It’s a new year, and Covid19 is still here! But let us take some time to spin this on its head and look at all the great things that it has done for the gaming industry. I mean, the many reports from developers have been stating how they have battle against the odds to ensure that the games that they are making stay on track with their release plans. To this effect it seems that COVID19 has accelerated the way that the industry work and has sped up the delivery of new collaborative ways of working within weeks instead of years.
Let’s start on the obvious one – Remote Working. Other than staff, one of the bigger business costs that an organisation has to pay for is the building and everything that goes with having a physical location - Insurance, Utilities and Tax make for some of the biggest costs for a building. As a result, by having staff working from home and in turn reducing the footfall in the office, developers can actually save a few pennies. Square-Enix has been one of the first developers to notice this and has publicly stated that it will introduce a new permanent Working-from-Home policy. Although, not gone public yet, it is extremely likely that other developers will adopt a same methodology moving forwards. Let’s be honest the removal of E3 caused game announcements in the summer to become a bit of a shambles, for both developers and gamers alike. Although consider this, most companies had to find alternative announcement events, to announce their brand-new games. This caused games to be announced from a whole range of areas from completely different teams of people, whether that be The Game Awards, E3 Digital or Publishers having their own announcements. But, having entirely digital events allowed developers to be a bit more flexible, not needing to attend an actual venue, but instead be able to speak to their gaming fans over video conferencing software from the comforts of their own office or home. This save the cost of flight/travel and not only has a direct saving, but allows that person to be in the office still working on the game that they are making, up to the point of showcasing it. It is a little win, but in my eyes, it’s still a win!
Finally, with Covid19 forcing people to be at home more, we have seen reports of the gaming industry doing better than ever. People have more free time to spend, and as a result are choosing to buy more games, exposing more sales and awareness. Indie games are selling at an all-time high, and AAA games are also doing better than ever. It’s one of the few industries during this hard time that has thrived and topped the many other industries out there. I think we can all agree its exactly this and few great marketing moves that has helped the titles like Fall Guys, Phasmophobia and Among Us do so well during these crazy times.
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