19 Mar 2021
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Online gaming spikes as consumers seek social connection and entertainment

By Shannon Williams

Video game playing has risen to a new level, with consumers' playing more than nine hours of online games each week, according to a new report from Limelight.

Limelight's State of Online Gaming 2021 report found that the desire to stay connected and entertained while stuck at home during the pandemic has driven online gaming popularity.
 
New data shows that the spikes in gaming over the last year are driven by gamers desire for social connections. More than seven in 10 Asia Pacific gamers (72%) say they've made new friends through online games in the past year and more than one in three (36%) say the ability to interact with other players is extremely important. 

Opportunities for interactivity and social engagement are likely drivers for video game adoption with the majority (79%) of global gamers saying they started playing video games in the past year.

The report also found:

  • Performance drives demand for next-generation consoles. Three quarters (74%) of gamers are interested in purchasing a new console, due to updated technology (39%) and faster game play (37%). Gamers in China are most likely to consider upgrading their console (92%).
  • Gamers demand fast gaming experiences. Fast performance is extremely important to five in 10 (51%) of Asia Pacific gamers, and the top cited important aspect of game play. In addition, 84% of gamers in the region say the process of downloading games is frustrating.
  • Binge-gaming reached an all-time high. The average APAC region gamer has played video games consecutively for four hours and 49 minutes. Young gamers ages 18 to 25 have binge-gamed for the longest, at an average of nearly five hours.
  • Video games have become a spectator sport. 72% of Asia Pacific gamers say they've started to watch others play video games in the past year. The average gamer spends three hours and 36 minutes each week watching others play video games online and gamers in India spend the most time of any country surveyed (five hours and 18 minutes each week).
  • Playing video games is the top entertainment choice for many.  More than three in five (67%) gamers say they prefer to play video games versus watching a movie or TV show.

 
"Asia Pacific is home to some of the worlds most ardent gamers, and they are now looking to video games to provide an interactive, high performance, disruption-free experience that allows them to connect with others and play longer," says Edwin Koh, director of Southeast Asia at Limelight Networks. 

"This evolution is putting pressure on gaming companies to match this demand with edge-based content and compute to deliver high-quality gaming environments to users across the globe.

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