Unity releases report into game playing during the pandemic

Written by Jennifer Allen

June 10, 2020 | 13:00

Tags: #covid-19 #game-sales #game-statistics

Companies: #unity

We're all playing more games, according to a report from Unity Technologies, and according to anyone who's looked at the past few months and realised just how far from normal life is right now. 

The report found that there's been an increase of nearly 50 percent in daily active users of HD games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, we've all been gaming a lot more. The cross-platform study looked at the difference between gaming habits from January to May 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. 

Besides the near 50 percent increase in daily active users for HD gaming, there was a 17 percent increase in mobile gaming. As well as that, weekend and weekday differences in gaming behaviour have narrowed globally by 63 percent because, well, many of us have found some periods of the pandemic the same, whether it's a Saturday or a Monday afternoon, thanks to being furloughed or laid off.

Mobile games seem to have seen the biggest benefit here with the number of installs increasing by 84 percent and micro transaction sales increasing by 24 percent too. Mobile gaming ad impressions also increased by 57 percent with ad revenues increased by 59 percent too for the weeks following March 8th compared to the same time period in 2019.

Essentially, it's ben a good time period for the industry. Vice President of Advertiser Solutions at Unity Technologies, Julie Shumaker, explained, "the reality is more people are gaming, and this captive audience is not only engaged for longer periods of time but also spending in-game at rates typically seen around the holidays." And who can disagree? It certainly feels like impulse digital purchases are that bit more tempting when there's nothing else to do, even if you're trying to be more frugal for various reasons.

Many game companies have expressed an increase in sales in recent times with side issues such as Steam needing to reduce bandwidth usage a bitearly on in the pandemic, and it seems like a curious time for game developers and publishers to figure out just what could be next. 

If you're keen to take in the full report from Unity, it's available for free at the platform's website.

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