Skip to main content

Gaming is more popular than ever due to coronavirus

The video game industry was already doing very well in the last few years, showing impressive and steady growth. But the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders have given the industry an even bigger boost, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

About 32 million more people in the U.S. play games now than in 2018, which means that three in four Americans are now gamers. Those people are also playing way more often, with the average amount of time spent gaming each week up from 12 hours to 14. The category of people that play games less than five hours a week decreased to 39%, while those gaming between five and 15 hours and those gaming more than 15 hours increased to 32% and 20%, respectively.

Multipurpose devices such as smartphones, tablets and PCs are still overwhelmingly the platforms of choice, but more people game on multiple devices than ever before — that group saw an increase from 59% to 65%.

Where things get interesting is when the report delves into specific questions regarding players during the pandemic: 94% of those polled say they engage with their consoles more and 6% said they purchased additional gaming hardware. Thirty-five percent of people said they were gaming more because they were stuck at home.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This report was released days after The NPD Group dropped sales numbers for June, which showed the second-best June gaming has ever had in terms of sales. Sony has also boosted production for the PlayStation 5 due to the booming market.

Last week, the Game Developers Conference released its own report that showed the effect the pandemic had on the makers of games. While some saw a decrease in business, more than 30% of those polled said there had been a greater demand for their titles.

The report also went into the negative effect coronavirus was having on morale, as it found that isolation and lack of access to necessary tools was taking a heavy toll on developers.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Caswell
Professional video producer and writer, gaming enthusiast, and streamer! twitch.tv/greatbritom
Steam Winter Sale 2023: best deals, how long is the sale, and more
A group of four adventures stands on the ends of a cliff in Baldur's Gate 3.

Prepare your wallets, because the Steam Winter Sale 2023 is here to drain whatever cash you have leftover from any holiday spending. Thankfully, you don't have to have a lot left in your bank account since Steam consistently offers some of the steepest discounts on the platform's biggest titles for these sales. From award-winning AAA experiences to smaller, more personal indies, there's a deal here you will want to know about.

Like any sale, the Steam Winter Sale is only here for a limited time. Even if you have too many games in your backlog already, there's no harm in adding a few more since games don't have an expiration date. This could also be a perfect time to grab a game as a gift or maybe a multiplayer game to play with friends over the break!
When is the Steam Winter Sale 2023?
The Steam Winter Sale 2023 began at 10 a.m. PT on December 21, 2023, and will conclude at 10 a.m. PT on January 4, 2024.
Best deals for Steam Winter Sale 2023

Read more
Insomniac Games hit by ransomware attack; Wolverine details and more leaked
Shot of Logan's back in Marvel's Wolverine.

Sony-owned studio Insomniac Games was hacked by a ransomware group, resulting in a leak of previously unknown details about Marvel's Wolverine, as well as the studio and Sony's future plans.

Ransomware group Rhysida released around 1.67 terabytes of data obtained from Insomniac via a hack on Monday night, according to Cyber Daily. Reporting by Axios shows that the organization has a reputation for stealing personal information like Social Security numbers through cyberattacks on companies like Prospect Medical Holdings.

Read more
Our favorite Xbox Series X games of 2023: Starfield, Hi-Fi Rush, and more
A character from Starfield stands in front of text that Best Xbox Games 2023.

This was a year of low lows and high highs for Xbox.

On one hand, Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition faced a whole lot of scrutiny and Bethesda's Redfall was a bust. On the other, Xbox Game Studios finally started to release first-party games more consistently in 2023, some long-awaited games finally released, and the Activision Blizzard deal eventually went through. Microsoft now looks to keep that momentum going into 2024 as it integrates the Call of Duty publisher into its organization and tries to keep up the first-party consistency with games like Senua's Saga: Hellblade II and Avowed.

Read more