It has been an interesting year for most, no less for those that are trying to launch a product in these uncertain times.
Oddly, with so many more people at home we have actually seen an increase in the amount of time people are playing video games.
Video Games During a Pandemic
According to The Washington Post, “video game sales in March approached $1.6 billion, representing a 35-percent year over year increase,”
This was a surprise after many thought that the bottom would drop out as many people were stating at home and may be facing financial hardship. Yet, video games have continued to thrive during the pandemic.
Just last month we witnessed the launch of the of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S. Podcasts such as Kinda Funny Games had shared concerns that the console may not sell as well due to the pandemic effecting peoples income. Yet, this was not the case. Sony shared that PlayStation 5 was their biggest console launch ever.
Now, some of the sales of these consoles must be contributed to the number of scalpers that are also trying to get as many of these as they can in an effort to make lots of money off of their sales. ( For additional information about PlayStation 5 Scalpers read this Bloomberg article)
Movies During a Pandemic
The movie industry has not had the same luck whenever it comes to making money during a global pandemic.
Now, some of this can be credited to the fact that it is easier for most companies to send their workers home and tell them to continue working on a game.
While some studios have suffered from work at home, such as Nintendo. There have been studios such as Square Enix that say they plan to continue the work from home model, for those that want it even after the pandemic ends.
So, while this strategy is working for a majority of video game companies the truth is it is harder for movie productions to work at home. There are some that can have less crew and even some that can work from home such as animated films, but a majority of movies have large casts, a director, producers, crew and the list goes on from there. The truth is it is hard to limit the number of people on a set for a large movie.
Just take Jurassic World Dominion for example, the movie had to go on a two week break after someone on the set tested positive. The movie has now officially wrapped after 18 months of filming and they are claiming that they used roughly 40,000 Covid tests during.
The fact that movies are suffering during this global pandemic does not just rest at the feet of those making the movies though. We have also seen all of the major theatres be forced to close their doors.
AMC one of the major theatre chains has already announced that they may have to file for bankruptcy, this a move that, according to analysts interviewed by CNBC, could benefit the theatre chain. Yet, we still have no timeline for when theatres may once again be able to open there doors. We also don’t know how long until the public will feel safe enough to sit in a room with multiple people for close to two hours.
What Does this Mean for Video Games and Movies?
The truth is that we do not know, I am sure that you can find an analyst out there that can make a pretty good prediction. I feel that I have paid enough attention to video games and movie in the past to share at least an educated guess.
We have already seen bold moves from the movie industry to compete with these growing markets. Warner Brothers announced on Dec. 3 that all of their 2021 movies would be launching in theatres and on HBO MAX on the same day.
I think we will continue to see these moves from the movie studios as they try to find new ways to make money during this pandemic. It also makes there streaming services more marketable, these are traits that could help improve their stock market performance.
Yet, at the endo the day video games and animated films are about to have a moment, they are easy to make right now in comparison to live action films/shows. They are also selling well and you do not need to leave your house to access them.
There is no reason for video games and animation to slow down. I think that more than anything you are going to see more people than ever playing/buying games. This has the potential to pull new people into the world of gaming.
Once the dust of the pandemic clears we may have the largest video game audience we have ever seen and we may watch new movies in an entirely new way, or it could all go back to the way it was.