The novel Covid-19 Corona virus has had adverse effects on the global economy. With governments effecting lockdowns in an effort to flatten the infection curve, many industries have, effectively, ground to a halt overnight. The mass stay-in has been a boon for the gaming industry however, with mobile, console and PC game providers logging higher numbers of downloads, session durations, and in-game purchases. Crypto-based gaming has followed suit.
In the months since the Covid-19 respiratory disease reached pandemic proportions, millions of people (students, and breadwinners alike) have had to stay home. One great way to pass the idle time – when not doing remote work, or pursuing a self improvement project, of course – is gaming. People across the globe seem to have taken to the pass time with great fervor, as gaming activity and game downloads have seen an uptick since various governments started declaring emergency lockdowns.
One can see why, since games are relatively easy to acquire through download, are entertaining enough to offer hours of engagement and distraction from the uncertainty, frustration, and anxiety of not being able to carry out regular routines. According to Sensor Tower, the lockdown in China, alone, saw the number of global gaming downloads rise by 39% for the month of March, 2020.
Popular video game platform, Steam, also reported a record 23.5 million concurrent users for the month, while E-sports also seems to be filling the void left by the cancellation of live sporting events for many users. The shooter genre has, according to data gaming market analytics outfit, NewZoo, seen a 40% jump in user numbers in march. Higher than last December’s numbers, which is traditionally a peak gaming period.
Crypto-based gaming and In-game token demand have not just been sitting-by either. US-based crypto gaming firm, Bling recently reported a 50% uptick in user base over the last month. The company states that their platform saw 70,000 daily users and 400,000 active monthly use for the month of March. With the world staying home and looking for ways to while away their idle hours, Bling’s Bitcoin Blast game has logged over a million downloads on Google’s App Store
.With 85% of gaming revenue coming from free-to-play games, 50% of gamers admit to have made,at least, one in-game purchase in the past year. These In-game purchases are up 11% according to analytics platform AppFlyer.
In-game purchases are increasingly becoming a part of the modern gaming experience, enabling pseudo-economies within games, and giving players the ability to purchase virtual items (armour, weapons, etc.) to gain an edge or personalize the gaming experience. We’re seeing more and more games use in-game tokens for these purchases.
Some gaming firms are beginning to incorporate blockchain elements to ensure the security of user value, easy exchange and transmission of said value, and lower transaction costs. Although only 7% of gaming executives are currently of the opinion that blockchain will play a future in the industry, the 44% jump in gaming sales over the the month of March and gaming trends shifting as a result of the Coronavirus lockdowns, more firms will likely begin to pursue blockchain as a means to better secure their platforms from cyber attackers (who will probably be attracted by the ever-increasing In-game token based transactions)