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COVID-19 Gaming Statistics

by Georgie Peru

Gaming Statistics During COVID-19

The COVID-19 impact on gaming has been evolving since Spring 2020. Since the COVID-19 global pandemic, user engagement among Gen Z and Millennials has increased massively.

Keeping millions of people at home, Coronavirus saw an influx of new forms of entertainment, especially within the video game industry.

“People are at home, they have nothing to do, they are not commuting,”

Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities

Gaming giants like Nintendo, Microsoft, and Activision have thrived in the pandemic. In April 2020, Microsoft reported the number of subscribers to its Game Pass service had surpassed 10 million. They saw a 130 percent increase in multiplayer game engagement.

Games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons also saw a boost in sales, selling 13.5 million copies after its release in March 2020. 

With 76% of homes in the US having at least one connected internet device, 82% of global consumers played video games and watched gaming-related content during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

It’s clear that with more people being at home, new and existing gamers across multiple platforms reached for their controllers, headsets, and remotes. But with the pandemic and lockdowns across the world now easing, will we continue to see this trend in 2021 and beyond?

Here are the best gaming statistics during COVID-19, and COVID-19 related gaming statistics for 2021.

Gaming Statistics 2021

  • The global video game market value in 2020 reached $155.89 billion
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global increase in time spent video gaming was 39%
  • 16% of EU gamers said that gaming had a positive effect on their mental health during lockdowns
  • The share of mobile gamers who prefer chatting with other people online during gaming is 31%
  • 17% of Europeans played more video games online during lockdown
  • 42% say playing multiplayer games during COVID-19 made them feel happier
  • Digital gaming spending on in-game content increased by 12%
  • Nintendo reported a 42.8% digital revenue share for 2020

Gaming Statistics During Lockdown

  • Latin American gamers increased their time spent on video games by 52%
  • Asia-Pacific was ranked second in terms of increased user engagement with a 42% increase
  • The most popular gaming genres during COVID-19 were fighting, MOBA, and battle royale games
  • European gamers said they felt less isolated playing games during lockdown
  • Gaming video content viewers surpassed 1.2 billion in 2020
  • The most popular streaming platform is Twitch
  • Twitch audiences watched over 1 trillion minutes of video content
  • The active number of streamers on Twitch is 9.36 million

Most Popular COVID-19 Games

  • Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons has made 32.6 million lifetime sales
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout generated 11 million unit sales between August and December 2020
  • Roblox increased its DAU by nearly 10 million between the first and second quarters of 2020
  • Fornite held several in-game live concert events
  • Honour of Kings is the leading free-to-play game with $2.45 billion
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 10.62 million units between April 2020 and March 2021
  • The digital download ratio of PlayStation gaming software unit sales in FY20 (fiscal year) reached 79%

Gaming Statistics User Behavior

  • Globally, there was an increase of 39% in time spent playing video games in 2020
  • 60% of players played different game types during COVID-19
  • 40% of players continued to play the same game types as of June 2020
  • 60% of players engaged more in multiplayer games
  • COVID-19 saw a 30% increase in time spent playing fighting games and a 19% decrease in strategy/puzzle games
  • PC gamers spent more time engaging with fighting and battle royale games, with a 24% and 19% increase, respectively
  • During COVID-19, the monthly video game spend increased by 42%, with only a 15% increase post COVID-19

Mobile Gaming COVID-19 Statistics

  • As of October 2020, new mobile gamers in the US spent an average of 13.1 hours per week on gaming apps
  • 54% of new gamers in the US said they preferred being part of a team when playing against other players
  • 87% of new and existing mobile gamers from the US said they played single-player mobile games
  • The average monthly spend on mobile games in Germany was $32.45 in July 2020
  • Ad-supported games are the most popular monetization methods among new mobile gamers

Streaming Statistics During The Pandemic

  • The audience for video game content grew to 1.2 billion viewers
  • In 2020, video game streaming saw an 18% growth from the previous period
  • In 2019, Twitch audiences watched 660 billion minutes of content, and exceeded 1 trillion minutes of content in 2020
  • 264.9 million hours were streamed on Twitch in Q1 of 2021
  • 6.34 billion hours were watched on Twitch in Q1 of 2021
  • Twitch had 9.36 million active streamers in April 2021
  • YouTube Gaming Live generated 1.373 billion hours of content watched in the first quarter of 2021
  • Facebook Gaming reached 1.06 billion hours of streaming content in Q1 2021, reaching an all-time high

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