Gaming in China is on the upward trend as millions of Chinese are caught indoors to guard themselves against the coronavirus outbreak.
Usually, gamers in China have extra time to play games throughout the Lunar New Year that falls in January or February every year. But authorities this year decided to extend the holiday by almost three weeks in most places following the coronavirus outbreak, leaving hundreds of thousands of people with lots of time to fill.
The coronavirus, which first started in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, is a deadly respiratory disease that has infected more than 59,000 humans worldwide and killed at least 1,300. The majority of the cases are in mainland China.
Mobile game downloads increased by 39%
Game downloads worldwide increased 39 percent in February --- with China accounting for a portion of the boost according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower. On separate data by FT, customers in China downloaded a wide range of mobile games and apps because the virus outbreak confined human beings to their homes.
Apple's App Store in China noticed a 62 percent jump in mobile game downloads alone. More than 22 million downloads had been recorded in the mobile game distribution platform in China since Feb. 2, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie. The average weekly downloads since the first three weeks of February had jumped 80% compared with the popular weekly download for the whole of 2019, App Annie said.
Omdia, a tech research service, also noted that some video games even modified their commercial enterprise models to make the games unfastened with the option to make in-game purchases.
"Gaming has been one of the most important recipients in terms of increased time spent because of quarantine," Stephens analyst Jeff Cohen wrote in a note to clients on Monday. He expects game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc to benefit from the trend.
Overall, mobile game downloads touched about 4 billion globally, up from 2.9 billion last year. Asia witnessed a 46% bounce to 1.6 billion in February, Sensor Tower statistics noted.
Top mobile applications downloaded
Puzzle video games like "Brain Out" and Tencent's online battle sport, "Honor of Kings," had been amongst the most downloaded in China, according to App Annie.
Gamers additionally spent heavily, with Tencent's "Game For Peace," a PUBG-like sport for the Asian market, raking inside the maximum in China. "Lineage 2", a multi-player game, crowned the charts.
Meanwhile, Chinese tech giants, which include Alibaba and Tencent, have been deploying health-rating structures to assist the government track the moves of tens of millions of Chinese. Alibaba had been tapped to explore the rollout of a score app to help the government manage who can tour around the city. Along with Ant Financial, it labored to develop a smartphone-primarily based rating machine in conjunction with the authorities of Hangzhou. Tencent created a program for Shenzhen, stated The WSJ.