Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gaming industry


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is definitely nothing to scoff at. Whilst the full severity of the virus itself is still debatable, its long-term effect on the global economy and societies although still unknown will most likely be significant.

I would like to discuss the important topic of how this pandemic affected our beloved gaming industry and what are the short and long term effects on games, gaming companies and the gamers.

First of all, I would like to see the sales figures of the game "Plague Inc" at the end of this whole mess. However, the eerily accurate plague simulator is not the only game that is having a massive sales boost in these lonely times. Indeed, as most gamers are now locked in their homes and away from work, or are working from home, they now have more time to spend gaming. This also includes the average non-gamer, who may now finally be able to find a new favourite hobby.

Gaming in general is currently one of the few industries that are having a major revenue boost. In the long-term this is actually a good thing, as the increased revenue can be invested into funding new games and projects. We will see this as a slow trickle of new titles and higher-budget (on average) games over the next few years.

Surprisingly, I think that it is actually the short term that will be affected the most despite the higher sales. Current or upcoming projects, planned for this or the next year have had months of their development hindered. Some employees cannot work, while others are working at home, which has taken  a period  of  adjusting.

It is interesting to note that some indie or smaller scale projects will not be affected at all. Their work was already mostly from home and never in an office. A few successful games like the Rise of the Triad remake were made in this manner, so while most AAA and AA titles will be affected, certain smaller teams will ride the storm just fine.

It is also possible that the new found revenue will cancel out the loss of sales of  games and projects which were planned for a recent release and no major change will be felt.

We have also seen that multiple major gaming events be cancelled, most notably the 2020 E3 event, which would have had, as every year, the biggest upcoming releases announced and shown off. As the industry seems to be proceeding just fine without E3, gamers and game companies seem to be realizing that such events are losing their relevance. We will probably see these events continue to get smaller in size at an even faster pace in future.

In conclusion though, what I have written above is speculation about the possible impacts on the gaming industry. The world economy will really dictate the future of the industry, as many people have lost their jobs and have been with little to no income for months. As a professional nobody, I can offer my opinions, but the future of gaming, and the world in general is hard for anyone to predict at the moment which makes it both, interesting and unnerving at the same time.


The articles content, opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in SAPPHIRE NATION are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent official policy or position of SAPPHIRE Technology.

Nikolai Petkov
Nikolai Plamenov Petkov is a young 24-year-old gamer (and student) from Bulgaria. Nikolai is one of the winners of the SAPPHIRE Nation's Editors' Casting contest.