Worldwide Digital Video Game Spending Hits All-Time High of $10B in March

Animal Crossing New Horizons - Nintendo Publicity-H 2020
Courtesy of Nintendo

Console, PC and mobile games all saw significant revenue bumps amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Digital video game spending hit a record high in March as consumers around the globe turned to gaming amid lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue topped $10 billion last month, the highest-ever total for a single month and an 11 percent increase year-over-year, Nielsen's SuperData reports.

Leading the way was Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which launched March 20. The family-friendly title sold 5 million digital copies in March, a new record for any console game, topping 2018's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

The latest offering in the Call of Duty franchise — the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone, which launched March 10 — also benefitted from the lockdown. Warzone, a new add-on mode to 2019's best-selling title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, increased monthly active users in the game by more than 150 percent, peaking at nearly 63 million active players.

March's other major release, Bethesda and id Software's Doom Eternal, also performed well, selling 3 million digital copies last month, more than three times what its predecessor, 2016's Doom, did.

Overall, spending on premium console and PC games rose sharply in March, up 64 percent month-to-month (from $883 million to $1.5 billion) and 56 percent ($363 million to $567 million), respectively.

Mobile games also thrived, with revenue jumping 15 percent year-over-year to $5.7 billion in March. TiMi and Tencent's Honor of Kings held the top spot, while a number of other leading mobile titles saw revenue rise, including Niantic's Pokemon Go, which topped $111 million in March, an 18 percent increase month-over-month.