China sees surge in mobile game downloads as Covid-19 fears keep people cooped up at home

People have been turning to mobile games to stave off boredom during the epidemic. — Pexels pic
People have been turning to mobile games to stave off boredom during the epidemic. — Pexels pic

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PETALING JAYA, March 5 — Whether you’re under self-quarantine or just avoiding crowds during the Covid-19 outbreak, boredom sets in pretty quickly when you’re cooped up at home.

A Reuters report revealed that millions in China have been turning to mobile games to keep themselves entertained as virus fears continue to keep people indoors.

Game downloads worldwide soared by 39 percent in February with China accounting for a sizable portion of the spike, based on data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Meanwhile, Apple’s App Store in China saw a 62 percent surge in game downloads with puzzle app “Brain Out” and Tencent’s multiplayer online game “Honor of Kings” enjoying renewed popularity, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie.

The same firm revealed that the average weekly game downloads in China jumped by a whopping 80 percent in the first three weeks of February compared to the average weekly download for the year 2019.

China residents shelled out big bucks on in-app purchases as well, with Tencent’s “Game for Peace” seeing the highest increase in user spending.

Gamers in South Korea also displayed similar spending patterns with online role-playing game “Lineage 2” ranking number one for user purchases.

South Korea is currently grappling with the worst Covid-19 outbreak outside China with more than 5,000 confirmed cases so far.

The total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide topped 93,000 as of March 5, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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