The year 2020 may have been a literal dumpster fire 🔥 for many individuals… except for gamers. With offices, colleges, and schools shutting down, there was only one thing left to do - to get your joysticks🕹️/ controllers 🎮/keyboard ⌨️/ mobile phones 📱 out. And we capitalized on this opportunity and played our hearts out. The gaming industry has touched new heights in the current year. And to commemorate the same, here is the gaming year in review:
Online Gaming Trends
Interestingly, India’s passion for gaming is not a new phenomenon. In fact, according to a KPMG report of 2017, India’s online gaming sector was slated to accommodate 190 million gamers with an industry valuation of USD 1 billion until 2021!
However, one must give the pandemic credit for catalyzing the adoption at a mass scale. Here is an overview of the online gaming trends that have defined 2020:
- India’s online gaming industry, which stood at USD 91 million, is projected to expand at a CAGR of 43%. During the lockdown alone, the sector grew by 21%.
- The months of March and April saw a 17% increase in spending on games, with gaming industry revenue for 2020 touching USD 10.5 billion.
- About 85% of online gamers use gaming apps on mobile phones to get a piece of the thrill.
- Since the lockdown, the time spent on gaming activities has increased by 21%.
- The top 10 online multiplayer games in India were PUBG, COD, CS: GO, DOTA 2, FIFA 20, 8 Ball Pool, Clash of Clans, Fortnite, Ludo King, and Carrom Pool.
- The top fantasy sports apps were Dream 11, My Team 11, Halaplay, Mobile Premier League (MPL), Fanfight, Sport Junki, and Cricplay.
- Best 'Made in India' gaming apps include Twelfth Man, PayTM First Games, Rummy Passion.
Gaming Year in Review
Since the year 2020 has been the year of gaming, let’s get you up to date on everything that’s happened so far with this gaming year in review montage:
January saw unofficial teasers of Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. The leaks triggered several ripples within the gaming industry, leaving everyone waiting eagerly for the launch of the next-gen gaming consoles.
Some notable game releases for this month were:
- AO Tennis 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
- Coffee Talk
- The Walking Dead (Season Two, A New Frontier, and Saints and Sinners)
- Kentucky Route Zero
The creator of the famous Konami Code, Kazuhisa Hashimoto, passed away on 25th February at the age of 61.
Meanwhile, several gaming events were postponed or canceled as the threat of COVID-19 loomed over several countries.
Games that made an appearance in February include:
- Yakuza 5
- Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
- Dota Underlords
- One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
Ludo King racked up USD 300,000 of game revenue in March 2020. Fantasy sports also continued their upward climb with the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports unveiling that fantasy sports contribute 750 crores in taxes.
Major games released this month include:
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- My Hero: One's Justice 2
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
April marked the early days of lockdown, and the online gaming trends experienced tectonic shifts. Facebook Gaming saw a 238% growth in the number of hours watched. Meanwhile, Twitch and YouTube Gaming logged a 101% and a 65% increase in this category.
Games launched this month were:
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- MotoGP 20
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
- Streets of Rage 4
Japanese video game developer, Bandai Namco celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man, while Microsoft Solitaire turned 30. Minecraft registered 126 million monthly users.
Meanwhile, Rockstar made the Premium Edition of Grand Theft Auto V available for free, with the Epic Games Store going down due to all the user traffic.
A few popular game launches for this month include:
- Super Mega Baseball 3
- Mafia II and Mafia III
- Saints Row: The Third Remastered
- BioShock: The Collection
- Borderlands Legendary Collection
Sony officially revealed the PlayStation design in its “PS5 - The Future of Gaming” event. On the other hand, Microsoft announced the closure of Mixer while taking forward their partnership with Facebook Gaming.
Games launched in June include:
- Burnout Paradise Remastered
- The Last of Us Part II
- Pokémon Café Mix
Fortnite welcomed Captain America onboard while PUBG touched made history in gaming industry revenue in 2020 by hitting USD 3 billion in just 7 months. The game also announced its season 8 launch.
A few notable games that made their appearance this month were:
- Ghost of Tsushima
- Paper Mario: The Origami King
- Crysis Remastered
- F1 2020
Amazon offered free in-game content to its Prime Members for Amazon’s Prime Day sale. The company also renames Twitch Prime to Prime Gaming. Warner Bros. announced their new game Gotham Knights.
Some well-known games launched this month include:
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- EA Sports UFC 4
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time
- Raji: An Ancient Epic
Indian Government banned PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite due to security reasons. The gaming app gets taken down from Google Play Store and Apple Store. Facebook announces the discontinuation of one of its wildly popular game, FarmVille.
Microsoft buys Bethesda for USD 7.5 billion. Meanwhile, Nintendo celebrated the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. by announcing limited-edition merchandise.
The games released this month include:
- Marvel's Avengers
- NBA 2K21
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2
- WWE 2K Battlegrounds
- BTS Universe Story
- Genshin Impact
The Indian developer, nCore Games, shared a teaser and announced the launch date for its indigenous game - FAU-G. Samsung attempts to attract gamers with a revamped, game-centric Galaxy Store.
Games making an appearance in October include:
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
- FIFA 21
- Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3
- Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
- Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues
Flipkart acquired Mech Mocha to break into the mobile gaming industry. Krafton, the parent firm of PUBG Corporation, signed a deal with Microsoft to allow PUBG to re-enter the Indian market. Fortnite also makes a re-appearance on iOS devices (while being caught in a months-long legal tussle with Apple) through NVIDIA’s cloud-gaming web app.
November saw the launch of the following games:
- Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- Borderlands 3
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Fruit Ninja 2
The newly-launched PS5s get wiped off the shelves.
In the meantime, the Game Awards 2020 took place virtually, with Ghost of Tsushima, Animal Crossing, Ganshin Impact, Valorant, Fall Guys, and Among Us featuring as nominees in several categories. The Last of Us Part II earned the title of the Game of the Year.
Some of the most-hyped games of December include:
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Chronos: Before the Ashes
- Immortals Fenyx Rising
- Who's Your Daddy?
The lockdowns following the COVID-19 outbreak gave all of us more time to pursue our passions. And if you are a hardcore gamer, you know that every second that you get to spare in this activity only makes you better and is totally worth it. The above online gaming trends for the year 2020 are proof of it.
Hope this year in review of the game industry has brought you up to date on all the latest happenings and prepared you for even better days in 2021!