As coronavirus pushed people to limit physical interactions, online gaming became a way for many to stay connected with friends and family. According to Sensor Tower, between Q1 to Q2 2020, India recorded the highest number of gaming app downloads around the world, followed by the United States and Brazil.
Interestingly, America, Brazil, and India are also the top three countries in terms of coronavirus cases. India saw close to 2.7 Bn game downloads in Q2 2020 which was 50% more than the 1.8 Bn downloads in Q1. Coronavirus lockdown in India had started in late March.
According to AppsFlyer’s report in April, India has been experiencing a gradual increase in app installs and sessions since March 7, when the number of reported Coronavirus cases in the country started to climb. In fact, user sessions were reported to have increased by 65%, and organic installs by 50% in April 2020.
Meanwhile, the US saw around 1.4 Bn downloads in Q2 2020 and Brazil generated close to 1.2 Bn downloads in the same quarter. This surge in app downloads also led to an increase in the global player spending in mobile games, which surged by 27% YOY to reach $19.3 Bn in Q2 2020.
The revenue of gaming apps for Q2 2020 also increased 10.3% compared to the first quarter, when the coronavirus outbreak started in China. Overall, the best month for gaming apps was May 2020 when revenue peaked to $6.6 Bn.
Some of the popular games during the lockdown include Roblox and Fortnite. Further, Tencent’s PUBG Mobile became the top grossing game around the world in Q2 2020, making close to $621 Mn revenue in the quarter.
Over the next few years, the pandemic is likely to result in an increase in the number of downloads through to 2024 above pre-COVID-19 forecasts. Sensor tower has earlier projected that new app installs in 2024 will reach 44.5 Bn on the App Store and 139.2 Bn on Google Play.
However, user spending is expected to show a 21% YOY growth on in-app purchases (IAP) and premium app. These estimates were made considering the fact that the world is battling the worst economic crisis since World War 2.
Bhopal-based psychologist and academician Dr. Geeta Narhari had earlier told Inc42, that digital entertainment and consumption had become a crutch for locked-down individuals looking for social interactions.
“People are increasingly looking at digital entertainment as a coping mechanism. When you’re playing online or using social media you feel like there’s a virtual partner, and so the lack of socialisation, the lack of entertainment elsewhere all are being solved by these virtual interactions,” she added.