Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Stuck Inside, the World Turns to Online Gaming

In my line of work, we talk a lot about traffic trends. They're usually predictable and based around certain events: a major trailer launch, Black Friday in the U.S, the Olympics. But the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed all expectations for 2020, and has itself become a noteworthy event, driving its own traffic. And one of the biggest trends we've seen during the pandemic is increased online gaming.

Deloitte reported in July that over a third of US consumers have tried a new gaming activity since the crisis began. It makes sense; I know there's been no shortage of boredom in my own household. We've all been looking for new sources of entertainment.

In one 2020 event alone, Akamai delivered 1EB of traffic in seven days for a single gaming customer. That's over 10,525,000 games delivered in one week, not counting any of the other concurrent gaming traffic on our platform.

I usually spend the summer following cricket; many of us missed out on months of our favorite sports teams. I think gaming provides a safe outlet for that sense of healthy competition and comradery. One of my colleagues even told me she bought a gaming console to race her brother online when they couldn't visit in person. Maybe gamers, so often told to put down the screen and go play outside, were the most prepared to thrive in a socially distanced world. By delivering peak gaming traffic for our customers, Akamai has helped maintain a sense of community in 2020.