Coronavirus – Gaming is Booming Like Never!
The novel coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, with much of the world still in some form of lockdown. It affects jobs, the economy, health, travel, entertainment, and the gaming industry.
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The USA now stands as the worst hit by COVID-19, which has had a massive effect on the economy as people look to stay at home, either through enforced local measures or by personal choice.
Video Game Digital Sales Boom
Gaming is booming like never before. An article by Screen Rant states how, for the first time, digital sales outnumber physical sales for consoles, just in time to launch the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles.
Okay, this one has been a long time coming. Digital sales across all platforms continue to rise year-on-year, particularly with DLC, battle passes, etc. However, the coronavirus pandemic has helped push sales further digital with people unable or unwilling to visit stores.
PlayStation recently announced an increase of 84% digital sales year-on-year during the lockdown. That too, despite a 40% fall in console sales year-on-year.
For the first time in the company’s history, Nintendo has also made more money from digital than physical sales this last year, with a jump of 229.9% year-on-year.
It’s not just with consoles where we see record numbers. Steam has broken its concurrent user records over and over again already this year. Looking at Steam’s stats for the last year shows, although dipping slightly, this year saw people flock online to play their favorite games during the lockdown.
COVID-19 and Twitch
As more people head to video games to spend their time during the pandemic, so do those same people choose to head to Twitch or other streaming services such as Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming to stream or view their games.
A quick search on TwitchTracker shows that even Twitch, the world’s leading streaming service saw a massive spike in viewership during lockdown that continues still, with numbers just under 2.5 million concurrent viewers.
The numbers are the same for those wanting to stream. Record numbers have flocked to stream their games on the platform, including sports stars, musicians, and celebrities. It would be difficult to find someone that hasn’t streamed on the platform, according to figures.
The only downside is that if you’re looking to begin a streaming career right now, due to all the new channels and streamers, there are fewer viewers to go around, and the average has dropped to just under 25 per channel.
Gaming More Popular Than Ever
According to a post on archyde.com, a survey by Biktom reveals that since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, players have spent considerably more time on consoles and other gaming devices.
More than half of gamers (55%) say they have played more since the outbreak – an extra seven hours per week in addition to the previous amount on average, which amounts to almost double the playing time seen before enforced lockdowns.
It’s not only playing time that has increased. We have seen a significant expenditure on gaming in general during COVID-19. While the average monthly spending before was €15 per month, the survey now says it averages €24.
“Gaming is not a nerd or niche phenomenon, but has arrived in the middle of society,” said Bitkom board member Olaf May. According to the survey, almost every second person (46%) plays video or computer games at least occasionally. This figure has again risen slightly compared to previous years: in 2019, it was 43%, in 2018, 42%.
For many gamers, this is more than just a hobby; May emphasized that “37% can no longer imagine a life without video and computer games. This assessment was somewhat more pronounced among men (40%) than among women (34%) – and among 16 to 29-year-old gamers (45%) significantly more than among over 65-year-old video game players (19%).
In economic terms, the importance of the gaming industry for the German economy is still manageable. Around 30,000 jobs in Germany are associated with it, said Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder. “We are mainly dealing with an import market. About five percent of the turnover came from German game manufacturers. “There’s still room for improvement.”
Although focused on Germany, the trend continues across the world. More and more people are playing games and playing them for longer than previously.
Ingo is fast! Studied e-commerce and has his roots for now in lively Germany. At the same time, as an ambitious influencer consultant, he is close to gaming communities & game developers. He often knows what trends are currently going on. Ingo has a special fascination as game review editor.