Why the video game industry is thriving during COVID-19

The COVID pandemic changed how we live our day-to-day life. While staying home, learning Zoom, and finding things to keep busy are all part of adapting to new precautions, no one expected how much video games would rise to the top.

The increase in playing video games is partly due to an increase in media consumption. When we stay home – and especially when we’re working from a computer – what do we do? Watch TV and films, scroll through our phones, surf the web, and play video games. Research from the media company Nielson found 82% of consumers watched or played video games during the height of lockdown.

GameStop stocks in the news

GameStop, the world’s largest video game retailer, recently sold stock in a way that changed how people considered investing. When Reddit users bought shares of GameStop, which had struggled financially, they took on Wall Street investors. The investors were certain GameStop would fail, and bet against the company.

Reddit users pushed up GameStop’s share price, leading investors to lose billions of dollars. Since then, GameStop’s shares have been all over the place. The motivation behind the Reddit community’s interest in GameStop has since been a topic of conversation in the news.

Why we’re reading more comics and playing more video games during COVID

In addition to keeping ourselves entertained with video games during lockdown, the U.S. also saw a rise in reading comic books. Like every other business, comic-book publishing saw concerns during the lockdown. Writers and artists continued to produce work, not knowing when readers would see it. In recent years, comics and graphic novels saw an annual revenue of over $1 billion, so the sudden drop in business was alarming.

Many publishers responded to the pandemic with free comics and downloadable resources to inform and educate about the coronavirus. Similar to how reading books spiked during quarantine, reading comics also drastically increased while people were social distancing. Throughout history, one thing that has always helped people through uncertain times is storytelling. The power to escape and create escape is especially prominent in the comic book genre. The top comic genres ranged from post-apocalyptic graphic novels like Y: The Last Man to escapist fiction like Lumberjanes. For a more extensive list of the best comics to read at home, we loved Sideshow’s quarantine reading list.

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Photo curtesy of Nielson Global Media

“Behind the Byte” by A.J. Witt

The newest publication from A.J. Witt, “Behind the Byte” was created to encourage people to not only stay home and read, but to also reimagine the stories behind the video game. If you’ve ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in your favorite video games, stay tuned for this new release from the author of the acclaimed The Source series!

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Three legendary video game characters Witt reimagines in his pencil-drawn comic are Pokémon, Zelda, and characters from the Mario Kart universe.

Pokémon, a Japanese video game first created in 1995, is a franchise in which fictional creatures are captured by Pokémon Trainers. The Pokémon then battle each other. Zelda is one of the protagonists of the bestselling Legend of Zelda video game series. It is a high fantasy action-adventure game that centers on an elf-like man named Link and Princess Zelda as they try to save the magical land of Hyrule. Mario Kart is a go-kart-style racing game that features characters from its trademark Super Mario universe created by Nintendo.

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