Verizon Reporting Huge Spike in Video Gaming Thanks to Coronavirus Pandemic

As people around the world choose to self-quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is looking for activities they can enjoy around the house, as a result. While video streaming has increased over the last few days, gaming has seen a much more significant boost; Verizon is reporting a stunning 75% increase in video game usage during peak hours. With notable industry figures such as Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and Xbox boss Phil Spencer both discussing the importance of gaming as a form of escapism during the pandemic, it's not surprising to see more gamers taking this time to enjoy their favorite titles. Still, it's a rather dramatic increase!

Verizon isn't the only one reporting big numbers from gamers. Steam set a record on Sunday for the most players ever logged-in, at 20 million. During that time, 6.4 million were playing a game concurrently. Of those 6.4 million, 1 million were playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Both Microsoft and Nintendo have also experienced issues with their online services over the last few days. While neither company has provided a specific explanation, it certainly seems plausible that an increase in users could be the reason for the issues.

Of course, with people turning more to video games, it seems only natural that other parts of the industry could also see growth during the pandemic. While professional sports leagues have indefinitely postponed the rest of their seasons, some esports leagues have shifted to online only formats for the foreseeable future. Call of Duty League has done just that, and with viewers hungry for sporting events to watch, esports could see significant gains during the pandemic.

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It will be interesting to see what impact the coronavirus pandemic has on the video game industry as a whole, in the coming weeks. While the perception of video games has dramatically improved over the last few years, there are still many negative connotations that people associate with the industry. However, as people increasingly look to games not only as a form of escapism, but also as a way of staying in contact with friends during the pandemic, that perception can only continue to improve.

Have you been playing video games over the last few days instead of going out? Have online games helped you spend time with friends? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!