Technology during the pandemic was the only one that enablead a feel of community and socialization that is desperately needed to everyone.
People all over the world are still in their homes, either because of the fear of coronavirus infection, or because of crisis measures like banning public gatherings. Such a situation had a positive impact on playing and watching video games, which proved to be the most common diversion during the global pandemic. The number of active video game users is growing week by week, and the games are breaking records in terms of downloads and usage. Twitch, the leading livestreaming video service and community for multiplayer entertainment, has seen a 30% increase in viewership, while video gaming was up 45% during the quarantine.
'Blame it' on Fortnite
Netflix, which is currently worth more than Disney, said the main focus has been placed on Fortnite which, by engaging celebrities like Travis Scott, is achieving record numbers. This is confirmed by the fact that in Italy alone, there was a 70% increase in internet traffic, and the CEO of Telecom Italia pointed out Fortnite as the main "culprit" for this.
Pro sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL and NASCAR have created virtual seasons on online platforms given the inability to hold competitions live. Meanwhile, esports leagues such as the Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, League of Legends, and NBA 2K League are continuing their seasons with online competition, with teams competing from home instead of in front of live audiences.
Let’s get married in a video game
Aside of escape from reality, the online gaming industry offers the ability to connect with others, something that in the ‘real’ world, in many countries, is not yet possible. Technology during the pandemic was the only one that enablead a feel of community and socialization that is desperately needed to everyone. In other words, in addition to socializing with someone aside your household, the world of video games gives also a sense of purpose, achievement and meaning, even if it is winning virtual points that do not serve anything concrete.
The Nintendo, for example, launched the Animal Crossing game in the middle of a pandemic, which allowed players to build their digital island, facilities such as museums or clothing stores, but also enabled to socialize with other players. Some users at Animal Crossing celebrate birthdays, go on dates and even hold weddings that are cancelled in the real world.
New advertising channel
Online platforms have also been recognized as a place to show togetherness in this new situation. So, Twitch hosted a humanitarian Stream Aid where pro gamers, musicians, celebrities and athletes converged on the platform and raised nearly three million dollars for the World Health Organization and Covid-19 relief.
All of the above shows a significant increase in the use of online and gaming platforms. Due to their popularity, they represent a new advertising channel that can open the door of completely new world to brands.