People Are Spending Much More Time Playing Games During COVID-19 Outbreak

Gaming usage is up 75 percent in America, according to new data released by Verizon.

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Today in news that will surprise no one, Verizon has released numbers that show time spent gaming has increased dramatically as people stay home from work and school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon, which is one of the largest telecom companies in America, announced that it has seen a 75 percent increase in gaming during peak hours compared to the week prior.

Additionally, video streaming (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) jumped by 12 percent. Overall web traffic on Verizon's networks jumped by around 20 percent compared to last week. Virtual private network (VPN) usage jumped by 34 percent. Time spent on social media sites was flat.

Verizon said in a statement that its online networks have remained reliable during this period of increased traffic across sectors. In some cases, Verizon has added capacity to meet demand. All of these numbers apply to America only, and are based on Verizon's own metrics.

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"We're in an unprecedented situation," Verizon's Kyle Malady said in a statement. "We continually evaluate peak data usage times and build our networks to stay ahead of that demand. “While it is not clear yet how having millions of additional people working from home will impact usage patterns, we remain ready to address changes in demand, if needed."

For its part, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live usage had increased in the wake of COVID-19 as people stay home from work and school. It's expected that PlayStation Network and Nintendo Switch Online are also experiencing surges in demand.

A number of high-profile in-person competitive gaming tournaments, including the League of Legends LCS, Overwatch League, and Call of Duty League, have been either canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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