Game accessories and currency-card sales delivered record results in March, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. The whole category was up int he United States as consumers rushed out to pick up extra gamepads, headsets, and more.
“Total March 2020 spending on accessories and game cards reached $397 million, increasing 12% when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Year-to-date spending has declined 3%, to $905 million. March Accessories spending reached a record high for a March month. The previous high was set in March 2008.”
As with hardware and software sales for March, Animal Crossing: New Horizons helped drive some of these sales. Animal Crossing had a better launch month in the U.S. than any Mario or Zelda game since NPD started tracking sales. That kind of huge hit led to the best March of the generation for hardware sales. Naturally, that trickled over into accessories as well.
Gamepad sales spike
It’s impossible to ignore the effect of coronavirus, though. Many people picked up consoles and extra controllers to ensure they could play games with their families during isolation. This led to another record.
“Gamepad spending reached a new all-time high for a March month, with dollar sales exceeding those of the previous best set a year ago,” said Piscatella. “The Nintendo Swtich Pro Controller was the best-selling individual gamepad of March, while PlayStation 4 generated an all-time single platform high in gamepad spending in a March month.”
Social distancing is a whole lot easier if you have a co-op buddy to play through Diablo III with. But even if you live alone, gaming provides a great way to socialize. To that end, players also couldn’t get enough gaming headsets.
“Headset/headphone spending also achieved a new record high for a March month, with sales improving over the previous peak set in March 2018,” said Piscatella. “The Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset from Turtle Beach was the best-selling headset/headphone in both March and the first quarter.”
March probably isn’t a blip either. April could see similar results as gaming continues to provide an escape.