In a network report released today, Verizon, the American telecommunications conglomerate shared an interesting reality many gamers already knew: people are playing a lot more video games while they self-quarantine themselves.
The following is an excerpt from the report:
Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well. In small pockets where there has been a significant increase in usage, our engineers have quickly added capacity to meet customers’ demand.
Here’s a snapshot of usage, week over week:
- Gaming, up 75%
- VPN, up 34%
- Web traffic up close to 20%
- Video, up more than 12%
- Social media usage: 0%, flat
*Based on peak data hour usage week over week.
*Usage is expected to fluctuate over time; we could see new applications emerge based on customer usage patterns as more people telecommute and more students are at home.
Chief Technology Officer for Verizon weighs in.Quote from Kyle Malady.
“As we see more and more individuals work from home and students engage in online learning, it is a natural byproduct that we would see an increase in web traffic and access to VPN. And as more entertainment options are canceled in communities across the US, an increase in video traffic and online gaming is not surprising.
We expect these peak hour percentages to fluctuate, so our engineers are continuing to closely monitor network usage patterns 24x7 and stand ready to adjust resources as changing demands arise.”
Social media usage... did not increase?
The new-habits of people forced to stay indoors in an attempt to "flatten the curve" and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus are affecting the global economy in ways no one can quite predict. While it was an easy call to assume more people would play video games when stuck indoors, the most surprising part of the data is the 0% increase in social media usage.
In hindsight, it makes sense. Who would choose to browse Twitter in its current state over playing more video games? There is also the social component of gaming that allows many to still stay close with their friends and family, which could be another explanation for why gaming data usage is surging.
As the overwhelming majority of gaming and esports events are being canceled, self-quarantined gamers are putting in more hours than ever. Above, EA announces the suspension of all live competitive gaming events.
Is gaming a more social experience than social media? This data doesn't quite answer that question, but it does lead to some interesting ones regarding the current role of social media in a world where everyone is staying inside.
After all, when there isn't much to do, there isn't much to share.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.