Gametch: The Pandemic Effect – Are we Spending More than Ever Before?

This February, The Fintech Times is taking a deep dive into the world of gametech. Grab your headsets and controllers and plug in to hear about the latest tech and celebrities influencing the market to the development of eSports and much more.

One of the hallmarks of the Covid-19 pandemic was the increase in people turning to games to pass the time. Whether it was the Animal Crossing craze to the Among Us trend, research by Ofcom found that 62% of UK adults played some form of video game in 2020.

With this increase in gamers, naturally there comes an increase in gaming spend. A 2020 survey from cybersecurity expert BullGuard and custom PC builder Chillblast, released a few months after the UK lockdown began, found that 73% of gamers said they were spending more money on gaming with 16.6% even admitting to spending an additional £100 plus a month on in-game purchases, new games, hardware or other related items.

Kamran Hedjri, CEO of PXP Financial, said: “The pandemic has shifted behaviours and the role of home entertainment, including games themselves, and the industry is increasingly capitalising on the social aspect of gaming.

“As this happens, we’re seeing new levels of engagement, with different groups turning to online competition. During the pandemic, for example, some of the world’s leading race-car drivers competed online, and top chess players adopted the communications platform Discord.

“Spending has grown significantly since the pandemic; there were an estimated 2.7 billion gamers worldwide in 2021, creating an industry worth $300+ billion. That’s from $200 billion in direct spending on consoles, software and subscriptions, in-game purchases and mobile ad revenues, with a further $100 billion of value from adjacent industries such as mobile devices, gaming PCs, peripherals, and gaming-related communities. 400 million new gamers are predicted within the next few years who will come to expect a service-oriented business that puts customer experience first.”

With the gaming industry predicted to be worth $196 billion in 2022, it seems clear that gamers are spending more than ever before. Like with many global industries, the pandemic has helped accelerate what was already happening, in this case increasing gaming already booming popularity. Combine this with a rise in interest in cryptocurrency, NFTs and other digital tokens, which can be found in gaming, it seems obvious that a rise in in-game purchases goes alongside.

John Mitchell, CEO at Episode Six added: “The pandemic has only spurred on the popularity of gaming which has equated to an increase in in-game purchases of digital assets, whether on a traditional console or mobile gaming apps. This is influencing the thinking from within the global payments industry which is being reshaped and is fast changing.

£IDC forecasts that by 2030, 60% of global consumers will have made a transaction using an asset class other than fiat currency. And companies such as GameStop, are realising this. It gained media traction earlier this month due to its potential move into the NFT space and plans to establish cryptocurrency partnerships to create games and items for the marketplace.

“The payments landscape is changing rapidly, from the methods we use and the content we purchase, to the companies handling our transactions. As we spend more money on digital content, companies need make sure that their payment infrastructures adapt to enable their customers to pay using their preferred method of choice, whether that’s in fiat or not.”

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.