Fortunately. the gaming industry has been one of the more resilient to the catastrophic turn of events in 2020. While the COVID-19 outbreak has certainly had an impact on the industry the business is still going strong, more gamers have been born out of social-distancing and there are new opportunities on the horizon. The benefits of being an industry running mostly on state-of-the-art technology mean that many developers, designers, and testers have still been able to work remotely. There have been setbacks and delays, causing a bit of a backlash in the media, but on the whole, game sales are up this year.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak
The outbreak caused a ripple of panic, uncertainty, and halt in business operations across the globe. In the gaming industry, trade was slowed down due to private developers relying on events for promotion and collaboration. Manufacture was also affected because of restricted travel to and from China and other principal producers of electronic goods. Having said this, many companies have managed to bounce back quickly. With the majority of developers and publishers able to work remotely, the WFH transition hasn’t been that difficult. There have been some productivity issues however after sending employees home.
Another way the outbreak has impacted the gaming industry is by creating a pandemic of gamers. The number of people being furloughed and forced to comply with social-distancing measures has resulted in an increase in sales. Gaming is one of the best ways to stay in touch with people during the lockdown and at the very least pass the time. A statement from the WHO even recommended it as an alternative social activity. Gaming companies responded by putting together the “Play Apart Together” campaign. This has helped to boost revenues for the big names. It’s more the little companies who are losing out due to lack of recognition. The gaming industry is working towards a solution.
Cancellations and Delays
The production and release of some games have been delayed. One example is Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2, whose story ended up being leaked after the release date was postponed, causing quite a stir among fans. Retail stores have had to close which has slowed their personal sales, unfortunately, as not everyone can rely on the internet or delivery. There is still a delay waiting on supply chains in China which could have an impact soon on the production of the latest hardware.
Events have been where the industry has taken the biggest hit, as the majority have been canceled, postponed, or reorganized. The E3 2020 trade show has been canceled sadly, which a lot of independent companies rely on. It’s supposed to be offering opportunities for gamers and sellers, however, it’s all going to have to be online. This could mean virtual self-promoting at best. Some indie developers will likely suffer without the option of face-to-face promotion at the expo itself. Esports league games and events have also been postponed. As they often ran live, it’s been difficult to reorganize. Gamescom has also been canceled. It was set to be held in Cologne, Germany, a country seriously hit by the virus.
It’s really not all negative and the gaming industry has pulled through many setbacks and still come back booming. Sales are up and companies are still looking forward optimistically. The surge in popularity in video gaming has meant that there are new opportunities for all. It’s still a fantastic industry to pursue a career in and there are many options for budding gamers. For those of you looking for professional experience, here are some examples of the types of jobs on the rise in the gaming industry.
- Game Designers
Now, this is the dream for any fan. Game designers are the people that come up with the ideas behind the games, so the story, the characters, and so on. They then collaborate with other members of the production team to create graphics and audio. Competition is pretty fierce, so if you’re looking to get on of the top roles expect to put in a few years’ hard work in the business beforehand.
- Software Developers and Computer Programmers
This covers a wide range and if you’re interested in designing software or programming code it’s better to have a strong IT background. You’ll need a degree from a top school such as Norwich University and experience in all aspects of programming, development, and cybersecurity.
- Games Testers
There’s been a surge in recruitment for game testers as well. There are many opportunities for multi-lingual marketing and remote workers. This industry is still doing well as it is often based on remote workers, or easily can without many transitional problems. Rather than playing games all day, there’s a much wider marketing aspect. Digital marketing is the main resource for games testing and reviewing.
- Animators and Artists
No matter how advanced technology gets, the industry will always be looking for new animators. The human impact is fundamental to connect with the audience, so if you have an artistic streak, see how to become a video games animator
There couldn’t be a more fun industry to work in but don’t forget it will demand just that. The gaming world is very competitive outside of the game as well and positions are highly sought-after. Anyone in the business will know the passion and hard work you need to be part of the gaming world. With the industry still booming this can only mean positive things for the economy. The video game industry is allegedly worth 90 billion dollars, one little outbreak can’t change that. With the community of over 2.5 billion gamers ever-growing, the industry won’t stop going just yet. Online PC games alone make up half the profits of the global PC and gaming console revenue, and it’s you guys who are bringing that in. Keep watching this space for new releases and reviews of the latest PC games. Stay safe, stay home, and game on.