Video Game Habits & COVID-19

Marc Toledo


By mid-March 2020 and like most companies in the US, big and small video game developers had started implementing work-from-home policies to ensure the safety of their employees. Ad-hoc policies to take hardware assets out of the office, guidelines to maintain communication between teams or strategies to manage personal stress were not enough to avoid product delays of highly anticipated releases such as Final Fantasy XV, Cyberpunk 2077 or the second installment of The Last of Us. Cancelled staple events like E3 2020 or the Mobile World Congress and fully online esports events added to the disruption, but not all was bad news for developers and distributors. Quarterly sales of video games soared and set records in all platforms. In addition, gaming communities around the world were exposed to school closures, remote work, furloughs, layoffs, and lockdown. What were the direct implications and general impact on gamers? How did their habits change?

In this paper, we conduct a survey directed at gamers of different demographics and we examine their shift in motivations and in how they are approaching gaming differently—or similarly—as a result of the pandemic.

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