Covid-19 has changed our lives in many ways. Which of these changes will become permanent or affect our lives far into the future remains to be seen.
Remote working may establish itself as a viable option instead of, or in addition to driving back and forth in the rush hours. How about the cinemas? Would people still want to pack into a theatre with hundred other people to watch a movie with a stranger breathing down your neck, when you could stream it from the comfort of your home in a few weeks? And what would that do to the movie business?
Staying at home has made people around the world turn online for entertainment. Netflix
doubled the number of new subscribers, adding 15.77 million new paid subscribers globally, more than twice the 7 million it had expected in the last three months as more people signed up amid the coronavirus shutdown measures.
Disney also started its streaming service, the Disney +. The surge in viewers at the same time that many are working and studying from home threatened to slow internet connections to a degree, that Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and others have agreed to lower the video streaming bitrate for 30 days in Europe.
Online gaming has also surged to record levels. Studies show a 67% increase in online gambling. As physical slot machines and casinos are closed, online casinos have seen a significant rise in their visitors.
Spending on digital games reached $10 billion in March, the highest monthly total ever; reports Superdata, a provider of market intelligence on gaming and streaming media. Mobile gaming revenue was up 15% and reached $5.7 billion during March. One of the best selling titles has been Animal Crossing: New Horizon, a Nintendo Switch console game. The game which has been trending on Tik Tok and other social media sold 5 million digital units in a single month, which is more than any console game in history. Animal Crossing broke the record previously held by Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Second ranking console game in March was FIFA 20, followed by MLB The Show 20, Doom Eternal, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The success of Animal Crossing has been phenomenal. Nintendo Switch limited edition version was quickly sold out, and the consoles, which come with the game preinstalled are being sold on eBay and other online market places for almost twice the original price. Facebook marketplace in different countries has numerous adverts from parents trying to buy the console.
The game was also on the news for being banned in mainland China, after the Hong Kong protestors took their protest online, or rather "ongame", into the virtual spaces of Animal Crossing. In New Horizon, players can decorate their environment with custom patterns. This functionality was used to post anti-China slogans by Hong Kong activists.
Pokemon Go, which was once the number one hit in the mobile games category, had an 18% rise in revenue, month-over-moth, and reached a sales of $111m in March. The publisher Niantic made tweaks to the game to make it easier to play in shutdown, without physically moving. The game was now in the fifth place in March, with the first four spots occupied by Honour of Killing; Gardenscape; Candy Crush Saga and Last Shelter, Survival. Mobile game revenues, in general, were also up 15%year-over-year and reached $5.7 billion during March.
In the PC games category, number one was Dungeon Fighter Online, followed by League of Legends, Crossfire, Fantasy Westward Journey Online II, and Doom Eternal, from idSoftware, which sold 3 million digital units this March. This was over three times what the game's predecessor, Doom sold when it was launched in May 2016.
Spending too much time inside and in sitting position has not been without problems; hospitals have recorded an increase in the number of patients with deep venous thrombosis, a problem associated with long flights, where people are forced to sit in place for an extended period of time.
Maybe PokemonGo should not have changed the rules of the game after all, and instead spread the Pokemons in nature paths for players to catch.
Paul Kostner - HT
Images: press photos