In an attempt to restraint the spread of COVID-19, countries all over the world restored to early lockdown. This resulted in millions confined within their homes. While the global economy was expected to shrink by over 3 percent in 2020, the gaming industry shined. In 2020, the global video games industry received $159b in revenues. For comparison, it is almost three times the music industry revenues and around four times box office revenues. Here’s how COVID-19 actually helped the growth of the gaming and esports industries.
Before quarantine, games were developed as a ‘product’ which was sold for a single, revenue-generating fee. In order to get more revenue, developers had to make another game or add-ons. Recently, that particular business model changed to games as a ‘service’ which is intended to expand the lifespan of a particular game. It means consumers will play and enjoy for a longer period and therefore, will result in additional revenue for the developers. This was mainly made possible because people have more time to enjoy these games during Covid. With the growing number of players, all the giants of the gaming industry including Microsoft, Nintendo, and Tencent thrived in the conditions caused by the pandemic.
Microsoft reported a 130 percent increase in multiplayer consumers during March and April 2020. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold over 22 million copies since its launch in late March. Twitch received 3.1 billion hours watched in Q1 2020 (24 percent increase since Q4 2019). Steam gained its all-time high concurrent user count at over 20 million people.
Besides video games industries other online gaming services including online casino gaming and fantasy sports betting also prospered during the pandemic. Since all gaming venues and casinos were closed, people went online to satisfy their gambling needs. However, it’s safe to say that the Esports scene was mostly affected in this situation. Every major esport event was either canceled or postponed and since almost 80 percent of the revenue comes from broadcasting and advertising, the esports scene has surely experienced a huge unexpected fall. Despite all this, the gaming community is growing fast. More people are watching online gaming broadcasts than ever before. Mobile gaming communities are growing rapidly. People are really enjoying the convenience factor which mobile gaming brings to them.
They can start playing their favorite games anywhere anytime. Availability of free-to-play titles like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty is just icing on the cake. However, PC and console gaming isn’t going anywhere. According to Newzoo, PC gaming is expected to grow +4.4 percent year on year while console gaming is supposed to past 730 million players growing at the rate of +6.8 percent year on year. Though some new title releases were postponed, PC gaming still likely to undergo healthy growth in the near future.
Many popular PC titles have been in their place for at least three years, with some maintaining their popularity for over 10 years. Multiplayer games like CS:GO CSGO Prime Account, Dota 2, Valorant are the backbone of the PC gaming community and they will be staying there for a while at least. They are still getting new updates and the fact that all of them are free to play means more players will join the player base during the quarantine. Speaking of the future, the video game industry is looking up to something game-changing which will eliminate the requirement of complex hardware to enjoy games.
Cloud gaming will allow players to access any high-end gaming title from their low-end systems. It needs a stable internet connection and a certain minimum bandwidth requirement to perform. It is estimated that the global cloud gaming market will reach a market size of $3.17 billion by 2024. The concept is already getting enough attention from countries like the UK and can be expected to reach other countries soon.
Given the situation we are in, it can be said that the value of gaming has risen as it has provided an engaging distraction for people seeking social interaction due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We can expect this upward trend of video games to last a while and with a steady flow of new titles and competitions, we will be witnessing a new era of gamers.
Moreover, live streaming and streaming a game on YouTube has been among the trend for years now. More and more gamers are streaming their performance and audiences are finding this interesting. This lures more people to join the gaming community. To make your youtube channel more attractive, try to make a channel page banner and themes more creative and engaging. YouTube banner for gaming can be designed on many online graphic tools which saves your effort & time so that you can focus more on playing and stream your videos live.