Ask 100 people to describe 2020 and you’ll rarely hear words such as “record-setting”, “great” or “excellent” used often.
2020 has been a year of frustration for many, with society all but shut down during the lockdown and social distancing measures implemented to contain the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But for the digital entertainment industry, it’s truly been a record-setting year.
From record sales of gaming consoles to the rise of working from home, 2020 has been a major year for the digital entertainment industry. Below, we’ve listed four trends to keep an eye on this year as we, more than ever before, make the most of our lives digitally.
The Rise of Working From Home
Working from home is nothing new — for many employees, it’s been a reality for years and, for some, even decades. However, 2020 is truly the year that working from home developed from something a minority of people do to, for many, the only way to work.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the use of work-from-home software such as Zoom has grown massively, with many employees taking their responsibilities home with them.
According to HubSpot, the number of people who work from home at least once per week has increased by 400 per cent since 2010. In 2020, more than ever, employees no longer view the idea of working from home as a luxury, but increasingly as a standard.
More Time Spent on Gaming and Leisure
Gaming has been popular for decades, with game consoles and PC games some of the most popular digital entertainment products on the market. However, gaming has never reached the extreme popularity it achieved during the first half of 2020.
According to data published by Statistica, there was a 45 per cent increase in the total amount of time spent gaming during March 2020 in the US, with a 29 per cent increase in the UK. With just about everyone stuck at home, gaming has been a very welcome form of escapism.
Interestingly, the increase in gaming time occurred across a variety of gaming platforms, with a large increase in home gaming console sales occurring alongside an increased level of interest in digital casino games (available here: https://www.casinohawks.com/casino-bonus).
Continued Interest in True Crime Entertainment
True crime television series have always been popular, with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu investing heavily in crime-focused original programming and traditional TV networks making true crime a major part of their programming schedule.
However, true crime television truly reached a peak in 2020 as the massive numbers of people stuck at home discovered, watched and talked about Netflix’s astronomically popular Tiger King documentary series.
According to Variety, Tiger King was one of the most successful Netflix original series released so far, with a viewership of more than 60 million households as of late April. The series, which was released in March, briefly became a cultural sensation as people watched from home.
Cloud Gaming Becomes Increasingly Mainstream
Finally, 2020 has seen some serious development in one of the most interesting digital media fields — cloud gaming.
Gaming on the cloud involves the use of remote hardware — computers in data centres, rather than at home — to render games. Through cloud consoles, gamers can essentially play without their own hardware, outsourcing the difficult computing to a remote data centre.
Cloud gaming platforms such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Sony’s PlayStation Now are now gaining serious momentum, with a significant increase in interest from the public. While ideal cloud gaming is still a few years away, it’s becoming increasingly viable.