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2020 saw U.S. players spend almost $57 billion on gaming

January 18, 2021 2 min read

2020 was many things, with most of them far too miserable to note. But one industry that did see an upturn - at least in a financial sense - was the U.S. gaming industry, which raked in a record-breaking total of $56.9 billion USD over the course of the year, which is an increase of 27% on 2019's figures.

These bank-busting numbers - published by The NPD Group - include dollar sales of $5.3 billion on hardware - an increase of 35% of 2019. The Nintendo Switch was not only being the highest-selling console of the year, but also saw the second highest single-year hardware sales figures ever, just behind the Nintendo Wii phenomenon of 2008.

December in particular was a lucrative month for the industry - more so than usual - as U.S. customers spent a total of $7.7 billion on hardware, games, content, and accessories. This number sees a total increase of 25% on December 2019. The best-selling game of the month - and of 2020 as a whole - was Activision's military shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, with second place also belonging to the Call of Duty franchise with 2019 release Modern Warfare.

There are numerous factors that have contributed to the rise in video game revenue. In a positive sense, 2020 saw the dawn of a brand new generation via platforms PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. More negatively, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdown legislation saw the revenue of console and mobile gaming skyrocket, particularly during the spring and summer seasons. While it's comforting to see gaming begin the new decade in one of the strongest financial positions it has ever seen, in the bigger picture it's an unhappy set of circumstances that has led to this record-breaking spending increase.

For a full breakdown of 2020 sales by platform, visit Matt Piscatella's Twitter thread below.

US consumers spent $56.9 billion on gaming in 2020 [MCV]

2020 saw U.S. players spend almost $57 billion on gaming screenshot