The global pandemic has had a significant effect on everyday life across the world. This has included an effect on online gaming. More people than ever have begun gaming online as they have been unable to take part in their normal outdoor activities.
For instance, in the US, esports has experienced a surge in popularity, both in terms of viewing and playing. In other parts of the world, online casino play has become more popular. For example, in Finland, people have been searching for a reliable kasinot (online casino in the local language) where they can enjoy slot machines and table games.
These are strange times when most industries are struggling. The gaming industry looks to be an exception. Let’s look at why this is the case.
People are turning to gaming especially where social interaction is involved
News of the COVID-19 crisis has taken over many people’s lives. This has led to more individuals taking up gaming; especially involving games where social interaction is involved.
Gaming helps to keep people entertained as well as enabling them to keep in touch with family and friends. Of course, it also helps people to feel more positive, and have more fun, in the midst of a difficult situation.
Gaming industry in better shape than most
The increase in the number of gamers is helping the gaming industry to look healthier than most. For instance, according to Verizon, gaming usage in the US has increased by 75% during peak hours.
An increase in gaming has led to an increase in the purchases of gaming-related products in some countries. For example, hardware sales increased by 63% in the US, in March.
A more supportive gaming environment
Interestingly, regular gamers have stated that the overall experience of gaming has become more supportive during the pandemic.
The results of a survey by MY.GAMES suggested that 33% of gamers in the UK thought that the gaming community had benefited from lockdown while 27% said that gamers felt that people were more united and 17% thought that people had become kinder.
It seems that the gaming world has not only benefited from an increase in sales but from an increased togetherness too.
Helping in this time of crisis
The good feeling around the gaming industry continues in the influence it has had on the pandemic itself. The industry has donated millions of dollars to help with relief efforts.
It has also helped to convey important messages about self-isolation and social distancing to players. In addition, it has been an integral part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative, #PlayApartTogether. This is the power that an industry with a global audience of more than three billion can have. It’s good news that the gaming industry is playing such an important role.
The future for the gaming industry
There is no doubt that the gaming industry has seen a jump in revenue in many countries since the global pandemic began. This jump has been brought about by the fact that people have had to remain in their homes rather than go outside and take part in normal activities.
The increase in revenue has been especially prevalent in the area of digital sales. Although there has also been some increase in the sales of physical games.
It remains to be seen whether the gaming industry will continue to be as buoyant as lockdown restrictions are reduced. The outlook appears to be positive, especially for developers and publishers that already have strong existing portfolios.
However, it will only be possible to see clearly what the long-term future of the gaming industry is after several more months and even well into next year.
The gaming industry has fared a lot better than many other industries during the COVID-19 crisis. It had also performed an important role in helping wider society deal with the pandemic.
The future of the industry is far from certain. However, developers and publishers that already have a stronghold in the industry are expected to be secure and are likely to continue experiencing growth. Only time will tell how much growth will happen and how many people will continue to enjoy gaming after they are released from lockdown.