LONDON, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The coronavirus pandemic has had a positive impact on the video gaming industry. As more and more people across the globe are quarantined at their houses, they are looking for other ways to keep themselves occupied within the confines of their isolation. Video gaming has emerged as a popular means of entertainment which also allows for social connectivity over digital platforms. For example, in China, Steam, which is a major PC digital game distribution platform, reached the highest count of users at 19.1 million in February when China was in lockdown. In the US, Verizon reported that gaming internet traffic has gone up 75% since quarantine came into effect. Streaming service Twitch saw a 20% increase from the previous year in the hours of content consumed since the lockdown.
A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of video game in which the player portrays the role of a protagonist or character(s) in a fictional setting to improve the level or character statistics over the course of the game. RPGs can be single-player or multi-player. The global role-playing games market will grow from $15,793.3 million in 2019 to $22,471.3 million in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.22%.
The rising involvement of gamers due to the COVID-19 situation is expected to positively impact the role play gaming market. In countries such as the UK and the US, many employees who have been furloughed off work, but are still being paid and do not have anywhere else to spend the money, are turning to online gaming, to get some form of escapism. According to Verizon, overall traffic related to internet gaming has increased 75% since restrictions were imposed in America. Bungie, a video-game developer, says that average daily user engagement on their RPG game "Destiny 2" is up 10% worldwide and as much as 20% in the markets most affected by the coronavirus. This can be attributed to people being increasingly stuck at home and finding online gaming as an easy way to pass time. In February 2020, the games company Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, issued an apology after the users had to wait for lengthy times in China due to a high influx of players from the country.
Increasing Demand For Streaming Games
Game developers are increasingly providing streaming video game services to take advantage of emerging 5G and cloud computing technologies. Several countries have already adopted 5G, which has greatly improved internet speed. This will increase the number of downloads and streaming of games. Streaming allows for continuously playing the latest version of the game, without having to update the game at all. Cloud computing and fast internet speeds will enable users to play games from any computer, and will also increase accessibility. For example, Sprint launched its unlimited mobile cloud gaming with Hatch Premium on 5G network. It allows for games to be streamed via the cloud to mobile devices. The games include Monument Valley, Beach Buggy Racing, and Angry Birds Go.
Adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR) Technologies
Video game developers are increasingly adopting VR and AR technologies to enhance players' gaming experiences. VR includes a computer-generated simulated environment, usually with auditory and visual feedback. AR provides an interactive experience by integrating computer-generated information with real-life objects. According to the VRDC VR/AR Innovation report published in 2017, 78% of AR, VR and mixed reality developers were focusing on developing games integrated with these technologies. For instance, Half-Life: Alyx is a brand-new game in the Half-Life universe designed exclusively for PC virtual reality systems. In March 2020, around 43,000 users played Valve's Half-Life: Alyx on Steam in one day. The game was listed in the top 25 games on Steam with the most concurrent players. Other RPG's such as Pokemon Go also extensively use VR to engage users. Major companies developing games with AR and VR technologies include Niantic, Owlchemy Labs, Unity Technologies, and Ubisoft.
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