How COVID-19 is Taking Gaming to the Next Level

13/07/2020|Written by - Team Hashbyte|Game Design

According to the reports on the gaming industry, the business is said to hit over the years. The forecast states that by the end of this year the expected revenue is $159 billion and Asia-Pacific will be contributing to 50% of the market income. 

Boosting gaming market to the next level

When the whole world is going through an economic downturn caused by the pandemic, there is a slight glazing light shone on the gaming companies. The lockdown has helped boost the gaming market globally. 

Also the gaming companies are focusing on increasing the user engagement by developing compelling video games. When the game is immersive, the players are ready to spend on in-game monetization of the DLC (downloadable content) like new character, tool, feature, loot box, or expansion packs. Companies are also keen on improving the mobile data, gaming hardware, and bandwidth. This indeed has improved the accessibility of premium games across platforms and devices. According to the report, 48% of the global gaming industry’s revenue comes from mobile gaming. You can look at Mobile Games To Overrule The Global Game Revenue by 2021 for a detailed insight of the mobile gaming business’s future.

The COVID-19 has decreased the business activities, and practicing social distancing and lockdown has brought many new players to play mobile games. Aslo, the data shows an increase in the sales and play time of the users since the lockdown. The popular gaming giants Tencent and Nintendo have seen an increased sales rate in the first quarter of the year. 

The game revenue Tencent has increased by 31%, while Nintendo sold half their games in the digital medium with a profit of 41%. In general, 63% of the market arose and games released during the lockdown and downloads on new games have increased by 80%. 

More than web traffic and digital video traffic, the gaming traffic has increased by 75%. And the best part is that it has a linear and interactive consumption. The pandemic has increased the need for social interaction while they had all the time, thus benefiting the gaming sector. 

Impact on Indian Gaming Sector 

The business of the gaming industries in India has boosted in an optimistic way. It is reported that during the lockdown period, there is a steady increase of 25% in data traffic. Furthermore, there are no surge in traffic hours as they have raised to the whole day. Incase of game downloads in India, the range has increased upto 30 to 40%.

Game development Studios in India are now focusing on diversifying the content as there is a change in the patterns. For instance the time spent by the player in playing the game has increased, and there are few genres that are more popular among the players. And people who were not interested in gaming have also joined the club. The Indian gaming sector has increased so much that we can see many Indian made games are featured among the top list in application stores. 

Recent Spike indicates Industrial Transformation

With everyone staying home and playing games has increased the delivery of high quality games to the mobile platform and cloud-based platform. The way we play games have changed, players are able to play streamed games without high end hardware in the cloud platform, while even sophisticated games are easily available for mobile devices. 

And game companies are earning more from the mobile sector as it is comfortable for players to stay for long hours playing the games. 

As already discussed, monetization and free to play models have become the new trends in the game market. Player subscription offers a reliable monetary follow for decent smaller games that otherwise have poor marketing strategy. While the free to play helps developers to easily monetize using the in-game purchase like expansion packs and upgrades. It is found that the play time of subscription players have increased by 40%. So these high value offerings with low cost is a boon to the gaming industries.

We have also seen that many game development companies have partnered with the entertainment industry, so you can see popular games being made into television, sports, and music. Some popular games have gained 1.5 billion play time with 120 million active users. This is just the beginning, there will be many more partnerships signed with the media sector as they are aware of the increasing growth in the global gaming sector.

Playing For A Cause

The other trending thing that is happening in the gaming sector during the pandemic is playing online games for funding the victims of the virus. The WHO (World Health Organisation) planned to conduct a global campaign with the help of the gaming companies because of the huge traction it has among the people. Therefore, #PlayApartTogether campaign was started. 

The aim of this campaign is to mainly inform the mass community to follow the health guidelines and encourage people to stay home. So the gaming companies could provide players with rewards and promotions within their games, conduct online events and encourage them to play with social media friends.

Some of the famous companies that have joined hands in this campaign are Riot Games, Unity, Zynga, Activision Blizzard, YouTube Gaming and Twitch. Most of the companies have a huge user base making it easy to promote the purpose of the campaign. 

Conclusion

The coronavirus has brought a drastic change in the global economy and lifestyle. Staying home, maintaining social distancing might be the “new normal”. When most of the industries were closed, people working and studying from home can destress themselves by playing online games. Also, this pandemic situation reminds the media brands and companies that there is a platform with a huge engaging user base. 

Also, many gaming stores provide players with premium and discounts to play online games without any hindrance. According to research, the gaming market is said to grow further and COVID-19 has also helped in boosting the gaming industry when compared to other industries. Upcoming startup and game developers can keep this exponential growth in mind and develop engaging and immersive gaming experiences for the players.