Time spent on video games up 14% in 2020: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 15, 2021

Indian gamers spent more than eight hours and 36 minutes each week, says Limelight Networks, Inc

Time spent on video games increased significantly across the globe with consumers’ playing time up 14 per cent in the past year to an average of eight-and-a-half hours, according to the ‘State of Online Gaming 2021’, a report commissioned by Limelight Networks, Inc.

According to the report, gamers across the world are spending an average of eight hours and 27 minutes each week playing video games, while Indian gamers spent more than eight hours and 36 minutes.

Binge gaming is on the rise with the average gamer playing video games consecutively for five hours and six minutes, which is a 13 per cent increase from last year.

Young gamers between 18 and 25 have binge-gamed for the longest at an average of nearly six hours. In India, gamers who spend anywhere between 5 to 15 hours in binge gaming account for 54 per cent of gamers.

Pandemic gives boost to the nascent Indian gaming industry

56 per cent of global gamers further said that they’ve started to watch others play video games in the past year. The average gamer spends two hours and 48 minutes each week watching others play video games online. Gamers in India spent the most time of any country surveyed, clocking five hours and 24 minutes each week.

Apart from this, playing video games is also the top entertainment choice for many. Three in five (62 per cent) of gamers said that they prefer to play video games versus watching a movie or a TV show.

In India, over 75 per cent showed a preference for playing games over watching or streaming shows and movies on TV or OTT platforms.

Motivated by social connections

According to the data, the surge in gaming over the last year is driven by gamers’ desire for social connections.

53 per cent of global gamers said that they have made new friends through online games in the past year. Furthermore, 36 per cent of respondents said that the ability to interact with other players is extremely important.

“Opportunities for interactivity and social engagement are likely drivers for video game adoption with the majority (64 per cent) of global gamers saying they started playing video games in the past year,” the report added.

As gaming gains popularity, mobile phones remained the primary gaming device followed by computers, gaming consoles and tablets.

Importance of performance

The demand for next-generation consoles has also increased driven by performance.

“Fast performance is extremely important to nearly half (47 per cent) of gamers, and the top-cited important aspect of gameplay. In addition to this, more than 94 per cent of Indian gamers say the process of downloading games is frustrating, and that it needs to be improved,” as per the report.

74 per cent of gamers are interested in purchasing a new console, due to updated technology (32 per cent) and faster gameplay, (31 per cent) as per the report. 88.4 per cent of gamers in India are among those who are most likely to consider upgrading their console.

“Social interactions, improved game performance, and latency-free environments are expected by Indian gamers, as it gives them an opportunity to connect with gamers across the world and remain engaged for longer durations,” said Ashwin Rao, Country Director, Limelight Networks India.

India’s online gaming craze is a multi-crore business

Gaming companies have their task cut out for them, as they have to match up to the transformation in the Indian landscape and meet the fast-paced growth in demand. Special efforts are required, where investment in infrastructure development takes precedence over other issues. Edge-based content and computing can provide top-notch environments to users for gaming, and even emerging economies like India will need that emphasis,” added Rao.

Published on March 15, 2021

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