How are Americans spending their time during the coronavirus pandemic? Well, according to the recent 2020 Gamer Segmentation Report from The NPD Group, 244 million people are playing video games, an increase of 32 million people from 2018 (the previous NPD Gamer Segmentation Report). Multi-device usage grew too, with 65% of gamers using more than one device, up from 59% in 2018.

Time spent gaming was up also—gamers averaged 14 hours a week playing video games, an increase of 2 hours per week since 2018.

The only decrease reported was in the number of Light Players—people who play fewer than five hours a week, dropping 8% to 39%. About one-third of the gaming community is Moderate Players, playing between 5-15 hours a week, a 2% increase from 2018. Heavy Players—those who play more than 15 hours per week and make up 20% of the market, saw growth of 6% since 2018.

The majority of U.S. consumers play video games(as of May 2020). This is a total market growth of 7%, since the 2018 report. The report points out, “Usage is notably up for multi-purpose devices such as smartphone, tablets, and PCs, as these are likely to be the most readily accessible with many households already having the devices for other purposes.”

A few (6%) active gamers say they specifically started using a new device to play games in response to COVID-19. That device was most likely to be a multi-purpose device they already owned such as a smartphone, tablet, or PC, according to the report.

People are spending more time playing video games—35% of gamers say they’re playing more now than they did earlier this year.

You can check out the most popular video games, as of June, here.

Unless you’re already in the video game business, not sure how you can cash in on this trend. But Mat Piscatella, U.S. video games industry analyst, The NPD Group, says, “Video games are one of the primary ways friends and family are staying connected through a difficult time.” People are seeking ways to connect. If you can help them do that, you’ll be one step ahead.

Gaming stock photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock