Since the roll-out of coronavirus-related restrictions, gaming has provided a welcome distraction for people at home looking for social interaction and entertainment.
That is why the global video game industry continues to see huge growth in playing time and sales despite the widespread economic disruption triggered by the pandemic.
The impressive jump can also be attributed to the rise of eSports where people engage in various forms of competitive video gaming.
As MarketWatch recently reported, the new reality has firmly placed gaming companies in the “buy” column for some of the most well-known fund managers in the world.
Read more: Video Game Industry Thriving While Production Faces Challenges
Jeferson Valadares, a Lisbon-based game industry expert, agrees that this coronavirus-proof sector is a good area for investment, especially now that lockdown measures have created a captive audience.
“The last couple of months were very good for gaming… COVID-19 has actually just propelled gaming forward,” Jeferson, co-founder and CEO at Doppio Games told Via News in an interview.
Doppio makes conversational games about people and their relationships, discussing life’s biggest questions in a “delightfully surprising and humorous” way.
Doppio has published 2 games: The 3% Challenge and The Vortex. Both are voice-guided games that are available on devices that support Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Jeferson—a professional game developer and former leader at renowned studios such as BioWare, Playfish, and Sumea—says his own experience shows that the industry is attracting growing interest the world over.
“A lot of investors have been getting in touch with me,” he said, adding that major investment banks in countries such as the United States are recommending their clients to invest in gaming companies.
They call it a “safe place” to put money so the overall impact of the current situation has been positive for game studios and the industry is expected to thrive future, Jeferson commented.
His projections are reflected in recent industry reports, which paint a bright future for game development companies.
The video game industry is attracting growing interest all over the world and is being called a “safe” area for investment.Jeferson Valadares, co-founder and CEO at Doppio Games
According to a recent analysis by analytics firm Newzoo, the global games market will generate revenues of $159.3 billion in 2020, a +9.3% year-on-year increase.
“All game segments saw an increase in engagement and revenues as a result of the COVID-19 measures, but mobile gaming saw the biggest increase. In total, mobile games will generate revenues of $77.2 billion in 2020, growing +13.3% year on year.”
The report says Asia-Pacific will generate game revenues of $78.4 billion this year, accounting for 49% of the global games market.
In addition, Newzoo predicts that the number of gamers worldwide will exceed three billion and the market will surpass $200 billion by 2023.
The co-founder and CEO of Doppio Games say the fact that he had learned to keep his team at a manageable size is helping him go through this phase with greater peace of mind.
“I’ve worked in the U.S. for a long time, and big American companies, like multinationals, are very good at laying people off when they need to. It’s something they do like every year as a cost-control measure. So I did that when I was there. I had to lay people off, and I hate it.”
For Jeferson—who has helped create video games such as Mass Effect to Dragon Age and Harry Potter to the Simpsons—the biggest lesson from that experience was to “never grow beyond your means”. “Don’t try to get big without actually being able to do so,” he told fellow entrepreneurs, adding that founder should also do their best to cut unnecessary expenses.