In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the gaming industry are promoting social gaming as a solution to the isolation of social distancing. Even those new to gaming are getting involved, seeking out new ways to stay connected and yes, distracted. Whether people are playing with friends and family or strangers from across the globe, people are gaming and engagement is higher than ever for many platforms.

How Games Have Doubled Their Engagement

Several Game companies are reporting double or higher than average user engagement since the start of the pandemic. While some are working, billions are quarantined in their homes. They’re looking for something to do and they’re seeking someone to do it with.

This is how gaming becomes the ideal solution for social distancing activities.

Take Jack-box Games, for example, the maker of the famous “You Don’t Know Jack” trivia games. In the past two weeks, the company has seen traffic comparable to their busiest times, usually during the holidays when people gather and want to play in larger groups.

Discord, the free voice app and messenger service, has seen sign-ups increase by more than 200% since the pandemic lockdown started. Some users may be accessing the app for distance learning or work, but gaming is the primary function of the Discord app for most users.

Companies that are trying to get people engaged without forcing them into a console commitment have started offering subscription services. These low-cost services allow users to try out various games and consoles on their mobile devices, and include:

  • Apple Arcade Pass
  • Google Play Pass
  • X-Box Game Pass

The Importance of Social Gaming: WHO is Paying Attention

At the end of March, the World Health Organization announced a partnership with the gaming industry, advising that the two would be working together to encourage social gaming as a way to stave off the loneliness of the quarantine and more importantly, to encourage people to self-isolate. Involved in the campaign are brands like Activision, Riot Games, Twitch, Blizzard, and even YouTube Gaming.

The idea behind this campaign is to offer activities, special events, exclusives (in-game and otherwise), and rewards to gamers during the time of quarantine.

According to Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision, “It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning.”

In a time when distance is encouraged, connection is still necessary. The WHO, which was originally responsible for coining the term “gaming disorder”, is now on board with responsible social gaming as a means to encourage isolation and promote social distancing during this pandemic.

Why People Need Games

Now, more than ever, people need distraction. They need connection. The entire world is reeling from the uncertainty of the pandemic and being able to connect with others can help ease anxiety, distract from the stress of the world, and provide that much-needed human contact that keeps people going. From open-source platforms to consoles and subscription plans, social gaming is answering the call.

Looking beyond Engagement?

With so many people at home now, online games are being played more than ever before. Online gaming has never been this important!

At the same time, due to current economic uncertainties, Advertisers are cutting back on their advertising budgets which is affecting online ad sales, CPM and Fill Rates. While Reward Video Ad are not immune to this, it is a much better option for monetizing a game than other alternatives.

Drop us a note (info@applixir.com) if you are interested in learning more about using AppLixir Reward Video Ads to monetize your web / mobile games. We can integrate our solution with your game in less than 15 minutes in most cases.