PUBG was the most played game during COVID-19 Lockdown, then came Minecraft


New Delhi: Indians, at least the ones lucky enough to be self-quarantining at home, have been spending a lot of time playing games online. Games like PUBG, Fortnite, Minecraft, Clash of Clans, League of Legends, World of Warcraft etc witnessed increased traction over May, according to data from a study by SEMRush.

According to data, almost 22 lakh people played PUBG last month making it the most popular game in the country. Second came Minecraft that was played by 8.2 lakh people. About 8.5 lakh people played Fortnite, 1.5 lakh played League of Legends, 1.5 lakh played Counter-Strike, 1.1 lakh people picked World of Warcraft and another 1.1 chose Clash of Clans.

The lockdown saw Indians participating in a bunch of online tournaments as well. Between January and April, the number of searches for tournaments like International, Fortnite World Cup, Counter-Strike, Pokemon World Championships and League of Legends World Championship increased by 81%, 22%, 84%, 255% and 50% respectively.

People were not only playing on their smartphone, there was a jump in numbers for consoles as well. According to reports, Nintendo Switch was the most searched console in April with 1.1lakh people looking it up. This was followed by Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with 0.49 lakh searches and Wii U being searched by 0.02 lakh people.

Online searches for Mobile Premier League (MPL) saw a 406% rise between January and April 2020.

Specifically, on the smartphone, PUBG Mobile (10 lakh), Subway Surfers (8.2 lakh), Ludo King (18 lakh), Garena Free Fire (2 lakh), Temple Run (2.4 lakh), Angry Birds (1.6 lakh) and Clash of Clans (1.1 lakh) were the most searched games between January and April.

Nielsen data revealed that the time spent playing games online went up by 44% in the week starting May 16. The rise of this metric has been gradual and steady over the lockdown starting from the week of March 16 when the increase was 11%. The week of April 25 saw the peak of online gaming with the amount of time being spent on smartphones to play, per user, shooting up 62% as compared to pre-lockdown.

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