The first news headline that caught my eye when I checked my news feed this morning was “US overtakes China with most coronavirus cases” on BBC. I also recall catching another headline “One-third of humanity under virus lockdown” a couple of days ago, after India decided to go into a country-wide lockdown. We are living in a dark time where history books will record for future generations to talk about. As of, 27th March 2020, the world has about 532K infected cases and over 24K deaths caused, with mixed containment results. It is not going away anytime soon (very informative graphics from Financial Times):
Behaviour and Trends
Whether is it due to company’s’ Business Continuity Planning (BCP) arrangements or social distancing recommendations by healthcare experts, people all over are already working remotely or forced to stay home in order to reduce infection through close contact. Never before has this meme been more true!
As a result, you see a necessity spike in all remote/virtual platforms out there keeping the economic engine running, and of course, keeping humankind sane while trapped at home. The industries that have gone into over-drive since the pandemic outbreak:
- Work – Collaboration services like video conferencing, VPN services, Online Education, Telcos (infrastructure/enabler), Cloud Computing, Electronic Payments
- Personal – e-Commerce, Food Delivery, Streaming Services (Music/Video), Social Media Platforms, and of course Gaming
Gaming as the Healing Salve
With the prospect of further economic disruptions and long stretches of social isolation looming on the horizon, we foresee that gaming habits are likely to undergo a massive transformation as even non-gamers now are giving it a serious spin. Just imagine – one would eventually run out of drama/movies they like to watch on Netflix after a few months – but 1 good game can last hundreds or thousands of hours. Some online games are even designed to be played for years. Case(s) in point – some of us have been playing World of Warcraft for over 15 years – while great mobile games which provide a variety of staying power are churned out every few weeks.
While social distancing keeps people apart or in their separate homes physically, the need to connect and socialize remains. More than any forms of medium, gaming is designed for community-based entertainment – whether you are playing the game directly, or watching someone doing so. The statistics substantiate the growing trend of people heading into gaming as a way to engage, socialize or simply to relax:
- Steam New Record – Shattered previous peak of 18+ million concurrent users within 24hrs, to a new record of 22.7M (https://steamdb.info/app/753/graphs). It has about 30K games in its digital library, and you really only need to be hooked on 1 or 2 good ones to have years of endless fun (DOTA 2 / CS: GO anyone?)
- Nintendo Switch Sold Out – The popular handheld console is already sold out at major retailers in the US,with similar trends also rising globally. Doesn’t help that Animal Crossing: New Horizon was both a hotly anticipated title as well as a perfect game to calm down nerves and escape into your own island (https://link.zeusx.com/nintendo-switch-d466a)
- Verizon US Gaming traffic – Shot up by 75% in 1 week, vs 12%-20% for other content (https://link.zeusx.com/gaming-usage-20c80). Although not fully representative of the whole country, it does give a pretty good gauge of where people are diverting their anxiety onto
- Gaming apps download surges in China – Average weekly downloads of apps increased by 40%, of which majority are mobile games (https://link.zeusx.com/china-mobile-apps)
- Pokemon Go sees huge revenue increase – The game generated about $23 million during the coronavirus outbreak, majority of it from the US (https://link.zeusx.com/pokemon-2b9d3) . It has also recently modified its game to cater for players being trapped in-house and no longer force them to head outside.
How Gaming Entities are giving back to the Community
It has been very heartening to see that gaming companies and personalities have stepped up during these trying times and give back to the community as much as possible. We consolidated some of these known efforts here:
- Riot Games gives $1.5 million to help coronavirus relief efforts
- Razer Converts Manufacturing Lines To Produce And Donate 1 Million Surgical Masks
- SecretLab’s Stay-at-Home limited promotion giving up to $150 (about 1/3) off the listed price
- Ninja donated $150,000 to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak
- Plague Inc. creator Ndemic Creations donated $250,000 to aid in the COVID-19 fight
When ZeusX was first founded, it has a clear mission statement – To create a better life for gamers everywhere – and go beyond mere economic objectives. Being small and new, we don’t have the money or resources to match the kind gestures by our fellow community. However, as gamers and part of the gaming community, we want to do our bit in return and serve the society-at-large too.
So with immediate effect, ZeusX has decided to waive ALL sales fees for the next 3 months until 30th June 2020. This applies to any currently and newly listed items on our marketplace. Our sellers will receive 100% of their listed item price with absolutely no gimmicks. We hope this will help those folks who are cooped-up/trapped at home or may have even lost their job in this downturn – to rise as we beat the virus together.
Game on, our brothers and sisters.
See the full article of “Gaming rises in a COVID-19 World” here: