COVID-19 study confirms people are playing more games


A new study shows that more Americans are gaming more during the COVID-19 pandemic. While people know this anecdotally, the stark increase is surprising.

A report from the NPD group shows more Americans have started playing in 2018. The numbers are also much higher, with COVID-19 ravaging the outside world. The study also shows more people are playing on more gaming platforms too.

20% of all gamers spend up to 15 hours a week playing video games

In 2020, the report’s survey notes three out of every four Americans play video games. When compared to their 2018 survey, this shows a sharp increase. The demographic represents as much as 32 million more Americans playing.


Gamers are also spending more time on their video games. There is an 8% decrease in players with five hours and below of game time per week. What makes this more significant are players with 5 to 15 hours of gameplay going up 6%.

Now, players who play on the 5 to 15 hours a week make up 20% of all gamers. With more platforms, what’s interesting is the leanings of the study. So far, the survey shows that none of the consoles are winning the so-called “console war.”

The platforms that are winning, ironically, are PC and mobile, specifically smartphones. Gamers who are on multiple devices are up from 59% in 2018 to 65% in 2020.

The latest survey also runs during the period of the current pandemic. The new data collection pins the way Americans play to the effects of global health risk.

COVID lockdown pushed people to play indoors

COVID-19 put many countries into lockdown, with many people losing jobs. Some are also unable to go to school or relegate themselves to working from home. From this lockdown, people took on playing video games to pass the time.

As many as 35% of gamers have reported playing more games than usual. 6% of gamers also started using a new device during the lockdown to mix things up. Fans bought a new console, a Switch, or started gaming on their phones and PC.

The entire pandemic, for example, created a shortage of Nintendo Switch consoles. As Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out around the time of the pandemic, it all makes sense.

The gaming industry also ramped up its marketing efforts during the pandemic. With the loss of expos like E3, the gaming industry had to be creative. Many stepped up, creating virtual shows like the Summer Game Fest and Nintendo Direct.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still up, more people will keep on playing games. The gamer demographic of the world will only grow even further.

Images courtesy of Nintendo, Marvelous/Youtube Screenshots

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