Video game enthusiasts come in many forms – there are hardcore gamers who play at night, who treat gaming as a competitive sport, and those who only play from time to time, i.e. when a new game comes out.
The types of play themselves can also vary widely, from sports to action to parallel worlds. But if they have one thing in common, that’s how they make people feel.
In fact, our new data shows that many Americans are finding solace in video games and esports during the pandemic to socialize and recover from the pressure of the outside world.
The study, which looked closely at the habits of more than 500 Americans who played video games or watched sports when blocked, found that nearly half (46%) played more than 10 hours a week at that time.
When closed, it becomes somewhat multifunctional, and many find additional benefits in using the gaming platform. Two-thirds of respondents said games were fun and helped them spend time and relax. 55% said it could be used to communicate with friends, and nearly half (45%) said it was a way of communicating with friends escaping reality.
Although the majority of respondents had experience with games or sports, 15% were new and had used them after the blockade had started – no doubt for one of the many reasons listed above.
Whether the habit will last is another question. Those who were new to the game or significantly increased the amount they played immediately after the block started were also more likely to say they hoped to play less after the ban was lifted (45% and 24%).
Many gamers turn to streaming services for their solutions and those who tend to spend a lot of time using them every week. More than half (55%) say they spend more than six hours a week playing video games / sports like Twitch, Patreon, and YouTube.
What’s the most popular way to play?
As for consoles, there are no well-known leaders. In fact, they are relatively the same in terms of the most commonly used ones, with the PlayStation, PC, Nintendo, and X-Box being the most famous in that order.
Nintendo Switch has had the highest percentage of purchases since quarantine began (41%), but PlayStation recorded the largest number of purchases as the country slowly emerged from quarantine. Of the players with more than one console, PlayStation received the highest preference with 38%.
More than half of the players are familiar with X-Box and PlayStation subscription services (X-Box Live Gold and X-Box Game Pass, as well as PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now). Nintendo Switch Online and EA Access also collect information from nearly half of our respondents.
In terms of membership, PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch online have the most subscribers of their user base (about 2/3 of the users on their platforms have subscription services – 67% and 63% respectively). Membership commencing after the blocking commences, X-Box Game Pass (15%)
the highest number, followed by PlayStation Plus (14%), X-Box Live Gold and PlayStation Now (13%).
Eight in ten (80%) players play three or more games every month through their subscription service, and that figure turns to nearly 58% if we increase it to four or more games. One-fifth of players play more than 6 games from their subscription service.
About one in five players in our survey said they were familiar with Stadia, a new player in the gaming arena – and of those who did, about a quarter were currently Stadia users. Of those who own the stadium, 72% have registered since the blockade began.
In terms of spending, four in five respondents (80%) gave free games and an esports channel to at least some of their games. But many are willing to give up if they think it’s worth it – more than half (55%) have spent over $ 50 playing games since March.
For almost half (46%), this type of fee is similar to what they normally allocate to playing games and has not changed due to COVID-19. However, more than a third (35%) said they were actually spending more because of blockages.
What’s next for blocking games and esports after they’re blocked?
Those rushing to evaluate video games and sports platforms may be interested in how many Americans have benefited from them in recent months. At a time when communicating with others and finding bits and pieces of the conversation are essential, video games offer many a form of comfort and an escape from this grim reality.
It remains to be seen whether game development will continue until the real world opens, but many gamers may try to stick with this platform not only for the gaming but also social aspects.