Forums - Sales Discussion - February NPD 2020 thread

So Animal Crossing managed to currently outsell all combined PSN cards on amazon US.
A feat that I did not expect any game to do anymore but here we are 5 days before release.

Game will be a sales monster.



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Shadow1980 said:
Marth said:

There is a massive system seller already coming in march.

Also Switch is down partly because of the Smash Ultimate spillover.

Nothing of importance released last December. Brain Age did not get a release in the US.

But Animal Crossing will turn things around. Watch Swich be up the next 6 months easily.

Regardless of the reasons, no Nintendo system that has, after experiencing several consecutive quarters of growth followed by several consecutive quarters of YoY losses, ever experienced another period of growth. Once the growth gave way to losses, the system was post-peak (this isn't always the case for PlayStation & Xbox, for reasons too complex for me to want to get into at the moment).

The Switch's sales growth was already clearly slowing down, and it's already down two consecutive months so far. If it continues to have YoY drops well into the year, that will effectively signal the Switch's transition to post-peak in the U.S.

And I don't expect Animal Crossing to do wonders for Switch sales, either. It may provide a decent boost for March, but that's it. If you look at New Leaf's performance in the U.S., it sold only 1.36M copies in its first 12 weeks, and its effects on 3DS hardware sales helped it for maybe two months at best and even then only relatively modestly, with Pokemon X & Y being a far better system-seller:

Yea but we also never had a huge pandemic like that in the modern video game industry so i think it's a bit a reach to get to those conclusions when everything on the market is impacted by it rn. January was likely down cause 2019 had Smash momentum and NSMBU vs 2020 having nothing but a pandemic.

Not saying it will do better next year but i think in the coming months we will see it rise again depending on the situation with covid-19. Switch was beasting in Japan earlier in the year but is down compare to last year now because of the same reason, so maybe Switch would have been on top again this month and Jan was really just Smash effect.



Shadow1980 said:
Ryng said:

All in market console platforms declined when compared to a year ago.

So even the Switch is down again. Could it be a demand issue, a supply issue (because of the virus), or a bit of both? In either case, while it's still early in the year, two consecutive months of YoY declines don't bode well for continued growth for the Switch. Unless there's some massive system-seller announced for this year or a major price cut, then 2020 as a whole could end up down, and 2019 could have been the Switch's peak year in the U.S. And for those who were very bullish on the Switch, this is not the kind of sales behavior we need to be seeing out of it if it's going to have a chance of passing the Wii, much less the DS. Given what we've seen from literally every other Nintendo system ever, if the Switch is down for several consecutive quarters, that will essentially have confirmed post-peak status.

What a terrible analysis. It would take a catastrophe for the switch to be down in 2020.



I think you're underestimating AC growth in the west in these recent years. Heck, most of the big N first party titles experience massive growth. If you think basing your assumption on the previous title sold on the 3DS is fine then ok but don't act surprised next month when the results might go against your expectations.



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xMetroid said:

Yea but we also never had a huge pandemic like that in the modern video game industry so i think it's a bit a reach to get to those conclusions when everything on the market is impacted by it rn. January was likely down cause 2019 had Smash momentum and NSMBU vs 2020 having nothing but a pandemic.

Not saying it will do better next year but i think in the coming months we will see it rise again depending on the situation with covid-19. Switch was beasting in Japan earlier in the year but is down compare to last year now because of the same reason, so maybe Switch would have been on top again this month and Jan was really just Smash effect.

The_Liquid_Laser said:

This kind of talk is premature considering there is a global pandemic going on.  Good data analysis doesn't happen in a vacuum.

I did ask "Could it be a demand issue, a supply issue (because of the virus), or a bit of both?" and I did say that "it's still early in the year." We did see a drop in sales in Japan because of the virus, so it could be the case here in the U.S.

In any case, even before the virus was a huge concern I was not expecting strong continued growth from the Switch. While the virus will likely have the effect of shifting some sales to later in the year, I've long had my doubts that the Switch will see sales considerably better than what we saw in 2019. If 2020 as a whole ends up being up over 2019, it won't be by much, and I firmly believe 2021 will see lower sales than both of them.



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Why did Switch drop YOY for this NPD? Was any notable release last year?



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DonFerrari said:
Why did Switch drop YOY for this NPD? Was any notable release last year?

It was down slightly in January NPD as well. January 2019 saw the release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes as more notable titles. I don't recall anything big released in February 2019. If it wasn't for the coronavirus, the Switch would easily be up in March due to Animal Crossing. But right now it is hard to say. Digital game sales are looking great right now with so many people staying home. 



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trunkswd said:
DonFerrari said:
Why did Switch drop YOY for this NPD? Was any notable release last year?

It was down slightly in January NPD as well. January 2019 saw the release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes as more notable titles. I don't recall anything big released in February 2019. If it wasn't for the coronavirus, the Switch would easily be up in March due to Animal Crossing. But right now it is hard to say. Digital game sales are looking great right now with so many people staying home. 

Understood. It is on a point that it could either be the plateau at the peak or just outside factors that in a couple months will normalize and 2020 still be a growth year for Switch.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:
trunkswd said:

It was down slightly in January NPD as well. January 2019 saw the release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes as more notable titles. I don't recall anything big released in February 2019. If it wasn't for the coronavirus, the Switch would easily be up in March due to Animal Crossing. But right now it is hard to say. Digital game sales are looking great right now with so many people staying home. 

Understood. It is on a point that it could either be the plateau at the peak or just outside factors that in a couple months will normalize and 2020 still be a growth year for Switch.

Yeah, pretty much. It also depends on what are the big games for the Switch after Animal Crossing. Right now we don't know. 



VGChartz Sales Analyst and Writer - William D'Angelo - I stream on Twitch and have my own YoutubeFollow me on Twitter @TrunksWD.

Writer of the Gap Charts | Weekly Hardware Breakdown Top 10 | Weekly Sales Analysis | Marketshare Features, as well as daily news on the Video Game Industry.

Shadow1980 said:
xMetroid said:

Yea but we also never had a huge pandemic like that in the modern video game industry so i think it's a bit a reach to get to those conclusions when everything on the market is impacted by it rn. January was likely down cause 2019 had Smash momentum and NSMBU vs 2020 having nothing but a pandemic.

Not saying it will do better next year but i think in the coming months we will see it rise again depending on the situation with covid-19. Switch was beasting in Japan earlier in the year but is down compare to last year now because of the same reason, so maybe Switch would have been on top again this month and Jan was really just Smash effect.

The_Liquid_Laser said:

This kind of talk is premature considering there is a global pandemic going on.  Good data analysis doesn't happen in a vacuum.

I did ask "Could it be a demand issue, a supply issue (because of the virus), or a bit of both?" and I did say that "it's still early in the year." We did see a drop in sales in Japan because of the virus, so it could be the case here in the U.S.

In any case, even before the virus was a huge concern I was not expecting strong continued growth from the Switch. While the virus will likely have the effect of shifting some sales to later in the year, I've long had my doubts that the Switch will see sales considerably better than what we saw in 2019. If 2020 as a whole ends up being up over 2019, it won't be by much, and I firmly believe 2021 will see lower sales than both of them.

My point was you acted like it could be affected by it while it literally is the main reason why it's down are you joking. We don't know how long it will last but thing is Switch might have peaked last year because of that but it might have a longer lifecycle also.