According to a mobile advertising agency, mobile game downloads had been increased to 28 percent in March as many people were confined to their homes to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Gaming is currently the most profitable form of entertainment in the world, with the industry split into mobile games, e-sports streaming, console purchases, and more. It is expected that the world’s 2.7 billion gamers will spend $159.3bn on games this year and the market will surpass $187.8bn by 2022, Newzoo's report said.
"Some 85 percent of regional consumers are playing mobile games for relief, according to our survey conducted in late March,” said Volkan Bicer, general manager for Europe, Middle East, and Africa at AdColony - one of the largest mobile advertising platforms with a reach of more than 1.5 billion users globally.
“Mobile games have always been popular in the Middle East,” he added.
“During these trying times, gaming has become a means of escapism and time filling for many,” according to Neil Campling, co-head of Mirabaud Securities’ Global Thematic Group.
“As a result, one of this year’s growth drivers is an increased interest in gaming due to Covid-19-related lockdown measures. However, the launch of the next-generation consoles towards the end of the year will also be a key contributing factor.”
By the end of 2020, Sony is set to release the Playstation 5 console, while rival Microsoft's console arm is set to launch the Xbox X.
“Mobile gaming will be the fastest-growing segment [of gaming industry] in 2020, enjoying more than 11.6 percent year-on-year growth globally,” said Tom Wijman, senior market analyst at Newzoo.