Gaming Industry in Coronavirus Pandemic: The Odd One Out

The world’s way of doing business has severely been impacted by the COVID-19. Though this distressing pandemic has affected the businesses negatively, several industries remain an exception, and the Gaming Industry is one among the others. Although the pandemic has complicated the scheduled game releases, game festivals & exhibitions, Inkwood Research analysts have depicted that the gaming market is well-positioned to endure probable long-term effects.

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The Heavy Hits

Taipei Game Show, TwitchCon Amsterdam event, BitSummit (Japanese indie gaming festival), New Zealand Games Festival, among others, have been either canceled, or postponed. Recently, EA also canceled all of its completive gaming events, including FIFA and Apex Legends. Further, owing to disruptions in the supply chain, numerous gaming companies that primarily depend on Chinese manufacturers are struggling massively. Facebook Inc. is facing shortages of Oculus virtual reality headsets & Nintendo Co. Ltd, stressed to meet the demand for its switch consoles. Also, the COVID-19 outbreak would possibly have repercussions on the scheduled launch of Sony’s PlayStation 5 & Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Measures to Afloat Financially

However, when the pandemic is negatively affecting production in the gaming sector, the statistics are suggesting that Mobile Gaming has become one of the primary beneficiaries. While the sales of both PC and console games rose, mobile game downloads reached peak numbers. In India, Paytm First Games, a mobile-based online gaming platform experienced a 200% jump in its consumer base over a span of 30 days only. Also, Apple’s App Store in China saw a 62% jump in game downloads alone. Several online multiplayer games like Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile, or CS Go are also gaining more traction as they add a social element to the gaming experience by allowing players to team up with others from anywhere across the world. During these quarantine or lockdown times, the mobile gaming industry is helping people to get some relief and make their time in quarantine more bearable.

Additionally, numerous game stores are offering great discount deals and access to premium content for free. For instance, in a limited period offer, the PC version of Rayman Legends was made available for free by Ubisoft on Uplay also the full access to the Ghost Recon Breakpoint.  Similarly, the Steam store started to offer daily deals and also provided discounts up to 80% on some of the popular games. Other popular games, such as Gone Home and Hob, World War Z, will also be available for free to users with a limited period offer.

World Health Organization (WHO) has also recognized the considerable potential of gaming and collaborated with Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Zynga, Unity, Kabam, YouTube Gaming, Twitch, and other gaming corporations for an international campaign “#PlayApartTogether.”  Similarly, a Coronavirus-inspired protein folding game was developed by the University of Washington. Nvidia has appealed the gamers to donate their unused Graphic Processing Units (GPU) clock cycles.

Conclusion

With a status quo such as the Coronavirus pandemic, PC and mobile games have become people’s easy & favorite mode of passing the time and keeping them entertained during the lockdown. It has also helped to lessen anxiety and stress, which is the need of the hour. Hence, the gaming and augmented/virtual reality industry are expected to see an upward trend in these uncertain times.