Nearly 48 million US gamers spend around 15 hours a week playing games, due to the COVID-19 pandemic

growth of video game players during covid 19
It seems that more and more people are turning to gaming as entertainment, and gamers who are at the top are spending more time in their favorite game titles, according to Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group. There has been a general trend towards more significant gaming engagement overall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

The NPD Group has only shared stats for the US, but I believe other countries may also see a sudden increase in gaming habits, as more gamers spend time on their favorite titles.

As per the NPD report above, US consumer gaming habits are on the rise, and analysts note that 3/4 of the United States population are gamers spending more time and/or money on interactive entertainment, which number roughly 244 million people, increasing 32 million people since 2023. Of these, 20%, or 48 million people spend more than 15 hours a week playing video games.

In 2023, 65% of surveyed users said they game across multiple platforms, including console, PC, and mobile (an increase of more than the 59% statistic in 2023).

According to the NPD group, 39% of US gamers are Light players who play less than 5 hours per week, which is an 8% decrease from 2023. In contrast, moderate players/gamers who play between 5 and 15 hours per week; make up 32% of the gaming community in the US. And finally, heavy gamers playing more than 15 hours per week make up 20% of US gamers (6% increase from 2023).

This sudden growth also reflects consumer spending habits. Since January 2023, consumers have been spending more on microtransactions thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other market factors. US gaming spending grew to $1.2 billion in June alone, a 26% increase since 2023. This is the highest June spending in 10 years. According to ‘Newzoo’, the worldwide gaming market will generate $159.3 billion in 2023, a 10% increase from 2023 statistics.

Game play time has increased during the pandemic, with 35% of gamers reporting that their current play time with COVID-19 is higher than their play time from earlier this year. In terms of platform preference, 94% reported increased engagement on platforms they already used to game before COVID-19, while 6% indicated they specifically started using a new device around that time frame.


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