Why Video Games and Esports Will Thrive Post-Pandemic

Samson Amore

The gaming industry hit record high sales and viewership in the first quarter of 2020, solidifying its place in mainstream culture as an essential entertainment option. Industry leaders looking ahead at a post-COVID world say they expect demand to level off from current quarantine highs but agree that the pandemic has permanently shifted the trajectory of gaming. “The esports spike will correct and return closer to the norm, and some ratings will drop as we get life back to normal — but we have permanently increased the ecosystem’s economic and cultural relevance,” said Jason Lake, chief executive of Complexity Gaming, the sister esports organization of the Dallas Cowboys. SuperData, a Nielsen company tracking the gaming industry, noted consumer spending on gaming hardware, software and accessories hit a record $10 billion in March — an 11% increase from 2019 and the biggest year-over-year growth in over a decade. (The figures for April are not yet available.) “Digital spending has been gradually going up year-over-year, but this is the biggest month we’ve ever seen,” SuperData principal analyst Carter Rogers told TheWrap last month. Also Read: Why Discovery's Lifestyle Boss Doesn't Mind Poaching Viewers From Her Own Networks Despite the spike, high levels...

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