4 out of every 5 US consumers have reportedly played a video game in the past 6 months

COVID has helped cause a spike in gaming.

Image via Activision

Four out of every five U.S. consumers have played a video game in the past six months, according to a new report by The NPD Group.

The report says the number of consumers playing video games in the U.S. has increased by six points up to 79 percent, with total time spent gaming increasing 26 percent and total spend going up 33 percent.

The big increase in adults gaming and spending in gaming is likely due in large part to stay at home orders from the coronavirus pandemic, according to NPD. But popularity in games had been trending upward prior to COVID, too.

“This year, video games is one of the most consistent growth categories in terms of overall participation and investment relative to 2019,” said Mat Piscatella, video game industry analyst for The NPD Group. “This may simply reflect an acceleration of trends that were in effect prior to the pandemic. If this is the case, then the gaming market could experience continued growth without a post-pandemic pullback. If not, however, we may see a post-pandemic valley before returning to growth. It all rests on engagement.”

Adults between the ages of 45 and 54 saw a significant increase in both time spent gaming and dollar spending. That age group was up 59 percent in gaming time and a whopping 76 percent in dollar spend.

NPD said investment in the gaming category has increased, while overall time and money spent on other forms of entertainment is “generally down.” Many people have turned to games in the wake of COVID, so the next few months should paint a picture of whether they’ll continue to game if and when restrictions are lessened.