How has the novel coronavirus pandemic altered the types of games people play, if at all? According to some new survey results from Quantic Foundry, COVID-19 has shifted gamers’ appetites away from challenging and intense titles to more relaxed and soothing affairs.
The results come from surveys completed at pre- and post-COVID times (here meaning when most countries had shelter-in-place orders) in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, factoring for the impact of gender, age, and casual/core/hardcore gamers. The sample sizes ended up with over 47K respondents pre-COVID and over 10K respondents post-COVID. The results found that the desire for difficult and higher intensity games trended downward to roughly a difference of 3.5 percentile points.
The study does note a few caveats, namely that correlation does not equal causation and that there were a variety of other world events that likely contributed to this shift in what players seek from their games. All the same, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a lot of people wanted to be hugged by their games and not punched, and the data are interesting to read regardless.
For those who are unfamiliar, Quantic Foundry is a gaming analytics consulting firm led by Nick Yee, who some might recall as the person that came up with the Gamer Motivation Model a few years ago. You can read more of their research in the list below.