COVID-19 has had a serious impact on all sectors of the economy. People in the retail and restaurant industries have suffered greatly due to the virus. However, it’s not all bleak. Many companies that do business on the internet have fared very well. The best example of this is probably Zoom, a video conferencing software whose value has more than quadrupled since the same time last year. But gaming stocks, too, have performed well.
Zynga makes games for social media. Some of their biggest hits have included FarmVille and Words With Friends. Although Zynga is significantly smaller than competitors like Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, this company is still having a better than average year. In fact, their receipts are up more than 20% over the same time last year. Part of this is definitely due to the lockdown. Part can also be attributed to the release of a Harry Potter game in March, during the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Harry Potter remains a popular franchise across several age groups and a big draw for Zynga.
Activision Blizzard is one of the oldest and most respected names in gaming. They trace their history back to 1979. The company took its current form thanks to a merger in 2008. Activision Blizzard currently has the top game of 2020, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Technically, this game was released in November of 2019, but it’s outperformed everyone in 2020. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare definitely benefited from a pop around the holidays, but more than that, the millions of people staying home have made this one of the most successful games in recent memory.
In 2020, another big name in gaming has experienced a real rebound. Electronic Arts had a challenging year in 2019. In 2020, they’ve posted growth thanks to crowd-pleasing releases like FIFA, a series EA has been making for over 25 years now. Other popular EA games that have dropped or will drop in 2020 include titles in the Star Wars franchise. Electronic Arts’ growth remains in the single digits, percentage-wise, but this is still representative of millions of dollars. In any case, it’s especially impressive that EA has turned things around during such a global time of crisis.