The COVID-19 pandemic led to a change in many industries. However, some seemed to thrive due to the restrictions proposed to help minimize infection rates. An example of this is the video gaming industry.
With 2020 marking the launch of new gaming console models, game releases, and strict lockdown measures, video gamers rushed to make purchases. The latest tech on hand meant they could easily comply with stay-home measures while also staying entertained. Some of the games fans rushed to get included:
- Call of Duty by Activision Blizzard Inc.
- Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 by Electronic Arts Inc.
- Red Dead Redemption and Borderlands by Take-Two under Rockstar Games
Other companies that recorded their growth include Zynga Inc, Applovin Corp, Playtika Holding Corp, Unity Software Inc, and Roblox Corp. Zynga, for example, reported an 85% growth of daily mobile game users in 2021. That’s compared to the same period in 2020 when everyone was experiencing lockdowns, and even children were home from school.
Experts had forecasted a growth of nearly four times the revenue generated in 2019 for 2020. So, while 2019 brought in $43 billion, 2020 managed to rake in over $179 billion.
The Asia-Pacific region accounted for at least 50% of the revenue. North America makes up for at least 25% of the revenue share. The majority of these numbers are for mobile gaming platforms.
A Growing Popularity For eSports
ESports is another video game branch showing impressive growth. With all sporting events put on hold, many sports fans had nothing to look forward to as COVID-19 restrictions took hold.
However, video gamers found a way to enjoy their favorite events through eSports. That’s thanks to the growing infrastructure around mobile gaming platforms as well as audience participation.
Players get to team up for competitions through these games. Although in-person events got canceled due to the pandemic, online games continue to grow revenues and participating audiences.
Forecasts place the growth at 14.5%. This means audiences will have increases to around 474 million by the end of 2021. The same research also indicated generated revenues are set to reach $1.1 billion within the same period.
Online Poker Growth and Zoom Poker Games
Part of the reason the online poker scene has grown is the social aspect of playing the game. Although everyone is concentrating on their hand, there’s a level of camaraderie among everyone at the table.
Video gaming fans don’t have this sort of thing, thanks to the simulated environments of their games. As such, a significant number of gamers put their control pads down and headed for online poker tables.
These poker sites for money offer more than just a place for people to socialize. They also enable players to compete for large prize pools, depending on the game and size of the pot. The rise in COVID-19 infections left many people jobless. So, the thought of making money while having fun playing poker seemed like a worthwhile alternative.
It even led to the growth of Zoom poker, which is a poker game played over a Zoom call. It offers an experience similar to visiting live poker rooms. However, you can set it up among friends and not worry about online poker regulations in your area, which tend to be a big concern for US-based online poker fans.
Video Gaming Options Still Growing
Even with video game sales at an all-time high, there’s more good news for video gaming fans. As of mid-July 2021, Netflix announced it’s joining the video gaming industry.
The streaming giant has experienced great success due to the global pandemic. In the first half of 2020 alone, more than 26 million new subscribers joined the service. This year, though, Netflix only gained around 5.5 million subscribers, a significant slump compared to the same period last year.
Although this is still an impressive number, the streaming service is branching out to help turn the tide in its favor. That’s because the last time it saw such subscription numbers was in 2013 when it started creating original programming varieties.
What to Expect with Netflix’s Games
The offered games will come as part of the service provider’s existing subscription packages. As such, there will be no extra charges to access the available games. It’ll also enable clients to get more value with their preferred subscriptions.
What will be offered is yet to be announced. However, it was alluded to that the games will start as mobile-compatible options. That’s before the service provider moves to have consoles and TV sets.
As for the gaming content, the chief product officer mentioned the first games would be based on the service provider’s more popular releases. Depending on its success, Netflix may even go as far as creating a film or TV series based on the released games.