State of The Game
Arguably, there has never been a better time to get into gaming. The economy now more than ever is focused on technology, entertainment, and the new and innovative. The world as a whole is always in search of distractions to help them remove themselves from the stress and unknowns of daily life. Enter the gaming industry and not just the highly popularized console and PC gaming, but mobile gaming, VR gaming, and even a bit of board gaming.
It’s the end of March, and the world is panicking over the Coronavirus pandemic. As unfortunate as this entire pandemic is, it has led a lot of people to dive deeper into the gaming industry. New twitch streamers are popping up left and right, old consoles are having the dust blown off of them, and families are coming together over games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. People are scared and need something to keep their minds of the horrors that lurk outside the doors. Luckily games are there waiting for them, with the child-like smile of Pikachu or the lock and loaded readiness of Call of Duty’s new Warzone mode.
For those that haven’t spent much time in the gaming world, there has never been a better time; regardless of your interests or budgets, there is something for almost everyone. Typically, I’m someone who loves well-made AAA games, but recently I’ve been finding myself more and more intrigued by mobile games. I’ve actually grown quite fond of a game called Knighthood made by King games, the makers of Candy Crush. The easy controls, bright and cheery colors, and RPG (Role Playing Game) elements make the game a blast and easy to play at virtually anytime.
For the hardcore gamer, there have been a plethora of new games hitting the market recently. Bethesda Softworks has released the much anticipated Doom Eternal. In contrast, Activision has released its latest heartthrob, the free Warzone mode for Call of Duty Modern Warfare, which has already soared to over 30 million active users. For the fun-loving family folk, Nintendo has released Animal Crossing New Horizons for the switch was is gleefully helping distract many from the somewhat bleak outside world.
The downside to our current environment is the lack of gaming conventions, and the recent pandemic has shuttered such events as E3. It has made many developers and studios shoot down any other thoughts of small or large conventions. On the positive side, studios and publishers are working hard to keep the announcements flowing over social media and via online streams. This is a welcome concept considering there are many popular games as well as consoles on the horizon. The next-gen consoles, updated VR functionality, and hugely popular titles such as cyberpunk are still on the tops of everyone’s minds, and keeping them in the limelight is all but essential for the various manufacturers.
Digital games are leading the way, especially this month with many retailers temporarily shutting their doors, online sales, both on consoles as well as pc, have seen exponential increases. It’s great to see just how easy it is to get games into people’s hands and to have them playing in no time. The one caveat here is internet speed; luckily in most modern metros and even many suburban landscapes, speeds can reach up to a gig, providing more than enough power to download and play all within a few hours.
On top of digital games, the demand for game streaming services is low, but the options are becoming plentiful. Google led the charge recently with Stadia, but NVIDIA has been holding its own with its newest service GeForce Now. Companies like Netflix and Hulu got people used to and in love with being able to consume content on-demand without paying the full retail price, and the gaming industry has caught on to the trend.
As noted above, now is possibly one of the best times to track down your favorite consoles, find a few friends, and boot up a game or two. If you’re really feeling curious, why not even create a live streaming account and share your adventure with the world, with so many people being quarantined in their homes or bound to self-isolation having a smiling face at the other end of the computer screen can do worlds for one’s mood. Regardless of your platform, your budget, or your gaming knowledge, there is something out there for everyone, now more than ever.
I look forward to seeing you in a game or at least browsing the gaming landscape sometime very soon.