When it comes to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the first idea that pops into mind is represented by the negative stuff: deaths, sorrow, lockdowns, and restrictions over restrictions. But there are also positive sides to the overall scenario, and we often forget about them. Paradoxically or not, the pandemic brought people together in some ways.
Gaming is one of the strongest arguments for people gathering together and making connections. Many online services offer the chance of multiplayer gaming where people made friends with each other, and the industry is even growing. Lockdowns and restrictions made gaming more popular.
Of course, pretty much nobody likes lockdowns and restrictions, but they created the perfect opportunity for people to use technology more since it became a lot more difficult to go outside and meet up physically. Group video calls became more popular, along with another widespread activity that you’ve already guessed: gaming.
Michael Pachter, who’s an analyst at Wedbush Securities, explained the growth in a simple and straightforward way:
“People are at home, they have nothing to do, they are not commuting,
“You have more time and you’re bored.”
Giants of the video game industry such as Nintendo, Microsoft, Activision and others had significant income increases by the middle of 2020. Microsoft, for instance, reported back in April last year that the number of subscribers for its Game Pass service surpassed 10 million.
Let’s take Twitch, the most popular game streaming service where players compete with each other by exposing their gameplay. According to The Washington Post, the platform saw 1.49 billion hours of gameplay watched during the same April 2020, meaning a 50% increase since March. The worldwide economic disruption caused by the COVID-10 pandemic doesn’t affect the gaming industry
You don’t have to be the reincarnation of Nikola Tesla to figure out how lockdowns and restrictions are affecting the economy. Closures of restaurants, bars, or stadiums are having a huge negative impact, both financial and social. But it doesn’t apply to gaming at all, as the lockdowns and restrictions are actually helping the industry a lot.
Consumer spending plays a crucial role in gaming revenues, and we also have to take into account that consumers nowadays are buying fewer games than in previous decades. There are several reasons, and one of them is represented by the torrent trackers, whether we like to admit it or not. We won’t get into that subject too much, and we’re confident that the readers of our website would never download illegal content. Although few games are purchased today, consumers spend more time playing them.
Let’s not also forget esports, meaning the organized multiplayer game competitions. This sector had also seen significant growth in 2020, and the majority of revenue comes from broadcasting and advertising. It’s true that the esports sector is clearly smaller in comparison with the entire gaming market. However, the esports domain is still relevant here because it’s connected to the growth of the gaming industry.
The American telecommunications company Verizon has reported an increase in gaming traffic of 75% during peak hours, which is huge compared to an increase of 12% in digital video traffic and 20% for web traffic. According to data from Steamlabs, platforms like YouTube Gaming, Friv, Twitch, Poki, and Facebook Gaming had also faced a significant surge: about a 20% increase in usage hours.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still doesn’t show signs of disappearing, as the third wave is currently hitting Europe and the USA. This means that gaming services have even more chances to grow in revenues. Either way, the gaming industry will always be profitable, at least until another pandemic will come and force us to remain outdoors.
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content....