For most of us, lockdown has been a very tough period of time to get through. That outside entertainment and stimulation, being surrounded by friends and family has been cut to an almost non-existent level which has left many looking for other avenues of occupation. One such area is that of gaming. Now, of course, those already with a gaming background will be playing more anyway, but for many families left without many resources, gaming has been a surefire way of keeping the household entertained.
More traditional gaming methods
Whilst technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, a lot has been made of the transition of more traditional gaming outlets like quizzes and bingo during lockdown. As brick-and-mortar establishments like pubs and bingo halls have closed, an already-thriving online world has been hit by an increased number of players as friends and families entertain themselves over video call apps such as Zoom. A virtual dabber or quizmaster can take you through a whole host of games such as bingo games or the top 50 artists of the decade. And, people have certainly taken advantage of that with little other form of entertainment available.
An increased amount of traffic on networks, sellouts and social interaction suggests that video gaming has experienced an exponential rise during lockdown too. Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch all increased sales by more than 160% as compared to April 2019, with the Switch smashing the Wii’s record for highest year-to-date dollar sales for any hardware platform.
It is just not the consoles that are taking flight in terms of sales number, but all measured features such as accessories, in-game purchases and games too have been caught in a purchasing flurry.
April’s top selling game was Final Fantasy VII Remake which set a series record. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare followed with Animal Crossing: New Horizons ranking third. Even software sales have been through the roof with an increase in over 50% as compared to April last year to $662 million, again setting a new record. Video game spending overall also increased 73%.
The reasons why are obvious
Of course, during a pandemic, it is easy to see why such records have not just been broken, but have been well and truly smashed. People are at home and many of them are bored as consoles and devices seem about the only thing left for entertainment.
Such an unprecedented rise is naturally unsustainable, but things may well settle down to a higher baseline rate rather than decline to the original level pre-lockdown. If those who typically are not classed as gamers or who reside in a non-gaming household have jumped on the bandwagon merely to keep stimulation as high as possible during the pandemic, then many could well see the technology as something to hold on to in the future. In essence, the lockdown has provided an unlikely yet incredible boon to the gaming industry.