The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life both for individuals and for businesses. While some industries such as hospitality (due to social distancing and lockdown measures in many countries) and travel (due to international closure of borders) suffered huge losses, with many businesses even having to close altogether, other businesses survived and even thrived from the pandemic and its effects.
For example, global mega-corporation Amazon actually doubled its already huge profits during the pandemic. This is likely due to the fact that increased time spent indoors led to increased online sales of entertainment such as films and music, groceries (so that people could avoid risking their health by going to a physical store), and other items to ease the stresses of isolation.
An industry that experienced both positive and negative effects is the gaming industry, in all its forms. So how and why did this happen?
Online gaming was less affected by the pandemic than physical gaming, as usage of popular online multiplayer games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and League of Legends increased. Live streaming services also benefited, with the Twitch platform seeing a 20% increase compared to the previous year. Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam also saw huge boosts in numbers of concurrent users, to the point that in some cases download speeds had to be capped in order to prevent the servers’ bandwidths from becoming overwhelmed.
The online gambling industry also saw increased profits. Although physical casinos took an inevitable hit, this lost business soon went to online casino sites! March and April 2020 saw a dramatic spike in traffic to these sites. Sports betting took a hit due to the cancelation of many sporting events around the world, but has bounced back impressively! If you Visit Odds Shark Online you will see that the number of sporting events that you can bet on is as high as ever.
It is estimated that the future of online gaming is likely to be bright regardless of the pandemic, as technological advances such as VR are developing in accessibility. It is estimated that the online gambling industry will grow by an impressive 13% by the year 2023!
Physical Video Games
Covid-19 stalled or even completely halted production on many video games. Although most games developers were able to implement a home-working model for their employees, the fact is that many necessary operations were simply impossible to carry out outside of the office.
Although production of new video games slowed dramatically, sales of already released video games went up significantly. This is not too surprising, considering the fact that video gaming is one of the most popular pastimes that can be enjoyed from the confines of your own home. What better way to unwind during times of global uncertainty and anxiety than by losing yourself in a virtual world?
Some already finished games had delayed releases, one notable example being developer Naughty Dog’s long-anticipated The Last of Us Part II, a game actually about a deadly pandemic. Talk about bad luck and bad timing!
The physical video games market suffered due to production halts, yet profits balanced out due to high sales. While the big gaming companies managed to stay afloat without too much trouble, some smaller businesses and indie developers were not so lucky.
One fact seems certain: gaming isn’t going anywhere any time soon.