Most video game studios and console manufacturers have been performing very well in recent weeks. A growing activity thanks to confinement
Netflix, Amazon and other major digital platforms will emerge strengthened from the pandemic, but no industry should be as successful as the video game industry, set off to explode its records.
Activision Blizzard et Electronic Arts, two American titans of game publishing, have achieved excellent results since January. Activision even revised its forecasts upwards, a rare event in the era of layoffs and layoffs.
Free from real life distractions, gamers have never played so much, neither spent, that in recent months. “They play so much that they wear out their devices”, constate Ted Pollak, analyst at Jon Peddie Research. “Microsoft will release its new flight simulator, and for this one game, hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in computers, with powerful processors”.
Same story on the console side. Nintendo and Sony have yet to release their early results. 2020, but only in March, Switch sales (Nintendo) have more than doubled compared to 2019, according to NPD analyst Matt Piscatella.
This performance is not unrelated to the overwhelming success of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, one of the emblematic games of containment, where you can build your island paradise and visit those of other players.”Initially, we expected a mixed year for consoles”, remarque Morris Garrard, by Futuresource. He thought consumers would be patient until the latest Sony releases (PlayStation 5) and Microsoft (Xbox Series X), planned for the end of the year.
“But people are stuck at home, children no longer go to school ...”. So they find the avatars of their friends in swimsuits, or armed with assault rifles, on Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone, two other phenomena that amplified their success.
The youngest go to the Roblox gaming platform, which acts more than ever as a playground.
“We are also witnessing the appearance of the senior player”, add M. Garrard. In China, for example, “and mah-jong, a popular board game among the elderly, has experienced a boom in smartphones”.
He estimates that spending on mobile games will jump 12% in the world in 2020, 5% more than initially expected, also encouraged by the deployment of 5G, or 4G in emerging markets (Brazil and India in the lead).
Certainly, most entertainment apps and streaming services, free or paid, movies or music, take off due to social distancing measures. “But video games are the star of the entertainment industry”, assures Futuresource. According to his projections, “gaming growth will be above the industry average, to reach 36% of market share from here 2023, against 31% in 2019”.
A strong sign that these companies are doing well: advertising spending of video game brands, Nintendo in the lead, have dubbed on American TV channels between 16 March and the 15 avril, compared to the same period in 2019, from VentureBeat and iSpot.tv.
Only e-sport players are experiencing the crisis a little less well. Paradoxically, professional tournaments require all players to come together in one place, to put them in the same technical conditions. But sports clubs, deprived of stadiums, organize electronic competitions.
“Those who watched the Formula 1 on TV can see real drivers compete against seasoned players on virtual circuits, sur Twitch”, live game broadcasting platform, Laurent Michaud note.
What make them want to play in turn. Containment is also conducive to the adoption of new media, like cloud play (dematerialized), interesting for households with a strong internet connection and reluctant to invest in new devices.
Google did not hesitate to offer two months free on Stadia, its platform “cloud gaming” launched in the fall.
Only shadow on the board, social networks and streaming services expect a slowdown with deconfinement, when consumers can return to stores, cinemas and bars. But experts agree on the sustainability of this growth for video games.
Companies, better prepared than others for teleworking, are therefore mobilized, despite slow production.”There will be delays in the release of new games. But the demand will be such that they will sell better than ever”, predicted the expert.
World news – FR – Economie : the video game industry, queen of containment