High flight for online gaming in COVID-19 times

Posted on Friday, Apr 10 2020 @ 10:45 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At the start of 2020, few of us could have imagined how much different our lives would be just a couple of months later. Freedoms and liberties we've enjoyed for all of our lives suddenly stripped away due to the threat of a microscopic virus. Barely a month ago, many of us were still laughing about corona but now millions of us are (temporarily) unemployed, forced to work from home, and no longer able to go out as we please.

With a possible vaccine likely at least one year removed from us, no one knows when life will get back to normal. Besides the impact on our personal lives, COVID-19 is also having a massive impact on the economy. While grocery stores are largely unaffected, some industries like travel, tourism, hospitality, event planning, and others have taken a catastrophic hit. Other industries have seen a big boost though. With so many people having to stay in-doors and work from home, there’s been a big uptick in use of various online services. First up, cloud providers and video conferencing providers are seeing huge increase in demand. Microsoft Teams for example saw a 775 percent spike in use in affected regions. Similarly, Netflix and YouTube are much more in demand now.

But another industry we shouldn’t ignore is online gaming. Besides casino games, we’re seeing that online gaming platforms like Valve’s Steam are regularly breaking all-time records. About a month ago Steam surpassed the 20 million concurrent active users and six days ago the gaming service hit an all-time record of 24.54 million users. For the fourth weekend in a row, Steam use hit new records. For comparison, in April 2019 the monthly peak was just 17.13 million users.

Gaming is an excellent activity to pass the time, as a way to respect physical distancing while still being a bit social. People stay inside and have a quick round of australian online casino, do some work from home and watch Netflix at night. Until this all goes away, we’ll have to find alternative ways to keep ourselves busy. Stay safe.