Novel coronavirus has taken down almost all sectors of the society and every industry and service providers are struggling to survive the crisis. When this whole situation is over and world slowly returns to pre-corona state, world will undoubtedly be facing an economic crisis. Recent data sheds light to the one industry which is booming under lockdown which is the digital world of gaming.
People have been restricted within the four walls of their homes due to the fear of transmission of virus and have shut down workplaces, public places, entertainment zones and centres. This has compelled people to find a source of entertainment in online gaming or e-gaming. The surge in online gaming is also result of the advancement of technology plus the deep penetration of internet even in the remote areas of the world.
Owing to the scientific development and technological advancements, games are not only present on the virtual media but attributable to the graphics and designs available they have acquired a life-like feel available at the ease of button over a hand held device thereby gaining rapid popularity. Online platforms cater to the need of various segments of the society not confining itself to the youth only. Online gaming apps offer games of varied nature and numerous forms.
Another significant aspect concerning the operation of online games is the involvement of real money to play them. This adds thrill to the game thereby involving more enthusiastic players on one hand and generates reward in the form of revenue to those engaged in its creation.
Video gaming has emerged as a popular means of entertainment which also allows for social connectivity over digital platforms. For example, in China, Steam, which is a major PC digital game distribution platform, reached the highest count of users at 19.1 million in February when China was in lockdown. In the US, Verizon reported that gaming internet traffic has gone up 75% since quarantine came into effect. Streaming service Twitch saw a 20% increase from the previous year in the hours of content consumed since the
In countries such as the UK and the US, many employees who have been furloughed off work, but are still being paid and do not have anywhere else to spend the money, are turning to online gaming, to get some form of escapism. According to Verizon, overall traffic related to internet gaming has increased 75% since restrictions were imposed in America. Bungie, a video-game developer, says that average daily user engagement on their RPG game “Destiny 2” is up 10% worldwide and as much as 20% in the markets most affected by the coronavirus. This can be attributed to people being increasingly stuck at home and finding online gaming as an easy way to pass time. In February 2020, the games company Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, issued an apology after the users had to wait for lengthy times in China due to a high influx of players from the country.
Overall across all tracked markets, 4.3 million games were sold during Week 12 (Monday, March 16 — Sunday, March 22), which is a jump of 63% over the week prior. Part of this is down to the launch of a major new game from Nintendo, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was a popular title in several markets. But even with like-for-like comparisons, the market was still up by 44% compared with the same period a week prior.