There’s little doubt that COVID-19 has proven tough for a lot of people. But when the going gets tough, apparently, the tough start gaming because a recent survey shows that huge numbers of people picked up our favorite holiday during the pandemic.
And we’re not just talking about a little bit of lockdown smartphone Candy Crush here and there.
As we’ve reported in the past several weeks, games are selling like wild and many people attribute that to the unique conditions this year has brought. I mean, Animal Crossing was a thing at one point in the popular media, let’s not forget that. If you had told me ten years ago that Animal Crossing would be a thing and discussed on a massive scale, I would not have believed you but here we are.
Yet it’s not like this hasn’t been a huge year for games in general. Surprisingly, the arrival of next-gen consoles has not slowed the pace of triple-A blockbuster games coming out this year. It seems like everyone is having their day in the sun and helping the industry break records at the same time in terms of revenue.
A survey by NPD Group revealed that a whopping 79% of US consumers play games regularly now. One of the biggest demographics to show an increase in gaming is the 65+ age group, a segment that will get quite large as more and more people retire in developed nations around the world.
But back to the 79%. That’s not a small number. You mean to tell us that 8 out of 10 people game now? Does gamer mean anything?
How that is possible we’ll never know but we’re certain this dataset includes the occasional smartphone gaming. There’s also proof that’s not all that is going on out there.
Take, for example, Cyberpunk 2077’s record-shattering one million concurrent players on Steam the other day. That’s an awful lot of people playing one game and it speaks to the broader movements in the industry. Another interesting number out of the Cyberpunk 2077 saga is that a full 80% of sales so far were for digital-only copies of the game. If you were wondering when the sea change to digital and streaming was coming, it’s looking like the tide is coming in if 2020 is anything to use as a judge.
The biggest question that analysts – and likely investors as well as game company management – has right now is whether or not 2020 is a blip on the radar in terms of the growth of the industry or if we’re seeing the beginnings of a new age of gaming. Sadly, to be cliche, only time will tell.
What do you think about the concept of everyone as a gamer? Do you see evidence of this among your friends and contacts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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