Are people abandoning their video games as lockdown restrictions are easing up in 2021 or are they even more popular than ever?
Even before the novel coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the video gaming sphere already occupied a popular space in serious gamers’ hearts. But as 2020 came with new lessons to learn, physical distancing norms started restricting everyone to step out of their house.
Despite this, 2020 also made people more inclined to learn about mental health and its impact. And amidst lockdown, self-quarantining, social distancing, home isolation; people mastered the art of living in this ‘new normal’ world. While everyone enhanced their skills in different activities, serious gamers couldn’t hold them back from spending quality hours in gaming to kill boredom. Through these games, some enjoyed a virtual visit to tropical islands, while others chose to stay inside an Australian online casino real money and earn rewards.
This way, one year has passed. While people welcomed 2021 with no subtle change, one industry that certainly witnessed an upsurge in popularity is the video gaming sphere. And, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet is absolutely an open secret. But what’s more important is that the video games are giving enthusiasts a chance to live their virtual life happily in 2021, despite the pandemic. All in all, gaming has become the only life-incentive for people amidst the lockdown phase.
But, How Has Gaming Become Popular in 2021?
Out of all popular activities, why has gaming grabbed attention and became popular? And if it’s so, then how has its popularity spiked in 2021? The fact that the global video game universe is thriving is already known. And in spite of the widespread economic disruptions due to coronavirus pandemic, gaming has been the most casual yet intriguing practice.
Social distancing has been reducing business and consumer activities to the least. This is where gaming becomes an ever-engaging distraction for serious players looking for social interaction amidst social distancing. As far as data is concerned, it shows massive growth in the playing hours and sales ever since lockdown got imposed.
What Do Stats Say About the 2020-21 Gaming Business Model?
The global market has been forecast to be three times more than music industry revenues and four times more than box office revenues. And if you want to go with the statistics, it states that the global market of video gaming is forecast around $160 billion last year. By revenue, the largest market is the Asia-Pacific that’s about 50% of the total games market.
While the gaming revenues drive by consumer spending, the business model of gaming has evolved in the current years.
Impact of pandemic on The Gaming Business
Long gone are the days when consumers used to buy more games and spend less time with them. With the outbreak of the pandemic especially, players find spending more time with one game more valuable. After all, the more they spend their quality time in a single game, the more they can enhance their skills.
Besides, it has shifted the gaming business model from a single-unit to recurring revenues generated from the active consumer base. This results in the industry staying laser-focused on improving engagement per player.
Besides making video games compelling, strategies are implemented with the adoption of the opportunities of in-game monetization. And this additional DLC or downloadable content includes expansion packs, tools, characters, new features, and even “loot boxes”. All these are a lottery of all virtual things.
The business model has arrived in tandem with excellent improvements to hardware, mobile internet, and bandwidth. All these improvements have made quality games accessible across all platforms and devices. And saying that almost 48% of the total revenue of the industry comes from mobile gaming is no sheer misconception.
COVID-19 Pandemic Boosted Video Game Engagement
As gaming is an at-home activity, a steady flow of headlines indicated its flourishing emergence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Tencent and Nintendo both witnessed an upsurge in their sales figure during the very first quarter. While Nintendo sold around half of its games on digital platforms, the latter’s year-on-year revenue increased by about 31%. But referring to the sales and download statistics during lockdown does not paint a comprehensive picture. And this because multiple games have been available free of cost. However, other metrics for video game’s engagement describe the same thing. Even social media gaming also experienced a surge in their growth, with an increased 20% in usage hours.
In the COVID-19 epoch, the activities of watching gaming video-on-demand and video streams have become as prominent as making money from the bonus in online casinos Australia. These activities experienced a surge in growth mainly because of two things – (1) availability of loads of time for people and (2) the demand for social interaction!
Envisioning The Future of Video Gaming from 2021 Onwards
Thinking that a greater interest in gaming may accelerate a shift towards the delivery of games through cloud-based and mobile platforms is no sheer exaggeration. The gaming universe can clearly witness a potential in the distribution model, although the demand for ultra-premium gaming is likely to stay even more popular. But as per anticipations, there are platforms that will still give players a chance to grab an endless array of video games.
With that being said, Microsoft’s Game Pass and Apple’s Arcade are the most prominent choices. On the contrary, the free-to-play games will let developers monetize without the need for convincing customers and making up-front purchases. Rather than doing so, they simply will offer to upsell in-game options like expansion packs and upgrades.
With the revolutionary changes occurring in the gaming universe, it can be anticipated that the industry is soon to expand its partnership with other entertainment domains in 2021 and later. In fact, some of the video games are set to become so prominent that they spill over into cultural discourse. On the other hand, there are exponentially popular games that have made a mark in television, sports, and music. Yes, you guessed that right – it’s none other than Fortnite.
Other popular video games have 120 million active players with 1.5 billion playtime hours to generate each month. Mobile penetration and 5G shall continue to become the biggest sources of revenue for gaming. The platform will expand as it will let players access games anytime and from anywhere.
Finally, Outlining Potential Hardware Issues
Calling Nintendo Switch a must-have gaming item amidst the pandemic is no sheer overstatement. But due to potential supply chain issues, there have already been delays for Nintendo Switch to manufacture its consoles. As for Sony and Microsoft are concerned, the two console giants delayed bringing their next-gen Xbox Series X and PS 5.
For a wider gaming sector, COVID-19 has been making temporary delays in hardware production of gaming equipment as factories are facing supply chain issues. These issues can be addressed as soon as normalcy hits the marketplace this year.