Video games have been providing entertainment for decades, but with a pandemic raging around the world and movement restrictions implemented in various countries, games are becoming increasingly popular. You can see this trend on Steam, which just broke the record for simultaneously logged-in users.
Apart from health aspects, coronavirus has had a negative impact on the world economy and many industries. However, it turns out that the gaming industry is extremely resistant to this phenomenon and may even benefit from imposed restrictions on interpersonal contact. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is the specfic nature of the gaming industry. First of all, remote work has long been practiced in the industry, way before coronavirus, so game development and production do not need to stop or even slow down during the pandemic.
The second reason for gaming’s strong position amidst COVID-19 restrictions is its refined digital distribution system which has been developed over the years. Gamers are not only very willing to buy games via a digital distribution system (e.g. Steam) but are also moving away from boxed releases for PC’s and consoles. Some studios have given up on physical formats entirely, and this is no longer an exceptional situation. Digital distribution not only reduces the cost of launching a game but also makes its premiere global.
Thirdly, social distancing is the current norm. Cinemas and theaters are closed, sporting leagues have suspended games, and other entertainment options have also diminished. Gaming conveniently fills this niche by way of not having any limitations set upon it and having universal appeal – from kids to adults. Not surprisingly, it is during this period that Steam noted a record in the number of simultaneously logged-in users. (On March 15, there were as many as 20,313,476 at the peak.) This is also a time when, due to the limited offer in other types of content, many people may have their first contact with the gaming world and become part of the community. Thus, the consequences of the current state of affairs can also be beneficial for gaming in the longer term.