How the Online Gaming Industry Grew During COVID-19

2020 has been a challenging year for many people around the world, and international industries are no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to stay at home and in turn caused a decline in the profits of numerous businesses.

An industry that has held on despite the pandemic, however, is online gaming. In fact, the world of gaming even grew as a result of state-imposed quarantines all over the globe.

The previous decades have seen the development of the online gaming industry, and it shows no signs of slowing down, despite the challenges that the world at large is facing. 

The Rise of Online Gaming

Games have been a timeless way to pass the time, and as technology has advanced, so has the way games are played. From simple board games and arcade games emerged the world of digital gaming and the gaming industry, and the increased accessibility of the internet in the 1990s introduced people to online gaming. 

In 2003, Steam was launched, which was an avenue for players to buy and download games online. The year after, World of Warcraft rolled out, and become the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game to have a subscriber base of more than 10 million.

With the advances in mobile phone technology, online gaming expanded from PCs and consoles to mobile gaming. Players around the world had access to a multitude of games they could download and play whenever and wherever they want. 

The numerous developments in computers, gaming consoles, and mobile devices throughout the years paved the way for innovative experiences for online gamers around the world, and has of course led to heaps of revenue for the gaming industry. As of 2019, the gaming market was valued at a whopping 151.06 billion dollars

Industries in Online Gaming

Online gaming enabled the rise of multiple related industries as well. The widespread popularity of online games has allowed numerous companies and individuals to pursue further innovations and generate consistent profits.

Streaming 

The online gaming scene has led to the rise of the best players in their respective games. It’s not uncommon for top-tier players to try their hand in streaming to showcase their talents, and they naturally attract audiences from the same player base who want to learn from the best in the game.

Streaming has become a legitimate career option for people around the world, and it is now possible for streamers to make a living off playing online games. This has also led to the growth of streaming services. As of 2020, the streaming site Twitch is worth 15 billion dollars thanks to its worldwide community of streamers and audiences who were brought to the service by online games. 

Esports

Another lane that the best online gamers in the world choose to take, apart from streaming, is esports. Esports has been a platform for these players to establish their position as the most talented and most skilled gamers around. Of course, this has also been a source of electrifying entertainment for gaming fans everywhere.

In 2019, the esports industry brought in 1.1 billion dollars in revenue. Much like traditional sports, gamers around the world now try to sharpen their skills to have a shot at playing video games professionally and making it to the big leagues.

Hardware Developers

Nowadays, it’s all about getting the latest hardware to optimize your online gaming experience. Gamers around the world race to get the newest graphics cards and gaming accessories not just to enhance their experience, but also to make them feel like they’re getting better at their game of choice. 

Just this year, NVIDIA released the new GeForce 30 Series, and stocks were quick to run out. Gamers from all over the world are anxiously awaiting restocks of the latest graphics card line from the hardware developer, and it’s not unlikely that stocks run dry in the blink of an eye again. 

Game Developers

Gamers always look forward to the most hyped releases every year, and the best games last for years until the next big thing comes out. Game developers always look to create the best game that would capture the market, and online games are those that have the most longevity. 

Games like Fortnite and Minecraft remain staples in streaming services, and players of all ages and all demographics continue to spend hours on end playing these games. Fortnite for example was released on 2017, and in 2019 alone, it has generated 1.8 billion dollars in revenue.

Online Gaming’s Growth in this Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live. Our homes became workplaces and schools, and the increased time we spent at home meant increased exposure to our gaming devices.

People around the world either rediscovered their love for online games, were introduced to online games through online trends and streaming, or simply had more time to play the games they used to play, all because of being on lockdown.

The online gaming industry likewise did not disappoint, with releases like Call of Duty: Warzone and Valorant, and modern-day mainstays like Fortnite and League of Legends consistently feeding gamers with content and providing immersive gaming experiences for everyone. 

A study has shown that this year has brought about a 40 percent increase in the time people spent on online games, whether it was on their PCs, gaming consoles, or mobile devices. It was likewise predicted for the gaming industry to generate revenues exceeding 159 billion dollars in 2020. 

Though the final numbers for this year are yet to be seen, it is already apparent that the online gaming industry powered through the COVID-19 pandemic, and could have even benefited from it. Gamers around the world caused the growth of this industry with more time spent playing online games, and with some even turning to streaming as an alternate career path or side hustle. Game developers also came through with providing compelling content to keep players and viewers hooked for months, and there appear to be no indications of any decline soon.

The Future of Online Gaming

With the end of the pandemic in sight, the online gaming industry is set to operate in full force once again and gamers can expect fresh content and bold innovations that will provide state-of-the-art entertainment, such as cloud gaming and virtual reality, not to mention the upcoming games for the new generation of gaming consoles.

But with most of the world still under precautionary measures, gamers can still enjoy their favorite games to help them pass the time. Besides, with all the fun online gaming brings, it wouldn’t seem that long before things go back to normal.