Animal Crossing Sales Surpass Modern Warfare

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Since the release of the original Game Boy in 1989, Nintendo has owned the handheld video game market. While Sega and Sony have made valiant attempts to enter the portable space, each has failed to challenge Nintendo for supremacy. For these reasons, the industry continues to raise its eyebrows at Nintendo’s decision to discontinue its 3DS line of hardware. But on Monday, the NPD Group published a series of financial reports that more than justify the renowned developer. Most notably, Animal Crossing sales surpassed even the most pragmatic expectations.

A Strategic Cannibalization

While the Nintendo 3DS did not achieve the same level of success as its predecessor, the handheld giant has sold over 75 million units. Most hardware developers would salivate over such numbers; however, Nintendo saw new opportunities with the Nintendo Switch. While the Switch lags behind the 3DS in hardware sales by 45%, the console hybrid has nearly sold more software.

In addition to software units, the Nintendo Switch is able to command a $59.99 price tag in comparison to the 3DS price tag of $39.99. For this reason, the Switch is experiencing record-breaking dollar sales for several iconic franchises. Perhaps no example is more eye-opening than March’s financial data for Animal Crossing New Horizons.

According to Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group, Animal Crossing New Horizons propelled the video game industry to new heights during the month of March. In just 11 days, Animal Crossing propelled record-breaking Nintendo Switch software and hardware sales. Switch hardware had its best month since launch, and New Horizons produced more revenue in the United States than all other Animal Crossing games combined. Not to mention, New Horizons overtook Modern Warfare 2019 as March’s best-selling game.


Would Animal Crossing have achieved its success had the world not been impacted by the coronavirus? Perhaps not. But the series is one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises across Japan, Europe, and North America. Time will tell if the game is able to surpass New Leaf’s sales record of 12 million units, but for now the latest installment is a commercial success.


Although the decision to discontinue the 3DS was heavily criticized, Nintendo redeemed itself with the success of Animal Crossing New Horizons. While Animal Crossing sales will never surpass the Call of Duty franchise, the island simulator sold more units in March than Modern Warfare 2019. Had Nintendo supplied the industry with adequate Switch consoles, sales of Animal Crossing New Horizons might have been higher.

But we want to know what you think. Did you purchase Animal Crossing New Horizons? If so, are you excited about the upcoming April update? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on PokemonModern WarfareCapcomBlizzard and more.

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