In a nutshell: While the Covid-19 outbreak is having a devastating effect on many industries, it's resulted in an uplift for some sectors. In addition to people spending much more on food and items such as toilet rolls, console and game sales have jumped across Europe.
With most of the continent under lockdown, games have become increasingly popular as a way of passing the time and temporarily escaping from these troubling times. Gamesindustry.biz analyzed the latest market data from GSD, which tracks hardware and software sales across multiple markets, and the results showed a huge uptick in spending on gaming.
With the Xbox Series X and PS5 (hopefully) arriving this holiday season, console sales have been declining drastically in recent months as people wait for the next-gen machines. But between the week of March 16-22, console sales rose by 155 percent to 259,169. The surge is described as being across the board, with significant gains for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
As shown by the record number of concurrent Steam users, more people are gaming than ever before, a fact reflected by the jump in console sales.
In Italy, console sales were up 84 percent during the first week of the lockdown. They rose 27.7 percent in Spain during week one, rising by 66 percent the following week. France has seen sales go up 140.6 percent, the UK experienced a 250 percent increase, and they surged by 285.6 percent in Australia.
Video game sales have also increased as a result of self-isolation rules. Digital downloads were up 52.9 percent to 2.74 million across 50 markets---and that doesn't include figures for Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Physical sales also jumped, by 82 percent week-on-week to 1.58 million.
In other gaming news, Candy Crush and other King games are giving away free, unlimited lives this week as part of a WHO initiative.