As we move into the new year, more and more data is being released on 2020’s games industry sales. As we reported, Nintendo has had a pretty great year across the board. That of course includes Switch hardware, as the system continues to push numbers and break records. However, software has had a huge part to play, especially Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The NPD Group’s sales numbers for 2020 reflected how the latest Animal Crossing has done incredibly well for Nintendo.
Note that NPD only counts U.S. physical sales for Nintendo games. Even so, New Horizons has achieved the highest physical dollar sales for a Nintendo-published game in a decade. You have to go back to Wii Fit Plus to find similar numbers, a game that was incredibly tough to find at launch.
US NPD SW – Animal Crossing: New Horizons was 2020's 3rd best-selling title, and the 6th best-selling game of December. In 2020 the title achieved the highest physical dollar sales for a Nintendo published game in a calendar year since Wii Fit Plus in 2010.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 15, 2021
That brings us to another amazing thing here. This doesn’t count digital sales. When you factor in the gaming landscape in 2020, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, you have to assume digital sales were also incredibly high. If we could factor digital in, New Horizons could well have been Nintendo’s bestselling game ever in a single year.
The game’s sales figures hold up to broader scrutiny too. For the entirety of 2020, only two games (with their digital sales included) outsold New Horizons across all platforms in the U.S. Those were two Call of Duty games, putting it in some extremely successful company.