Coronavirus: The Impact On Gaming

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With game use reportedly up 75%, versus video streaming’s 12% increase, during the Coronavrius pandemic there are going to be a lot of hours spent worldwide in virtual worlds. With a likely lockdown incoming here in the UK and with schools now closing, the online game services are going to hit hard over the next month. So who are likely to be the big winners in the gaming field with so many people playing?

It likely won’t surprise anyone for me to suggest that Fortnite, one of the biggest games in the world, will see a huge spike. It’s free-to-play and relatively child friendly so will be a hugely popular choice in households around the country. I would also imagine that Minecraft will also see a big pick up, it remains an evergreen title with new users coming through all the time.

Warzone

For the more grown up gamers a title that will benefit for the timing of everything happening will be the new Call Of Duty Battle Royale, Warzone. Released just a few weeks ago, and still in it’s ‘buzz’ phase, this is a free to play version of Call Of Duty that has a similar style of game to Fortnite. 150 online players drop into a map (in squads of three) and try to the last group standing. It’s fast paced and with no cost to entry it is sure to be something a huge amount of gamers will try over the coming weeks/months.

Overwatch League Grand Finals - Day 2

We have already seen a lot of the big esports leagues begin to move their matches online, a luxury traditional sports don’t have but one that certainly isn’t without it’s issues. Currently they are on lockdown but the Overwatch League expects to be up and running with live (online) matches again by the end of the month. It will be interesting to see if viewership will spike, or possibly drop if gamers are too busy playing titles themselves in isolation.

For those of you looking to prepare for the impact of the pandemic, a couple of games to recommend would be The Division and The Last Of Us. Both great titles, both feature a post apocalyptic vision of a post pandemic world. The Divison is more about humanity, gangs of looters and other survivors trying to get by as best they can under lockdown in New York. The Last Of Us is a more horror based experience but also tells a wonderful story as well.

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Obviously with what is unfolding in the real world, perhaps playing a game with similar themes is definitely not what you’re looking for – so here are some titles to get you away from it all. Firstly, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – a title that takes you back to Ancient Greece, playing as an assassin warrior, carrying out missions and taking down targets. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a beast of a game and will take you a while to complete but if you fancy a trip to the wild west, this is the one for you.

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If you’re more of a superhero person then you can’t go wrong with the recent Spiderman title, it has a great story and some fantastic gameplay. Also a nice chance to see a bustling city in these desolate times! If you fancy something really off the wall, I’d recommend Control – which is essentially, the Twin Peaks of gaming. Very weird and kooky but a real blast to play.

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