The game development and overall gaming industry observed a significant transition due to the COVID pandemic. There was both a positive and negative impact of the COVID pandemic, from delay in game launches to the adaptation of work from home.
On the one hand, online gaming saw a surge, including online casinos like gambling sites not on Gamstop. On the other hand, popular gaming titles were delayed more than a year. Let us now see the impact of the pandemic on the game development sector in detail.
The Stiff Challenges Faced By the Gaming Industry During The Pandemic Time
The entertainment sector took a massive blow during the pandemic time. The COVID restrictions obstructed work processes and caused delays. Here are the main effects of the COVID lockdown on the gaming industry.
A Problem in Collaboration and Access: Decreased Creativity
As most of us would agree, game development demands creativity. Creativity shines when people work as a team. The onset of the pandemic led people to work from home, which caused significant collaboration issues.
People were isolated, working from their rooms. The team meetings, discussions, and conversations, everything was limited if not entirely restricted. The lack of social elements compromised creativity and workflow. Even though work from home provided some flexibility to the employees, their creativity suffered a setback.
Big Players Like Amazon Could Not Enter The Industry
Looking at the pandemic and restrictions caused by it, Amazon’s plan of entering the gaming industry was delayed. This would have helped the gaming industry grow; however, now we will have to wait a little longer to see what surprise Amazon brings.
Inevitable Delays in Game Development and Release
When talking about the entertainment industry, time is equal to money. The lack of access to gaming studios and restrictions imposed due to the COVID pandemic slowed down game development. This led to a delay in game launches by many months.
Games like Halo Infinite were delayed by almost a year. Many other launches were delayed by weeks, which caused companies to lose profits as high as $1 Million per day. I was even tired of waiting for the release of Far Cry 6, my favorite title.
Cancellation of Gaming Events: A Major Drawback
The greatest threat faced by the gaming industry due to the pandemic was the cancellation of significant gaming and trade events. These trade events allow game developers to meet publishers, giving rise to new project ideas and titles. Hence, these events are a goldmine for the gaming industry’s future.
The cancellation of the trade events led to delays in future projects and even the cancellation of some game titles. For example, the E3 2020 event by the Entertainment Software Association was canceled in march 2020. Some events like the 16th British Academy Game Awards had to be shifted to online mode due to the pandemic.
Delay in Manufacturing of Hardware
The COVID pandemic affected logistics and halted all kinds of imports and exports. There was also a delay in the manufacturing of hardware units in China. The pandemic led to restrictions in manufacturing processes and import and export, which compromised game development worldwide.
This led to a lack of hardware and resources in the game development sector, causing a chain reaction that ultimately delayed new game launches. Mobile gamers have also increased by 23% during the pandemic, which clearly demands better hardware, even in smartphones. With concepts like Cloud gaming, we might even come up with a substitution for expensive hardware needed for professional gaming.
E-sport Games and Events Lost Their Enthusiasm
E-sport is a prime segment of the gaming industry. Gaming tournaments like ESL Pro League and Pokemon World Championship have millions of fans. Many of these events are held online, but the popular ones are often organized offline.
The pandemic caused all the events to shift online to avoid public gatherings, and some were even canceled. For example, the Fortnite World Cup was canceled, Dota 2 tournament was postponed, and the Free Fire Championships Cup was also canceled.
Now, those were the blows faced by the Gaming industry in the pandemic. However, there were some positive effects too. Keep reading to find out.
The Positive Effect Of the Pandemic on The Gaming Industry
With the world going online in the pandemic season, it only makes sense that online businesses will benefit from it.
Jump in Sales Due To High Demand
The surge in online players was high during the pandemic. The gaming industry revenue was approximately $180 Billion in 2019, which increased by 20% during the pandemic. The lack of physical interaction and social connection led more people to get involved in online games.
There was a rise in the gaming hardware sales, as more people wanted to play games at home in the pandemic. For example, in North America alone, video game and hardware sales jumped by 34% and 63%, respectively. Games like Among Us gained tremendous popularity during this time—other games like Minecraft Dungeons and Doom Eternal broke several records.
Gaming Industry Was Quick To Bounce Back to Normal
There is no denying that the gaming sector faced many challenges presented by the pandemic. However, it was also able to bounce back to normal functioning. This is because the significant operations in the game development sector were not halted. Sure, there were collaboration and communication issues, but everything is digital; work from home was somewhat helpful.
Despite significant delays and setbacks, some companies are planning to try the concept of working from home. They want to see if the flexibility of working from home improves productivity and benefits the company. Nevertheless, the pandemic seems to intense now, giving gaming companies a chance to continue offline work.
The pandemic has been quite destructive to most industries around the world. The gaming industry also took a blow, but it avoided any significant hit. The overall sales increased, and there were no severe unemployment issues.
I know we had to wait for our favorite gaming titles longer than we wanted to. However, with things coming back into track and game development resuming like pre-COVID, things are looking bright for the future.