During the first quarantine months in China, which were between January and February this year, it was known that the food industry video game there would be no major losses from the pandemic and would even register an increase in activity. Soon after, the rest of the world joined the blockade to combat the coronavirus and the financial results were released in the last few days. The combination of the releases expected by gamers and the new way of life of the vast majority of the population resulted in a huge increase in the profits of companies responsible for games with historical figures.
One of the cases to be highlighted is that of PlayStation. The fiscal year begins in April and ends in March of the following period. The first quarter, between April and June, set a new record for the company that completed its first 25 years of life a few months ago. In numbers, this means that they posted gains of $ 5.63 billion. The Playstation 4 sold nearly two million units in those three months, bringing the total to 112.3 million consoles sold worldwide. It is still far behind the Playstation 2, which sold more than 155 million units, but won its place as the second best-selling console in Sony. It should be noted that in previous periods more units were sold, but the truth is that the mind of the vast majority of the player community is in the Playstation 5, which will be released later this year.
In terms of software, 91 million copies were sold, representing a year-on-year increase of 83%. 74% of sales were made digitally and 18.5 million exclusive copies of the brand, such as The Last of Us Part 2. Tsushima ghost, which broke sales records in Japan, does not enter this trading period.
Another example of this impressive growth comes from the hand of Nintendo, which sold 5.67 million consoles in the first quarter of 2020. This number is divided almost equally among users who purchased a Nintendo Switch standard and those who preferred the portable version, the Nintendo Switch Lite. On June 30 this year, the Switch sold 61.44 million units worldwide.
However, the biggest gains came from the hand of the game that became a phenomenon during quarantine: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The exclusive title of Nintendo released on March 20 and has already become the company’s second best-selling game for Switch behind Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In total, It has already sold 22.4 million units and almost half of its sales are from April to June. The combined efforts of hardware and software accumulate gains of US $ 1.37 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 428%.
The third case to be analyzed is that of Activision Blizzard, which at the beginning of the quarantine launched its new free Battle Royale Call of Duty: War Zone, breaking user records in a matter of days. Months later, it remains one of the most relevant titles today and the study ensures that there are more than 400 million players among its different games around the world. In relation to the first quarter of fiscal 2020, Activision Blizzard posted a profit of $ 1.93 billion, up from $ 1.40 billion in the same quarter of 2019.
However, that was not the news content, because Blizzard they again expressed their dissatisfaction with current wages. Throughout 2019 they took their complaints to the company’s executive sector, which spawned several lawsuits that culminated in salary readjustments last month. Unfortunately, these increases appear to be below 10% in most cases, which does not seem to have anything to do with the company’s growth or the premiums that executive positions receive, which exceeded tens of millions of dollars in 2019.
While the study continues to grow, these developments may prompt employees to take other measures similar to last year, after hundreds of workers were laid off. At the moment, however, the sector suffers from a lack of unions and legislation every year with scandals and ridiculous measures that, far from being resolved, seem as normalized as crunch.