Online gaming grows – The current global Covid 19 crisis is causing much of the world’s population to have to stay at home. For some people, this means trying to do their normal work from home. However, others have to find different activities to fill their days. One activity which seems to be coming to the forefront is online gaming.
Global viewing of gaming content has increased by 10% on Twitch and 15% on YouTube Gaming. In addition, according to Verizon, gaming in North America has increased by 75% during peak hours.
The short term benefits for gaming providers – Online gambling grows
The increase in gaming is good news for gaming giants like 343 Industries, Activision and Big Huge Games who produce famous titles like Rise of Nations and Halo. It’s also good news for online casino software developers like NetEnt who create online slot games and table games like roulette and blackjack.
The more people are required to stay at home, the more they are likely to take part in activities like gaming. This means that the positive impact for the gaming industry will remain in place for the short term. However, if the Covid 19 crisis lasts for a considerable length of time, the outlook may not be as good. The pressure is already starting to tell in one area.
Network pressure from increased gaming and live streaming
Current pressure on networks is heavy and it’s only likely to increase. People are using desktops, laptops and mobile devices to work from home and children are being home-schooled; often using online materials. This additional activity means that some networks are starting to struggle at peak times.
Gaming and live streaming activity adds to this pressure. This is why some gaming companies are slowing down the speed of downloads during the crisis period. They are attempting to relieve some of the pressure, in a similar way to streaming companies like Netflix that are streaming content in standard definition only. So far, download speed is not being affected during very quiet periods but this may change as the crisis continues.
There is another issue that could have a less than positive impact on the global gaming industry in the near future. If the crisis continues for a long period of time, it could interrupt the industry’s supply chain and delay the release of new games and consoles. This is a major concern for gaming companies who place great reliance on the release of new products when it comes to securing revenue.
For now, it seems likely that the shutdown of countries across the world will continue for a while. This will lead to more people discovering online gaming as a new way to spend their time. This is positive news for the gaming sector in the short term. Over the longer term, there may be obstacles to navigate along the way. However, in comparison with other industries, gaming seems to be facing a more positive future than many right now.