impact of Covid-19 on video game industry

What impact had Covid-19 on the video game industry?

Following the Covid-19 pandemic that we are currently facing, many measures have been adopted by the different governments which have pushed everyone to spend more time at home.

As a result, a lot more people turned to video games to escape, entertain themselves and socialize differently. Therefore, the video game industry faced an unprecedented increase in user demand.

The world of video games had to adapt to new consumer habits.

Across the globe, Internet users have been looking for different ways to stay in touch with others while respecting the Covid-19 barrier.

One of the main measures of this health crisis, lockdown, led each of us to stay at home, which has resulted in a significant increase in the use of technological and computer tools at our disposal.

The rising of player’s number

rising of player's number

In general, people have been spending more time on different kinds of entertainment that can be enjoyed from home - including video streaming platforms and video games.

A significant increase has occurred as a result of health restrictions.

A 46% increase for established gamers (computer and console) and 17% for mobile games has been noticed. Games such as Call Of Duty - Warzone, League Of Legends, Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, or Among Us were one of the major actors of this increase.

Many developers have taken advantage of this very special period to release highly anticipated games such as Cyberpunk 2077, or The Last Of Us Part II.

With the release of the PS5, billions of dollars in sales were made, despite the PS5's rapid stockout. 

Spring, usually marked by a drop in computer and console game activity of 5% on average, saw this figure rise strikingly during 2020.

With COVID-19-related conditions, the difference from 2019 is enormous, with a 41% increase.

In the United States, video game audience has grown by 28 million players since March 2020, with a 28% jump in mobile games. 

In the UK, 8.6 million more gamers have been added, with a 50% increase on mobile.

Moreover, the influx of new players is far from a temporary phenomenon.

Most of the new mobile gamers polled were still playing in July 2020, many months after the pandemic began, and more than 50% of them say they want to keep playing on mobile.


The increase in mobile gamers

increase in mobile gamers

Almost everyone now owns a smartphone and is able to access the Apple and Google app stores, so more people than ever have turned their phones into gaming devices. 

As a result, mobile platforms have also seen growth over 2019, as well as growth regarding digital sales as non-gamers have looked out for new forms of entertainment. 

While 2019 saw a 6% growth over the baseline, 2020 has seen a 23% increase so far.

Video games unite entire communities. In the past year, it has taken on a role as a headquarters for internet users seeking social connection. 

The increased interest in mobile gaming during the pandemic is the result of several factors:

It is both a way to relieve the stress of the current situation, to pass the time without having to leave home, as well as to communicate with others freely.

In addition, the phone can be useful for playing games, but it is also indispensable in everyday life, unlike game consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation.

The power of community

gaming community

Lockdown and quarantine have prompted many gamers around the world to communicate with others through video games.

Social interactions have developed not only in games but also on other platforms and online communities related to video games. 

An increase in the number of viewers watching other gamers' broadcasts has taken place.

These include Discord, Twitch but also many social platforms.

The number of new Facebook groups related to video games doubled in two months, namely February and April of the year 2020, as did the number of users who joined them.

Thus, we can conclude that all the different measures or restrictions encouraging us to stay at home promote another type of social connection, a much more recent one: a virtual social connection.

Many developers have taken advantage of this very special period to release highly anticipated games such as Cyberpunk 2077, The Last Of Us Part II.

Several consoles were also released, namely the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, which pushed many more or less informed gamers to turn a little more to the world of video games and online gaming.

The arrival of new gamers as well as the growing adoption of mobile gaming has greatly influenced the world of video games in 2020 and will undoubtedly continue to do so in 2021 and for the other years to come.