After lockdowns because of Covid hit nearly every country around the globe, a lot of those stuck at home resorted to playing video games as a substitute for physically socializing as games can connect them with friends. This caused the gaming industry to suddenly boom in the spring of 2020. The global increase in time spent playing video games was 39% and the industry was worth a total of nearly 160 billion USD. Although this crazy number declined after 2020 as lockdowns eased, the gaming industry is still a giant.
How does gaming affect peoples’ minds?
Sage Journals conducted an online survey asking gamers how they think gaming has affected them. The results showed that the majority of people felt that gaming had a positive effect on their mental well-being during the pandemic. This is because gaming gives opportunities to socialize, blow off steam, and help deal with the anxiety that the pandemic causes. Many parents believe that the increased time spent playing video games causes an increase in cases of depression and anxiety in younger people. However, many studies disprove this statement and suggest quite the opposite. Psychologists have conducted numerous studies (even before Covid-19) that proved that gaming does have a positive effect on someone’s well-being.
This said, the positive effect has transcended into the Covid-19 pandemic and really has helped many people deal with stress and anxiety. They have reported that gaming was one of the main reasons for being able to cope during the lockdowns. Players also claim that they started to play multiplayer games to socialize. This helped them meet new friends online who had similar interests and also kept them entertained.
Financial effects of Covid-19 on the gaming industry
The gaming industry was worth around 120 billion USD in 2019 (right before the pandemic). It surged to a staggering 160 billion USD. This is an increase of 40 billion USD in the span of one year. To put the numbers into context, the increase in the gaming industry’s value from 2018-2019 was 15 billion USD. Experts estimate that 75% of people who started playing mobile games during the pandemic will stick to them even after the pandemic.
The pandemic has affected the mobile gaming industry the most. This is because a lot of people did not own a gaming console before it. So, they turned to mobile gaming. 48% of the gaming industry’s value is mobile gaming. Analytics only expect it to grow.
Esports is another region of gaming that has seen major growth during the pandemic. Although esports have only generated 1 billion USD, the shorter end of the gaming industry, it is only headed up. This is because a lot of esports fans have discovered it during the pandemic. Analytics estimate that the revenue for esports is going to drastically increase from now since it’s a very new industry.
However many parents claim that gaming causes their child’s brain to rot, the statistical facts are inarguable and the benefits overwhelmingly outweigh the cons of gaming. Gaming is a relatively new industry and it is only expected to grow from here. This is because newer generations are generally more inclined to spend their free time playing video games than older generations. Covid-19 has only helped the growth of the gaming industry as it snatched the spotlight during 2020 and 2021 and is expected to hold the spotlight through 2022.