More than half of Americans experienced cabin fever caused by the coronavirus last year from playing video games.
SuperData, a Nielsen company, reports that 55 percent of people turned to console, PC, and mobile games during the first phase of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Video games and interactive media generated $ 139 billion in 2020, a peak of 12 percent, with digital games bringing in $ 126 billion alone.
‘Consumers had to turn to games because other forms of entertainment, such as professional sports and cinemas, were on hiatus’, report indicates.
Free-to-play games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone generated 78 percent of the total game revenue.
But console revenue is up more than a quarter, probably thanks to the arrival of the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Scroll down for video
More than 50 percent of Americans turned to gaming during the pandemic, SuperData found, fueling $ 139 billion in games and interactive media spending by 2020.
Players cited boredom and a desire to avoid the real world as reasons for grabbing a joystick and playing about one in four said games to stay in touch.
Video content for gaming brought in $ 9.3 billion, and virtual and augmented reality spend was $ 6.7 billion.
VR game revenues alone are up 25 percent to $ 589 million, helped by the release of Half-Life: Alyx and the Oculus Quest 2 headset.
Despite lockdowns, mobile games still grew by 10 percent, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total market.
Free-to-play games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone generated 78 percent of total game revenue in 2020
Console game revenues are up more than a quarter, probably thanks to the arrival of the Playstation 5 (pictured) and Xbox Series X
According to SuperData’s annual review for 2020, $ 73.8 billion in digital spend was spent on mobile, with $ 33.1 billion on PC and $ 19.7 billion on consoles.
Free-to-play games generated the bulk (78 percent) of the industry’s revenue, with Asian markets alone accounting for nearly 60 percent of free-to-play revenue.
Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite were the top mobile choices, SuperData reported, bringing in $ 2.45 and $ 2.32 billion, respectively.
WHAT WERE THE TOP 10 HIGHEST EARNINGS CONSOLE GAMES OF 2020?
Call of Duty Modern Warfare: $ 1.91 billion
FIFA 20: $ 1.08 billion
Grand Theft Auto V: $ 911 million
Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the best-selling games of 2020
NBA 2K21: $ 889 million
NBA 2K20: $ 771 million
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – $ 678 million
Animal Crossing: New Horizon: $ 654 million
Cyberpunk 2077: $ 609 million
The Sims 4: $ 462 million
Doom Eternal: $ 454 million
Roblox was another big winner, with $ 2.29 billion in revenue.
The online game creation platform became the social media platform of choice for homebound children.
By the summer, it was amassing 150 million monthly users with global player spend of more than $ 100 million.
In March, Animal Crossing: New Horizons broke the Call of Duty: Black Ops IV download record with five million copies sold.
There was even a virtual headquarters for the campaign for President-elect Joe Biden.
Among us, another big winner had nearly half a billion players in November alone, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and beauty influencer James Charles.
While a vaccine means lockdowns are a thing of the past, SuperData says gaming fanaticism won’t go away: The company forecasts a modest 2 percent increase in sales by 2021.
However, there may be a downside to all this gaming: a study published in Developmental Psychology last May found that one in ten young players – a “ significant minority ” – was addicted to video games.
They fell into a “pathological” gamer category, characterized by excessive time spent playing, difficulty breaking free from games and a “disruption of healthy functioning.”
Adolescent gamers who matched this profile showed higher levels of depression, aggression, shyness and anxiety in their 20s, researchers found.
‘I really think there are great things about video games [but] the important thing is to use them in a healthy way and not get sucked at the pathological levels, ”said lead author Sarah Coyne, a professor of family life at Brigham Young University.
Coyne’s team followed 385 adolescents over a six-year period and tracked their gaming habits and psychological profiles.
She said closing schools and social distances likely increased the amount of time young people around the world spend on video games in 2020.