The global lockdown induced by the novel coronavirus has had a variety of detrimental effects on entertainment. Live sport, for example, has been absent for a good few weeks now — but that hasn’t stopped wily gamers from getting their weekly sports fix.
According to research from Online Betting Guide Australia, Steam has recorded a sharp 22 per cent rise in use since February (pre-lockdown) with the top five Steam games — CS:GO, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Rainbow Six Siege and Football Manager — recording a 14 per cent rise in users, equivalent to an additional 37,059 players in the space of a month.
Football Manager alone has managed to hit its all-time user record with a 60 per cent rise in March to 189,230 people actively playing the game as of 5pm Sunday, March 30. While part of this dramatic rise is to do with the game being offered for free to Steam users over a two week period, the heightened interest may also be attributed to a current desire for sports-related entertainment.
Across the top 20 games in Steam’s library, a 22 per cent rise has seen Steam’s average users rise to 115,709 in March compared to a significantly lower 97,966 in February this year.
As lockdowns continue to force people indoors, many more people will be turning towards entertainment to keep them occupied. Given that Australia’s coronavirus-induced lockdown only took effect in the middle of March, it’s likely that Steam’s April figures will mark an even higher rise in active users.
It’s just part of how video games are saving people’s sanity in isolation.
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