If nothing else, 2020 has been a year of fundamental changes to the way we live our lives. Everything from the way we socialize to how we travel and the ways we work have changed as a result of the pandemic and its complications.
You might assume that gaming is one of the few areas which has not been hugely affected by the pandemic, lockdowns, and other restrictions. After all, most gamers spend their time gaming from the comfort of their own home anyway. However, the societal shifts experienced in 2020 have also affected gaming in fundamental ways, which are explored below.
Changes to gaming models
Along with a pandemic, the advent of 2020 has also seen the beginning of a global recession. Fewer players are interested in (or able to) splashing out on new console systems and games. The new PS5 Is likely to be very successful, but it is also far out of the price range for many players right now.
Alongside the global recession, there has also been a move away from buying games and towards subscription models and free games with the option of in-game purchases. The subscription model means that, although the company is not receiving the benefit of players purchasing expensive games, they are still benefiting from the ongoing subscription model.
Online gambling and casino apps
Another type of gaming, online gambling, has also experienced something of a revolution. As the pandemic continues and we all need to spend more time at home, many gamblers who enjoy going to casinos have turned to online casinos and gambling apps. Gambling sites like those found on America’s Top Casino’s list of best New Jersey online casinos provide competitive registration bonuses, a plethora of different games, and an easy-to-use platform.
As online gambling continues to increase in popularity, it would not be surprising to see an influx of new, innovative gaming apps breaking onto the market and an increase in first-time players trying out gaming from the comfort of their couch.
The rise of streaming
Streaming platforms like Twitch have seen a massive increase in popularity over the course of the year. Streaming involves gamers live streaming their playing, speaking with their fans, giving commentary, and having fun with those who are watching them play. Some streamers are developing massive followings on the platform and have transformed streaming into full-time careers. Streaming has turned into a lucrative business for the platforms and streamers – some of whom enjoy subscriptions and sponsorships.
More people are turning to streaming platforms like Twitch to enjoy some of the socializing, camaraderie, and fun that they may be missing from nights out at the bar, or with friends. While streaming cannot replace the time we spent together with friends, it is a great way to experience some of the same sense of community, fun, and entertainment.
eSports scores big
As the year has progressed, a number of select sports have been able to resume, albeit without fans watching in the stadium, and with a huge number of precautions. For much of the last year, all major sporting events (and minor sporting events) were cancelled or postponed.
Not to be deterred from their favorite pastime, sports fans looked for another outlet which could scratch their sports-watching-itch. During this period, many fans who previously never would have considered watching eSports, began watching eSports games and tournaments.
The number of viewers for tournaments greatly increased around the world and it looks like some fans are here to stay. Preliminary market research of the sector is showing that many new fans are interested in continuing to watch and follow eSports, even after traditional sports have properly resumed.
Socializing during lockdown
A wide range of different types of gaming have grown in popularity during 2020 in part because of the way that gaming allows for remote socializing. Whether you are chatting with streamers on Twitch, playing games with your friends remotely, or hosting a family game night over Zoom, gaming has allowed for people to connect and socialize even from great distances.
As the pandemic continues and restrictions increase, it is likely that more and more people will turn to gaming for fun, for entertainment, and to socialize with friends, family, and acquaintances. The gaming industry is one of the most innovative and fast-moving industries out there, so we can all rest assured that there will be a number of new games, platforms, and streamers launched on the market soon.