The whole world is feeling the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Entire industries have been shaken by the distancing and shelter-at-home measures imposed by governments, usually the ones that rely on people leaving their homes. At the same time, “stay home” businesses are thriving. Video and music streaming services have seen demand soar in the last two months, and more people are playing online video games than ever before – using the extra time suddenly at hand to play all the games they missed before the pandemic.
The numbers crunched by gaming intelligence specialist Newzoo have revealed what genres gamers prefer during the lockdown and just how much extra time they are dedicating to gaming.
Shooters for the win
Shooters have seen spectacular growth both in the number of gamers and the time dedicated to them in the first three months of the year. Part of the growth was due to the release of Escape from Tarkov, a long-awaited title released this January, and to the launch of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. At the same time, Rainbow Six: Siege has seen its player base almost double due to a massive influx of players from China.
Overall, the player share of online shooters has grown to 46% between last December and this March, stealing some players from the Battle Royale titles.
The deck-building genre has seen its player share grow by 34% in the same time period, thanks in a large part to Legends of Runeterra. The game has been very well received by the public, gathering a large player base pretty quickly.
Riot Games has outlined an ambitious roadmap for new releases this year, including the upcoming new shooter called Valorant and LoL Esports Manager that lets players experience what it’s like to manage an eSports team.
Gambling games, arcade titles, battle royale games, and platformers have also seen double-digit growth of their player share in the first three months of the year. The platformer genre received a massive boost from Ori and the Will of the Wisps released this March, while the Battle Royale genre has seen its numbers grow due to Call of Duty: Warzone, Activision’s free-to-play shooter.
More time to play
Newzoo’s numbers show that gamers dedicate, on average, almost twice as much time each day to gaming. The average daily playtime across the shooter genre has grown from 38 minutes in December to 60 minutes in March. In a survey, Newzoo asked gamers from the US, Italy, and Japan about why they play this much more. Almost half of them responded that they simply had more time to play – and the vast majority of the respondents said that this increase in spare time was due to the ongoing pandemic. Many of them, in turn, are using games as a way to socialize, and for many, gaming serves as a means of escaping the current reality.
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