The NPD Group gave an in-depth breakdown on the current upward swing of video game usage in the US and how the pandemic has facilitated it.
Many stay-at-home activities have seen a rise over the last year due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people are finding ways to properly social distance while still keeping their sanity by either doing things they already enjoy or discovering new hobbies to take on. As such, video game usage has reportedly seen a massive spike to 79% in the last year within the United States. NPD Group’s executive director of games Mat Piscatella spoke with GameDaily.biz to further explain the upward trend.
The video game industry in 2020 has generated roughly $159 billion in the United States alone. It also has been growing exponentially to become a powerhouse over the years that has been able to nearly rival the film industry. Now with the advent of the pandemic and social distancing being the “new normal,” options of entertainment have shifted from traditional avenues such as restaurants and movie theaters to something like gaming that people can do from the safety of their homes.
Another very interesting statistic that NPD highlighted was that video game usage specifically among the 45 and older age group has grown to previously unforeseen numbers. To break that down even further, playtime of adults age 45-54 rose 59%, and then the 55-64 age group rose 48%; adults 65 and older saw 45% increases. In recent years, older gamers were beginning to have more and more of a presence, so this uptick in their own usage falls in line with what we’ve seen previously.
From The NPD Group’s 2020 Evolution of Entertainment study.
The average video game player spent 15 hours per week playing video games in 2020, 15% more hours per week than they spent a year ago. pic.twitter.com/aspXFX3XUv
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) December 3, 2020
Piscatella went on to say that it’s unclear whether these numbers will continue beyond the pandemic. While people may potentially revert to their pre-pandemic behaviors, it is still possible that they could very likely keep with the hobbies that the current state of affairs pushed them into. Whether or not this spike will become the new norm will remain to be seen over the coming months and beyond. If anything, the massive growth that game usage has seen is very much a microcosm for much of what we can see in regards to other hobbies that people historically do in the comfort of their homes. It remains to be seen how much of this will persist in the coming months or even years, but it’s safe to say that we can expect to see a lot of changes within the industry and beyond as things go forward.