How the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Affected the Gaming Industry (Part 1)Apr 5, 2020 | 0 Votes by jose - rate The COVID-19 Outbreak has affected everything and everyone the world over. The gaming industry is no exception. Let's take an initial look on what is currently going on in the gaming world.
The Corona COVID-19 Pandemic is probably one of the most wide spread if not the worst to plague humanity in today's modern times. The global infection rate is continually growing and the death toll is astounding. Originating from China, this contagion has managed to cross continents at such rapid and unprecedented rates which has prompted if not forced world governments to mass isolate or quarantine their populations for protective and preventive reasons. These particular viral strain (SARS-coV-2) is spread through physical contact, proximity, sneezing, coughing and probably even simply breathing. It is that dangerous.
Except for people involved in front-line operations to address and combat this explosive viral situation, everyone is advised if not ordered to stay at home and avoid outdoor activities unless necessary. Self protection when outdoors is a mask, err...must. It is better to be safe than sorry so social distancing is the norm of the times. The contagion can result in extreme ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which is the result of death for most of the casualties. This cannot be taken lightly and from the perspective of a gamer, it's sort of like those nightmare games such as The Last Of Us, Days Gone, World War Z and even Left 4 Dead have come to hunt you in real life.
The lock-downs, the economic slow down, the stoppage of normal operations and the continual infections have affected industry at a global scale. This includes the gaming industry as well. However, unlike other concurrent industries which have been heavily hit by the outbreak, the effects of the COVID Pandemic on gaming have been proven to be a mixed bag. Several negative results and situations affecting the industry have occurred but extreme positive growths are happening at the same time. People are basically trapped in their homes which has given rise to gaming activities in general be it mobile, on-line or off-line gaming.
To this, let's take a look at some of the negative effects and instances which have and are currently happening to the overall games industry. Because people currently cannot congregate (unless you don't mind becoming infected by D spores and having your head explode), important live game industry events have been cancelled or temporarily postponed. This includes big gatherings like E3 2020 and the Games Developer Conference. Of course, one could always set-up one's new game or hardware exhibit but then, no one would be (stupid enough) there to see it.
Live eSports might end up as DeadSports. It just so happens that the player beside you, your buddy who always covers you from enemy fire is afire with D fever and in the midst of that glorious kill slaps a high-five with you. It's like passing you a live "Fire In The Hole" just about to explode! Besides, no one (in their right mind) would probably want to play eSports wearing a full Hazmat suit and communicating via actual radio link. That would just be too "OverKill". So, Overwatch League events cancelled, Call of Duty League events cancelled, EVE Online’s Iceland Fanfest cancelled, Electronic Arts competitive gaming live events suspended and so on and so forth.
With the lock-downs in place, nobody (unless essentially needed) goes to work. No work, no production, factories closed, stores closed, offices closed and the door to your house or apt. should also be closed. It is but natural that the supply of hardware and even some software products will inadvertently come to a standstill. Out-of-Stock even if some stores still remain open. Some of the affected include Nintendo's Switch. The Japan supply has evaporated at the current moment. The Oculus Quest currently cannot fulfill the orders, Apple iPhone production is delayed as well and the much awaited TurboGrafx-16 Mini Konami plug-and-play gaming console (with 50 glorious retro games) has been indefinitely delayed due to the outbreak.
On the positive side, the IOS game Plague Inc. topped the charts in China and has climb up the rankings in other countries as well. However, it was taken down from Apple’s App Store in China due to alleged licensing issues. Developed and published by UK-based Ndemic Creations, the player must create and evolve a pathogen in order to obliterate the human population with a killer plague. There probably is something here that we do not know. Hmmm...calling Mr. Chris Chapell, Mr. Chris Chapell Pls. But really, Plague Inc. overtook MineCraft as top paid app in the US because of all these.
Top game companies like Riot Games and others have donated millions to address the current pandemic situation. Also, many game companies (especially in the mobile market) have started to adopt remote working operations for their developers and employees. This current world lock-down effect has caused mobile gaming to go on the rise.
Finally, on-line gaming is literally bursting at it's seams. The outbreak and lock-down has caused millions of gamers to download and play games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends and other similar games. Valve's Steam platform is overloading as well. With Schools worldwide shutting down, millions of kids are staying home causing gaming networks and online services to be inundated. Besides, at a time like this, what's a kid to do.
As of this writing, based on figures from the WHO (World Health Organization) there are around 803,519 total cases, 172,425 recovered and around 39,038? dead. But then, the Chinese Gov. has been lying through their teeth from the get-go so the last figure may end up questionable. Regardless, these figures are projected to continually rise and in such dire times like this, the future is very much at a flux and this history as they say is yet to be written. Time will tell what will happen and how the game industry will continue to be affected and respond to this.
For now, as gamers, we can only Pray, take all the necessary precautions, stay safe, try not to worry, think positive and fire up one's favorite game. God Bless You All everyone.