A new examine has proven in numbers what we have already found anecdotally–gaming has surged in reputation in the previous couple of years, and much more so because the COVID-19 pandemic started. The report by The NPD Group exhibits not solely that extra individuals within the United States are gaming since 2018, they’re additionally enjoying extra typically, and throughout extra completely different platforms.
As of 2020, three out of each 4 Americans play video video games, in keeping with the survey, a rise of 32 million individuals since 2018. They’re additionally spending extra time playing–the class of players enjoying lower than 5 hours every week decreased 8% since 2018 to a complete of 39%, whereas players enjoying 5-15 hours elevated 2% to 32% whole, and people enjoying over 15 hours per week elevated 6% to make up 20% of gamers within the US.
While players are additionally, on common, enjoying on extra units, the examine does not lean in direction of anybody within the console wars–rather good telephones, tablets and PCs had been the platform of selection. The variety of players utilizing multiple system elevated from 59% in 2018 to 65% in 2020.
With the newest survey happening within the midst of the COVID-19 disaster, the report additionally collected information on how the pandemic has modified the way in which we play. Unsurprisingly, 35% of players reported that they had been enjoying video games extra typically as a result of lockdown. Six p.c of players stated that they began utilizing a brand new device–whether that meant shopping for a console or taking over gaming on a cellphone or pc they already owned–due to the COVID-19 lockdown. After the lockdown created a complete shortage of Nintendo Switches, this statistic does not appear too shocking.
“Video games are one of the primary ways friends and family are staying connected through a difficult time,” stated Mat Piscatella, an NPD group analyst, referring to a phenomenon we have observed from the earliest days of the pandemic. With its launch completely (but hopefully unintentionally) timed for the worldwide lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has change into a venue for events like birthday parties and weddings. Younger players are using Roblox to hang out with friends, whereas Fortnite is organising digital occasions from concerts to movie screenings and even a discussion of racial issues in America.