Limelight’s State of Online Gaming Report Shows Online Gaming Spikes as Consumers Seek Social Connection and Entertainment

March 10, 2021

Gamers spend nearly eight and a half hours each week playing, and more than half use online video games to make friends

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Video game playing has risen to a new level, with consumers’ time playing up 14 percent over last year. The desire to stay connected and entertained while stuck at home during the pandemic has driven online gaming popularity. In fact, gamers across the globe are playing video games an average of eight hours and 27 minutes each week according to the “State of Online Gaming 2021,” a report commissioned by Limelight Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), on global gaming preferences and habits.

New data shows that the spikes in gaming over the last year are driven by gamers’ desire for social connections. Half of global gamers (53 percent) say they’ve made new friends through online games in the past year and one in three (36 percent) say the ability to interact with other players is extremely important. Opportunities for interactivity and social engagement are likely drivers for video game adoption with the majority (64 percent) of global gamers saying they started playing video games in the past year.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Performance drives demand for next-generation consoles. Three quarters (74 percent) of gamers are interested in purchasing a new console, due to updated technology (32 percent) and faster game play (31 percent). Gamers in China are most likely to consider upgrading their console (92 percent).
  • Gamers demand fast gaming experiences. Fast performance is extremely important to nearly half (47 percent) of gamers, and the top cited important aspect of game play. In addition, 87 percent of global gamers say the process of downloading games is frustrating.
  • Binge-gaming reached an all-time high. The average gamer has played video games consecutively for five hours and six minutes, which is a 13 percent increase from last year. Young gamers ages 18 to 25 have binge-gamed for the longest, at an average of nearly six hours.
  • Video games have become a spectator sport. Over half (56 percent) of global gamers say they’ve started to watch others play video games in the past year. The average gamer spends two hours and 48 minutes each week watching others play video games online and gamers in India spend the most time of any country surveyed (five hours and 18 minutes each week).
  • Playing video games is the top entertainment choice for many. Three in five (62 percent) gamers say they prefer to play video games versus watching a movie or TV show.

“Video gaming has evolved into a social platform. Gamers want interactive, high performance, disruption-free experiences that allow them to connect with others and play longer,” said Nigel Burmeister, Vice President at Limelight Networks. “This evolution is putting pressure on gaming companies to match this demand and requires edge-based content and compute to deliver high-quality gaming environments to users across the globe.”

The “State of Online Gaming 2021” report is based on responses from 4,000 consumers in China, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam, ages 18 and older who play video games.

About Limelight:

Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW), a leading provider of digital content delivery, video, cloud security, and edge computing services, empowers customers to provide exceptional digital experiences. Limelight’s edge services platform includes a unique combination of global private infrastructure, intelligent software, and expert support services that enable current and future workflows. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Source: Limelight Networks, Inc.