The pandemic of COVID-19 has dramatically affected almost everywhere in the world. Lockdowns have happened across the globe, leading to billions of people staying at home, off work. With sport heavily curtailed too, this has naturally led people to seek other avenues of entertainment, with top online casinos and video games leading the charge.
Video Game Interest Surges
It can be easy for non-gamers to forget that video games are bigger than Hollywood even in normal times. When a global pandemic sweeps in and all the cinemas are shut, with huge numbers forced to stay at home and sports mostly canceled, it’s no wonder that interest in video games has soared. According to Verizon, US video game usage has increased by 75% during peak hours, and the US is not alone. So many Italians have been playing games that Bloomberg has reported the country’s telecom infrastructure is under some stress.
Three-quarters was also the margin by which the League of Legends European Championship spring playoffs’ audience increased. This rise in viewers led to a record peak audience in excess of 800,000.
Video games have a range of genres, some more suited to the prolonged lockdown than others. The remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 have generally gone down well, but neither game is exactly enormous. RPGs, however, can be another story. The FFVII remake has sold bucketloads and although it’s only the first part of the story the optional hard mode, unlocked upon initial completion, offers good replayability. If anyone hasn’t played The Witcher 3 yet then it, plus the extensive DLC, is very affordable and offers literally hundreds of hours of gameplay. Those who prefer sci-fi adventures to fantasy have The Outer Worlds to explore. Plus the return of CRPGs such as Pillars of Eternity and Divinity Original Sin 2 (with Baldur’s Gate 3 possibly coming as soon as Christmas 2020) offer immense playing time, ideal for those who suddenly have nothing to do for days on end.
The lockdown has seen online games platform Steam notch up an all-time high of concurrent users, with a total in excess of 20 million (almost as many people as live in the whole of Scandinavia). Similarly, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (better known as CS:GO) has recently topped more than a million concurrent players.
Competitive gaming has been on the rise, with professionals of eSport seeing audiences soar, and even real-world sportsmen taking to the virtual alternative. With the F1 season postponed, Ferrari star Charles Leclerc had to make do with winning a Virtual Grand Prix instead.
Video games that double up as eSports titans have been seeing a huge increase in interest, including Epic’s Fortnite. In addition to top online casinos, eSports, such as League of Legends and CS:GO, have seen dramatically increased activity on both spectator and betting fronts.
Strategy games are another genre that can easily act as time sinks for those who need something to do all day. Civilization VI is a TBS game that has a huge number of set-up choices and immense replayability, plus multiplayer options. If you’re one of those players who think Civ VI is too simple, there’s always Europa Universalis IV. They Are Billions is an RTS game that sees players try to fend off zombie hordes and offers a unique experience. The multiplayer aspect that strategy games offer is always fun, and perhaps needed in this age of lockdowns and isolation.
The Top Online Casinos
Unlike their land-based cousins, the top online casinos have not had to close. Indeed, they’ve seen a significant increase in interest during the lockdown. Players from all over the world can visit the best gambling sites such as Jackpot City Casino, Spin Casino, and Leo Vegas Casino, as well as explore Top10casinos for more like these. New players can take advantage of everything from welcome bonuses to the very wide range of games that the best online casinos have to offer.
Games can usually be played for free in demo mode, so you can see if something’s to your taste before you wager anything, and the leading sites often have hundreds of online slots and dozens of table games from which to choose. Plus live dealer options are the best way to enjoy a real atmosphere when the lockdown means visiting a brick-and-mortar casino is out of the question.
Because many online casinos are multi-developer sites, this means there’s a fantastic range of thematic and gameplay variety. So whether you’re keen on hunting the biggest prizes with progressive jackpots, love the style of Norse mythology, or just want something simple and fun, there’s a lot to like.
Top Online Casino Games
Gamers can find a lot of fun choices at top online casinos, with software developer NetEnt releasing a number of slots in VR format (including popular slots such as Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst). Some classic video games now have slots versions, including Asteroids and Space Invaders, whilst more modern gaming icons (Lara Croft, for example) have also made the jump to slots.
Away from the spinning reels, the top casinos also offer plenty of table games. These dice, card, and roulette games offer interactivity and decision-making, and tend to have lower house edges than slots. Many come with live dealer options and a variety of rule sets.