The State Of Remote Work In The Gaming Industry

This last year, everything changed in the state of remote work.

In Canada alone, the gaming industry generated an astonishing $3.6 billion, an increase of 15% since 2021, CTVNews reports. In the meantime, gaming enthusiasts in the US spent a staggering $10.86 billion just in the Q1 of 2020, an increase of 9% compared to a year before, according to a research from the NPD team.

Remote work went from a niche decision some companies made to an unpreventable and enormous shift in the way in which people work worldwide. While working from home does not offer the same packages as true remote work, it is still a remote experience.

There’s no question that COVID-19 impacted the state of remote work, so we dug into the numbers to see the state of remote work in the gaming industry.

What we found is nothing short but astonishment. 

How COVID has impacted the gaming industry

You can go on and pick any industry (literally, any of them), and you’re very likely to hear about the COVID-19 and the economic losses, salary cuts, and deep uncertainty around the future.

Not gaming, though:

  • The number of people playing games for 5 or more hours increased by 30%.
  • The average regular monthly spend of a gamer is increased by 21%.
  • Mobile playtime increased by 62% and in-app purchases went up 30%.
  • Game streaming has risen by 42%.
  • Gaming viewership boosted by 70 million.

Numerous publishers have reported record engagement and boosted earnings as gamers flock towards entertainment and fun.

However, what about the people who make these video games? This is where COVID-19 found a crack in the gaming industry.

Over the past couple of months, you’ve most probably have come to read or hear about workshops, designers, and software developers and how COVID-19 has changed the way they work. This, in turn, has changed the way games are made– making the process more difficult.

As a result:

  • Major gaming events were shifted online or canceled entirely.
  • Very expected games got delayed.
  • The next-gen console release was shambolic.
  • Studios had to adapt to remote work.

These shifts have impacted everyone.

  • Programmers and publishers lost out among their key audience touchpoints when their events got canceled. Obviously, many of them went online, but the loss of an online event still has a massive effect.
  • Players had to get used to the delay of eagerly awaited games.
  • After that, we had the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch, which left us wondering “how did that happen?” 
  • Gaming giants Sony and Microsoft were battling on 3 fronts:
    – Prevalent supply chain matters that interfered with console production.
    – A huge surge in demand because of international stay-at-home restrictions.
    – The unchecked, awful surge of online scalpers buying up all the stock. (Okay, maybe the last one wasn’t a problem of theirs, but it was for the gamer.)

And we don’t even want to go into Nvidia’s brand-new GPUs, which were almost impossible to get your hands on.

Image source: TechCrunch

In many ways, the pandemic only served to increase an existing trend.

Can remote work fit the gaming industry?

The pandemic has shown that remote work can actually work. 

However, just because something can be done doesn’t always mean that it must be done. A massive consideration needs to be on the kind of work being done and the difference in the quality of the same work when in your home or in the workplace.

This means whilst remote work may not work for everyone, we can surely expect it to become a far more standard model for the advantages it can offer some companies and employees.

Wrapping Up

Regardless of the turmoil we’ve gone through (and some of us still are), the gaming market has flourished, feeding off a potent combination of individuals trapped at home with much fewer jobs and way more time.

A quick look at the stats undoubtedly verifies what you already know; more people are playing a lot more games for longer hours.

The biggest benefit that remote employees in the gaming industry see to working remotely remains– unquestionably– the flexibility that it offers.

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