In a nutshell: The economy might be crashing and unemployment on the rise, but some markets are stronger as a result of Covid-19 disruption, one of which is the gaming sector. Spending on video game TV advertising was an estimated $17.3 million in March, $5.3 million more than the previous month.

GamesBeat partnered with TV ad measurement and attribution platform to reveal which gaming companies spent most on national television ads last month. The number one firm by a huge margin was Nintendo---the only one to spend over $1 million in March. The Japanese giant's $14.6 million spend, which was over $3 million more than the previous month, paid for 20 ads that ran over 3,000 times, generating 793 million TV ad impressions. Not surprisingly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was its most promoted product, with a placement budget of $2.6 million.

Sitting behind Nintendo is Bethesda. The launch of Doom Eternal saw the company spend $866,251 on two spots that aired 425 times. The Xbox brand was third ($640,961), video game rental subscription service GameFly was fourth ($438,585), and in fifth place was Activision, who spent $221,362 on a single ad for Call of Duty: Warzone.

With many areas of the country implementing stay-at-home rules, the time spent on video games has jumped 45 percent, and spending is up 39 percent---a trend that's been observed around the world. Online games in particular have seen a spike in popularity, partly because players use them to communicate with friends and family, and the fact that many are free-to-play.