How has online spend across gaming platforms been affected by COVID-19?
Figure 1a: Chart shows estimated online spend across gaming platforms PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch, from January 6, 2020 - May 31, 2020, according to Edison Trends. Total spend includes full game downloads, downloadable content (DLC), virtual currency, add-ons etc.
Online spend on gaming began to show an uptick the week of March 9th, the same week that COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The highest share of online spend across gaming platforms went to Playstation 4. It maintained a consistent lead since January, growing 218% between the week of March 2nd and its peak the week of April 6th, before sales gradually began to taper off. Nintendo Switch, whose business model relies more on purchases of the games themselves than on add-ons, was the platform with the lowest online spend in this analysis. However, it saw a big leap in spend of 221% the week of March 16th — likely due to its release of its new title Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That week saw spending on Nintendo Switch surpass that for both Xbox One and PC. As of the week of May 25, PS4 remained in first, with Xbox One following, then PC games, and finally Nintendo Switch.
Figure 1b: Chart shows estimated online spend by genre across gaming platforms PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, from January 6, 2020 - June 21, 2020, according to Edison Trends. Note: The highest spend per week/vendor was set to 100, and all other values were scaled accordingly. Total spend includes full game downloads, downloadable content (DLC), virtual currency, add-ons etc.
Spending on the simulator and adventure categories rose by 243% and 184% respectively the week of March 16, when Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released. This allowed those categories to briefly overtake the shooter category, which by the week of April 6 had retaken top place and remained there through the week of June 15, the end of the analysis period. As of that time, the adventure category was in second, followed by simulator and indie games.