In a nutshell: Have you found yourself spending more money and time on video games since global lockdowns were put in place? You’re not alone. A new report from data-tracking firm Nielson shows that the US saw a 45 percent increase in the time spent playing games, while 39 percent of people said they were spending more money on their hobby.
As part of its monthly Video Game Tracking survey (Via The Hollywood Reporter), Nielson Games surveyed around 3,000 people in the US, UK, France and Germany. According to the results, every country saw an increase in gaming time over the week between March 23 – 29. America’s 45 percent jump was the biggest spike in gaming time, followed by France’s 38 percent, the UK with 29 percent, then Germany with 20 percent.
Online games are increasing in popularity as more people are confined to their homes, likely helped by the fact players can interact with friends and family in online titles, many of which are free-to-play. Twenty-nine percent of US gamers say they have been playing more of these games since the pandemic began, while other countries have seen similar increases.
Not only are more games being played, more money is also being spent on them. In the US, 39 percent of those polled said they are spending "somewhat or much more" on video games.
With many areas implementing stay-at-home rules and so many retail stores closed, the number of Americans buying games digitally has gone up 42 percent. The last few years have seen downloads become an increasingly popular way of buying games, and the current situation could have a devastating effect on brick-and-mortar stores, many of which were already struggling.
The findings echo an earlier GSD report that showed game and console sales were surging across Europe. The lockdown has also seen Steam breaking its concurrent user record, a jump in sales for home office products, and an uptick in streaming service signups.