The Coronavirus outbreak and the imposition of social distancing measures have led to a significant rise in sales of entertainment devices and video games, in Europe and the United States.
In a report for the French newspaper Le Figaro, author Chloe Wattier says that this year, when the acute crisis caused by the coronavirus, it is difficult to find an economic sector that has not been affected.
However, video games were the exception in this context, after the shares of video game companies soared on the stock exchange.
The newspaper reported that the French company Ubisoft achieved a 22% rise in its shares, the American Electronic Arts (EA) 30%, the US Activision Blizzard (Activision-Blizzard) 50%, and the Japanese Nintendo (Nintendo) gained 50%.
These impressive figures come despite the fact that the start of 2020 was not promising for the operators, who did not expect any profit growth.
“We were expecting a very difficult year,” says Olivier Garcia, games manager at French electronics and software company Fnac. PlayStation 4 and Xbox, while dying, sales for the first quarter of 2020 were very meager. But suddenly came the virus and limitations of freedom imposed on people, to change everything.”
They also point out that the data compiled by the French GDS Institute, which studies the video game market in Europe – shows how the virus has been a boon for the sector, as between January 1 and March 15, 2020, sales of devices, games, and accessories were down 15% compared to the year before.
However, between 16 March and 31 May, during the first quarantine period, the situation changed dramatically, with a 51% jump in the market.
Sales of games in its digital version rose by 127% in Europe, with a growth of 183% in France, 213% in Spain, and 227% in Italy.
The author explains that European families have engaged in video games since they found themselves locked in the House. Its goal was simply to escape isolation and maintain links with relatives and friends, even if through online play.
She adds that PlayStation 4 sales were down 27% at the start of 2020, and suddenly a 62% jump between March and May.
The Nintendo Switch doubled its sales in Europe compared to autumn 2019, thanks to the release of Animal Crossing est.
The author points out that this game-released in late March – is the perfect antidote to the atmosphere of stress and fear that prevailed because of the virus outbreak: it represents a new life on an island where cute animals live. This represents a rosy world in which more than 26 million players traveled around the world between March and September, in record numbers.
Animal Crossing has been at the forefront of video game sales over the past several months and may become the best-selling game of 2020 in Europe, surpassing FIFA 21.
US market rebound
The author says that the US video game and entertainment markets have also made a big leap: since the beginning of 2020, the pace of buying has accelerated by 22% compared to 2019, which has brought the companies in this sector a profit increase of 44.5 billion USD.
Players’ expenses, which include paying for certain accessories, rose 21 percent to billion 38 USD, according to the American Institute for the study of consumption.
The author points out that this rise in the gaming sector was not limited to the spring, as over the course of 2020 video game companies have been a huge success, with sales of Final Fantasy 7 and ghost of Tsushima reaching 5 million copies in just 5 months.
The Last Of us 2 achieved 4 million sales in just 3 days.
The author pointed out that previous predictions of the demise of video game consoles now seem unlikely, since these devices have remained technically distinct, and their designers are smart enough to cope with changing consumer trends.
Now, a new era of services has begun, based on a unified and comprehensive subscription payment for unlimited features, overcoming game difficulties, and getting the tools the player needs, all of which will simplify the game business.