The global video game industry is thriving, despite the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus. With the practice of social distancing reducing consumer and business activity to a minimum, gaming offers an engaging distraction for people at home longing for social interaction. Initial data shows significant growth in play time and overall game sales since the lockdown began in March 2020. According to a forecast by Newzoo, a gaming analytics company, global spending on gaming is projected to climb 9.3% this year to $159.3 billion in spite of the current economic challenges.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20.6 million people have lost their jobs. In contrast, US gaming sales in August 2020 increased 37% year-over-year to $3.3 billion, marking the fifth straight month of sales growth compared to the same periods in 2019. Overall, year to date, $29.4 billion of video games have been sold in the US alone, a net 23% increase compared to the prior year. This is in line with the significant spike in total game play time, which averages just over 7 hours per week, or 20% more time spent playing compared to 2019.