The world looks like it has come to a standstill in the wake of the pandemic. Most of the businesses are suffering, and the stock markets in most of the world are crashing. Schools, colleges, restaurants, cinema halls, etc., are being closed in many parts of the world to prevent the spread of this virus.
Despite all the issues and problems that the epidemic is causing, there is one industry that is seeing a big boost in this time of adversity. That is the video games industry. This virus was first reported in China, and it has affected over 95,000 people in the country. Despite this, the video gaming industry in China is the only industry that is seeing an economic boom.
The Younger Generation Is Hooked to eGaming
With no work or businesses taking place, the only entertainment that the younger generation in China and many other parts of the world have is their mobile phones. They can use their handheld devices to watch the shows and movies on popular video streaming services or to play eSports or even online gambling. The popular gaming developers are offloading billions of money in the video gaming market to see massive business growth.
The virus outbreak has made people shift their focus from movie watching and live sports events to online entertainment. There is no better entertainment than playing a favorite online gambling title and earning some money in the process. Or you can always choose free online pokies to experience gambling fun without any risks. Online gambling is now a favourite pastime for many, as they can access plenty of casino sites sitting in their self-quarantined locations. There is also a surge in the number of new slots or other gambling category titles released by the leading gaming software developers and suppliers. People are now spending a lot more time on online gaming sites and casinos than earlier, as this is one of the best forms of entertainment they have now at their disposal.
Video Games Taking Advantage of This Scare
The hugely popular Honour of Kings from Tencent has been in great demand this Chinese New Year as the virus scare has put China under lockdown and home quarantine. This year’s Chinese New Year was a different one as international flight services had stopped operating to China due to this scare. So, the Chinese could not travel abroad for the lunar holidays. This meant that the people had no other option than to play video games while away the time.
The PUBG ‘Game for Peace’ was in great demand during the Chinese New Year and made £145.88 million in January 2020 and ‘Honour of Kings’ closely followed it with £125.20 million. The AFK Arena was the one that amassed a total of £73.05 million in sales since it launched in January. The Rise of Kingdoms is another game that has been seeing good purchase, and it has earned £52 million in January. This is its best sales figure. Also, the popular Clash of Clans and Candy Crush saw huge boosts in its revenue in the month of January.
One of the most interesting things to happen is that Plague Inc., a game on the virus, saw a steep increase in its sales in January. This game has been available for the past 8 years and the makers say that whenever there is a disease outbreak, the demand for these genre titles increases. They feel that it might be because people want to know more about how diseases spread and to know the complexities that arise due to a virus spread.
E3 2020 Event Cancelled
One of the biggest events set to happen in the video gaming industry was the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the largest video gaming convention in North America. It was scheduled to take place from June 9th to June 11th in Los Angeles. The organizers of the E3 event have decided to play it safe and have announced that this year’s E3 event is officially canceled due to deadly disease.
The organizers have said that they have been in consultations with the member companies on whether to move forward with the event or not. After lots of deliberations, it was decided to cancel the event to safeguard the health and safety of everyone in the video gaming industry.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said that it was a harsh decision to take as everyone was waiting for the E3 event. But, in the wake of this pandemic, it is not ideal to hold this event as per schedule. The situation is grave at the moment. With increased and overwhelming concerns of the virus spreading all over the world, the organisers feel that they have taken the right decision. They know that it would be a big disappointment for the fans and the supporters, but this is the right decision based on the situation and the information that is prevailing globally now.
The quarantine has been having a strong effect on the gaming industry’s convention circuit. Many events have been canceled like the E3 and a lot of eSports matches and events have got canceled in China.
Impact of Pandemic on Video Games Industry
The virus could turn out to be a big boon for the gaming business. Playtime and people’s spending are showing an increase. It is bound to increase even further since many countries are going into total lockdown. It is not roses for the gaming business in this present situation. They too have found the going tough. This is because of social distancing. The developers need to work from home and it is not easy to manage the complex projects working from home. There may be times when the avid gamers might see game delays. Those expecting to see the new PS5 or the Xbox Series X console release this fall might see a delay in the launch of the next-generation consoles.
At present, gamers are looking at popular titles like DOTA or CS: GO or others to keep them busy. As the situation is getting worse, it is better to practice social distancing and for now, depending on video games and online streaming services for wholesome entertainment.