Let’s catch up on all of the craziness about how COVID-19 is impacting the world of gaming. It turns out that being locked inside your house for weeks upon end is a very good way to drive up sales of video games. Who would have thought? Nielsen Games published a report showing that 39% of American gamers are pumping more money into their hobby lately. That checks out; I just bought Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for my kids to get a few minutes of respite.
Here’s one thing you won’t have to spend money on to enjoy, however: Google is making Stadia Pro free for the next two months in response to the crisis. All you need to access the cloud-based gaming platform is a Gmail address, and you’ll be able to enjoy Destiny 2 among other titles. Stadia is going to reduce its default settings for the time being to help with the increased load on its services, however.
Plans for a physical GDC later this year are progressing and registrations are open. The Game Developers Conference rescheduled from this spring to August 4th through 6th, although the organizers are leaving some wiggle room in case of further delays: “If the organizers of GDC Summer are forced to cancel the event, current paid registrants may request a full refund, minus only credit card processing fees. There will be no cancellation fee in the event that GDC Summer must officially be canceled.”
In other COVID-19 gaming news, Old School RuneScape and Jagex are supporting mental health initiatives during this trying time, a supply chain hiccup has led to the temporary cessation of Nintendo Switch deliveries to Japan, and one computer company has gone from making gaming machines to much-needed ventilators.
More on the impact of the virus on gaming: