Up For Debate – What impact is the Coronavirus having on the game industry and gaming?


As it continues to spread, we are all probably well aware of the corona virus. It has of course been picked up swiftly by the media as the severity of this issue continues to grow. With it being such an important topic we wanted to provide a place for gamers to chat about the level of impact this could have on gaming in general. To what degree do we think the gaming industry will suffer and how does this impact compare to that seen across other industries?

Is there the possibility that, perhaps we may see the number of games sales increase, as we all look to provide additional home entertainment during periods of self isolation?

So for any not aware, large numbers of employees are being asked to work from home in order to encourage self-isolation and therefore slow the spread of the virus. However this obviously has drawbacks in terms of how people will work when they don’t have access to their office or tools. We’ve seen these negative effects already in the stock market.

For some, this provides a new situation, as a number of us in the world will experience what it’s like to work from home for the first time. We live in a digital society and certain jobs could just as easily be done at home than in an office. Many games companies are sending their developers home to work, and yet they’re still able to do their jobs, at least for now.

And so we were curious what you thought about the level of impact this all could have on the games industry and in what areas you think the game industry is particularly vulnerable? Or is there any area like an increase in game sales, that you think might come about as a by-product?

Or maybe everyone will be too sick to play games? Perhaps developers will slow down on their work because they can’t meet each other face-to-face, or interact with technology back at the office that will help them progress. Maybe sending the developers home will hinder their performance and we’ll actually see a negative impact on the industry?

Either way, the coronavirus has disrupted our world and from this situation what impact do you foresee in the short and long term on the game industry?

Note from Felix – The original article on the Coronavirus, in relation to the gaming industry, was not meant to be insensitive in any way. If some read it as such, then I am definitely very sorry. When I read the article I realised that yes it certainly could be read as pretty insensitive.

So I have re-written it here and for the time being I will leave the other article up. The intention of that article was actually to provide GD members a place to chat about this important topic and the sort of impact the Coronavirus might have on the gaming industry. As that is basically what Game-Debate aims to do across most things, provide gamers with a place to discuss stuff, in relation to gaming.

And so, I would like this article to be a place where we can discuss, from a gaming industry perspective, this global situation. And one of the points for discussion is that perhaps, as a by-product, the game industry could see an uplift in game sales, as large numbers of people start to self isolate and then look for home based activities to entertain them, during this difficult time.

Gaming normally gets quite a negative deal from the general media, but we know that gaming can be a great thing to embrace; often helping people reach out across cultures, expanding social networks of online friends and helping people learn etc. I have certainly met a lot of great long term friends around the subject of gaming.

If/when you self-isolate, would you think about picking up a new game to entertain yourself with and if so, what game would you opt for? I think I would probably get a turn based strategy or the latest Crusader Kings DLC, as that will provide plenty of gaming hours.

Also, have you thought about pre-downloading your games now to prepare for the strain the internet service providers may be put under, once everyone is watching streaming TV services?

Right, over to you. What do you guys think regarding this serious global Coronavirus situation and what impact do you feel like it is having on gaming today and in the future?