COVID-19 lockdowns have led to surges in popularity for survival and sports games

New data shows what kinds of games people stuck inside have been playing the most

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve watched as Steam has continuously posted increasing concurrent user numbers each weekend – it’s an indication of how people are turning to games during social distancing lockdown periods. Now, online marketplace G2A has shared some sales data that sheds light on what games are proving the most popular.

It may come as a bit of a surprise that G2A has seen a 75% increase in demand for survival games over the first quarter of 2020. It seems that being stuck inside during a quarantine or other social distancing measure has people thinking a lot about how they would approach a situation where they had to fend for themselves in a hostile world, and that’s being reflected in the games they’re buying.

Less surprising, perhaps, is the massive increase in demand for sports-related games. G2A says it’s seen a huge uptick in search traffic for FIFA 20 (up 132%) and more than double the norm for NBA 2K. That’s nothing compared to the 2,332% increase in searches for F1 2019. As sports seasons are cancelled or delayed due to the outbreak, it follows that fans are turning to games to keep them occupied while they wait. According to SteamDB, following two free weekends in the past month, Football Manager 2020 is also more popular than ever, hitting an all-time peak of 189,464 concurrent players March 29.

It also appears that some retired gamers have returned to the hobby. G2A reports a huge 851% increase in demand for 1990s and 2000s titles like Age of Empires 2 and Worms Armageddon.

And while some of us may be seeking to avoid games about viruses and plagues, it seems that many people have had their interest in these themes renewed, and are seeking out games to play that deal with these ripped-from-the-headlines topics: G2A says Plague Inc., State of Decay, and The Division 2 are all seeing more than 200% more search traffic on its site.