Everyone is spending their free time differently during the lockdown, but it seems that over thirteen million of you have decided to get lost in the world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons (opens in new tab), the recently launched smash hit video game for the Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab).
Nintendo revealed that Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold a staggering 13.41 million copies since it launched six weeks ago during a quarterly earnings report (opens in new tab). For reference, that means that Animal Crossing: New Leaf has already passed the entire lifetime sales of the previous entry in the series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf which sold 12.55 million copies over the six years it was on sale.
Those are some seriously impressive numbers and they make New Horizons Nintendo's fastest selling single Switch game (Pokémon Sword and Shield sold 16.06 million copies (opens in new tab) between them over the same period, but they're technically two separate games, so New Horizons gets to steal the crown).
Animal Crossing: New Horizons sees you move to a remote island to start a new life by exploring, gathering resources and crafting new items to make your dream home. It also lets you visit your friends islands to trade resources and just hang out, which might explain why the game has been so popular during the lockdown. If people can’t meet up with each other physically, then getting together online is the next best thing.
The Nintendo Switch console has also been doing very well for itself, with Nintendo reporting that it has sold over 21 million Switch consoles during the past financial year. That figure is split between the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite (opens in new tab), which is a smaller, cheaper handheld-only version of the Switch. Indeed, it's been nearly impossible to find a Nintendo Switch at online retailers for the past month, though we've been keeping our eyes peeled (opens in new tab) for anywhere that has them in stock.
It's not just good news for Nintendo though, all of the best video games consoles (opens in new tab) are seeing growth in userbase as people clamor for something to do when they're stuck at home. Microsoft recently reported (opens in new tab) that its game subscription service Xbox Game Pass now has over 10 million subscribers.
While some countries and states are starting to lessen the restrictions placed on people in public, we’re still deep into the lockdown and the majority of retail stores, including places like GameStop, are closed, which makes these sales figures even more impressive.
We don’t know the percentage of sales that have come from digital copies of the game, but we have to assume that digital sales have seen a sharp uptake as people are forced to stay indoors. At the same time, online retailers like Amazon have also seen booming sales, so much so that they’re struggling to keep up with demand.
Now if you'll excuse us, we have to go sell our turnips if we're ever going to pay off the mortgage on our island mansion.