Now that COVID-19 has the status of a pandemic, it is evident that the virus will have an impact on the entire planet. Our lifestyles are changing because of the self-distancing policies, and no one knows when the nightmare will end.
Meanwhile, video game statistics say that more than 2.6 billion people around the world are gaming enthusiasts. So, video games seem like a perfect getaway method for everyone stuck in quarantine.
But is there more than meets the eye to the gaming industry? Let’s examine how COVID-19 affected this particular market as well as the entire world of technology.
The Popularity of Video Games in the Modern World
The rise of the gaming industry in the last decade or so was nothing short of spectacular. Of course, the first video games appeared back in the 1970s and 80s. Nonetheless, the popularity of video games has skyrocketed in recent years.
In a way, the biggest culprit for the jaw-dropping rise in the last couple of years is the introduction of mobile gaming. Also, the Internet is becoming more available to people from all around the world, and the prices of electronics are going down with each year.
According to recent statistics, the total number of video games exceeds 1.2 million titles. Likewise, the stats say that we now have more than 2.400 gaming companies worldwide!
Minecraft is the game that holds the record when it comes to the number of sold copies (more than 176 million). Yet, Fortnite seems to be the most addictive game today. Back in 2018, Fortnite had the biggest annual earnings in the entire gaming history.
So, what’s the catch?
Why Are Video Games so Popular?
The video gaming phenomenon is a mysterious one, and it can be hard to define its features. For instance, the demographics show that the average US gamer is a 33-year-old male with a degree.
In essence, everyone is playing video games these days. The reasons for indulging in video games come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, some players use video games to escape reality, while others use them as a pastime. Gaming communities can also provide players with a sense of relatedness and belonging.
What’s more, gaming platforms are morphing into a form of social networks. Players can interact and form relationships in a virtual environment.
With that in mind, here is how these aspects of video games played a crucial role during the pandemic.
Video Games During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In a way, it’s not surprising to see that gaming juggernauts are reporting record sales in the first quarter of 2020. After all, millions of people have decided to spend their self-isolation days playing video games.
Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard report a rise in their financial performance. Likewise, Steam had a record-breaking 23 million concurrent players in March 2020.
In short, the gaming industry is thriving.
The demand jump is visible across the sector, and all types of games are growing in popularity. From Mario Kart and Candy Crush to the Call of Duty series – people are playing everything.
Of course, video games with apocalyptic content have seen a spike in demand as well. For example, DOOM Eternal is one such title. Also, Animal Crossing: New Horizons by Nintendo is a record-breaking video game at the moment.
The increase in sales is not only visible in the software segment. On the contrary, the sales of consoles and other hardware are on the rise as well.
All in all, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the gaming industry with an opportunity to conquer the world. Even if you haven’t been an avid gamer before the epidemic, you could become one by the time the virus blows over.
The Negative Side-effects of the Pandemic
Even though the gaming industry is flourishing at the moment, not everything is perfect in the world of video games, far from it.
Well, the negative side-effects of the pandemic have also affected the gaming community. For instance, lots of high-profile events have been canceled. The E3 2020 is one such show, and the consequences of this decision have affected many developers.
Of course, the lack of live events took a toll on the pro gaming community as well.
Additionally, due to the pandemic-induced situation, many companies decided to postpone the releases of new games. At the same time, smaller developers are struggling to acquire funding for their projects.
Finally, the novel coronavirus has also disrupted supply chains. As a result, electronics companies have scaled back their production capacities.
Back in 2019, it was estimated that the worth of the entire video game industry could reach $164.6 billion by the end of 2020. However, at that time, no one could predict that COVID-19 would soon step onto the scene and turn the world on its head.
In other words, the total worth of the gaming market could go well beyond those numbers. If the self-isolation measures stay with us for an extended period, the popularity of video games will reach staggering levels.