five million digital copies “roughly matches” the first-month digital sales of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Sword and Shield put together.”
SuperData cites the game’s “combination of social features and a relaxing setting likely appealed to individuals stuck at home,” as a key factor driving its success. Further, “closures of brick and mortar stores also meant that a higher share of consumers purchased the game digitally compared to past Switch titles.”
New Horizons’ helped to spearhead a surge in digital spending across the entire industry, which reached a record $10 billion, the highest monthly total ever. Unsurprisingly, SuperData notes that “individuals are turning to games as a reliable entertainment option during the COVID-19 crisis and are using online multiplayer to keep in touch with others.”
Other top-performing video game titles include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — specifically, its Warzone battle royale mode, which has been so popular that its monthly active user numbers have jumped 159% month-over-month to reach an all-time high of 62.7M.
Doom Eternal has smashed previous digital numbers for the franchise, too, with 3 million digital units in March — “more than three times what Doom sold (957K) during its launch in May 2016.”
Half-Life: Alyx, meanwhile, is described as having enjoyed only modest success by AAA standards but is a blockbuster compared to other VR games. “A total of 860K gamers played the PC VR title in March,” according to SuperData, while “direct purchases of Half-Life: Alyx generated $40.7M in revenue.”