Edison Discovers
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Edison Discovers

Console Gaming Sales During 2020 Shelter-in-Place Reached 2019 Christmas Peak

Orders of games through Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have been at about the same level as their holiday season peak, and spending on games and microtransactions isn’t far behind.

Key Takeaway:

  • When it comes to total customer spend during the first 15 weeks of the year, Fortnite saw the most money spent on battle royale games, taking 55% of the share of spend vs competitors Apex Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty: Warzone.

If you’re one of many in search of gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch, you’ve likely been having a difficult time finding one in the last few weeks. As Americans spend more time indoors than ever before amid shelter-in-place orders, video game sales have been expected to inevitably rise as a core means of entertainment. As previous Edison Trends research has shown, COVID-19 has led to explosive growth in online grocery and food delivery, a downturn in rideshare usage, an upswing in online marijuana purchases, and a mixed bag among retail brands. In order to gain a better understanding of which games have experienced the greatest increase in sales since the start of the pandemic, Edison Trends took a deep dive into over 130,000 online purchases and microtransactions for the major games consoles including PS4, Xbox and Nintendo switch.

How has COVID-19 affected online spend on top console games?

Figure 1: Chart shows estimated online spending and orders on top console games by week, from September 30, 2019 — April 19, 2020, according to Edison Trends. This analysis was performed on over 130,000 online transactions from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Note: The highest weekly spend or number of orders was set to 100, and all other values scaled accordingly.

Orders of games through Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have been at about the same level as their holiday season peak, and spending on games and microtransactions isn’t far behind. Looking at online orders of games themselves through Microsoft Nintendo, and Sony, the week of April 6 saw numbers 11% higher than the previous Christmas week (December 23–29) high. Game spending and orders began to climb beyond usual bounds starting the week of March 16th, when they shot up 88 and 75% vs. the previous week, respectively.

As previous Edison Trends research shows, Fortnite has been the most popular battle royale game in the last few years, and that remains true today as Fortnite reigns in terms of spending. Comparing sales between just popular battle royale games, Fortnite reigns in spending. The game took in 83% of the money spent among the top four battle royale games over the first fifteen weeks of 2020. The four games analyzed included Fortnite, Apex Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty: Warzone.

*When interpreting these charts, please note that the shelter-in-place period covers the Easter holidays (around April 12th) which may have had additional impact on the gaming sales.

To access the full version of this report that includes top ten console game sales by online spend and orders (with and without microtransactions vs. game sales), total spending compared between top console games amid COVID-19, and market share of spend compared between battle royale games, please contact us at bizdev@edison.tech.

To learn more about how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, read up on the guidelines listed on the CDC’s website.

As the market evolves, we will continue to stay on top of the latest trends. To learn more about how Edison Trends can help your business, contact us at bizdev@edison.tech. For more up-to-date insights in the e-commerce space, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @EdisonTrends.

**The data shown is based on a sample of anonymized and aggregated e-receipts from millions of consumers in the United States.

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Data stories and insights on the latest national commerce trends. Unlocking intelligence from over 10,000+ brands’ e-receipts and a panel of millions of online shoppers.

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Edison Software is a consumer technology company with a mission to create more intelligent products to serve people. www.edison.tech

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