2020's lockdowns and pandemic restrictions seem to have benefitted the gaming industry, which saw both player engagement and gaming revenues go up. The year was also marked by record investments in the industry, totalling an unprecedented $9.9 billion.
Roughly $5.2 billion was invested in this sector during the third quarter of 2020, according to a new DDM Games Investment Review report. This gigantic figure means Q3 overtakes the first two quarters of the year, thanks to several initial public offerings (IPO) reaching $2.1 billion and an impressive $1.8 billion raised by Epic Games.
Although the controversial creator of "Fortnite" refuses to reveal how much it gained on the stock market thanks to this funding, DDM analysts estimate Epic Games's valuation at $17.3 billion.
"As we head into the fourth quarter of 2020, video games continue their resiliency. With the exception of certain eSports segments affected by lockdown restrictions like live events, gaming revenues have been up as player engagement has increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic," said the DDM report.
This record year for video game investments may repeat itself. According to DDM, this trend is likely to continue in 2021, in particular thanks to Microsoft's recent acquisition of Zenimax (for $7.5 billion) and to Playtika, Roblox and Skillz's IPO's.
Video games are attracting more and more consumers. Spring lockdowns allowed the industry to woo new gamers, while encouraging gaming fans to spend more time on their screens. A recent YouGov report showed that over 40 percent of UK, US and Australian gamers play more regularly since the onset of the pandemic, and this trend is expected to continue with the implementation of new lockdown measures throughout Europe.