While many industries and businesses are struggling financially to stay afloat amid the coronavirus, the esports industry is experiencing its peak. Gamers all around the world have spent more money and time on games than ever before.
According to Forbes, a survey from BullGuard and Chillblast found that three-quarters of gamers are spending more money on gaming, and 17% of them admitted to spending $123 or more every month since the pandemic.
In America, video game sales hit a record of $10.68 billion in the first four months of 2020. Also, the hours of streaming games in the US has gone up to 75% since the pandemic began.
Why do people spend more time in front of the screen?
Games appear to be having a positive impact on mental health for people. Gamers are reportedly experiencing lower anxiety while gaming, which can help them escape from reality.
Gaming has helped people deal with the lockdown. Video games require a PC or console that has to be set up indoors, and it has prevented people from congregating, preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
People have been investing more time and money on video games as in-person interaction became more limited. The competitive team play and interaction through technology has become the playground for many people as they were stuck indoors during the quarantine.
As a source of socializing, video games bring gamers together with friends or strangers and allow them to feel like they are interacting with each other.
Psychology of spending money on video games
Usually, spending money on video games requires a credit card, so people can make a payment whenever they want. People tend to be more careful and keener when using cash, but the easy payment method lures people into buying skins or items that enhance their gameplay.
A series of studies were conducted by MIT to see the difference between the usage of cash and credit card. When they auctioned basketball game tickets, people tended to bid more with their credit cards than cash.
Also, in the Journal of Consumer Research, when given free money to spend or donate, people placed greater value on cash than other abstract currency like vouchers or gift cards.
People will spend money on video games simply to show off to friends or other players the new skin that they have. The satisfaction and gratitude that they feel when they hear a compliment from another player or own something not everyone has allows gamers to enjoy the game more and become more committed to that game.
All the skins and loot boxes can be acquired through game currencies, and the game currencies must be bought through real money.
Spending money on video games has become a source of gambling. Many free-to-play games and even those that cost money persuade gamers to buy new skins or loot boxes.
When a gamer spends money on the game, he or she receives a special currency of the game and allows them to progress faster and make higher levels faster than anyone. These advantages help gamers earn a higher position in game leagues.
As they are often rewarded with compensations, gamers tend to spend more and more money and eventually become addicted without even noticing.
Some people have spent all their university savings or wedding money on video games due to their addiction.