Board Games Make A Lockdown Comeback, Uswitch Study Reveals

Board Games Make A Lockdown Comeback, Uswitch Study Reveals

PR Newswire

LONDON, June 10, 2020

- Board games have made a lockdown comeback with millions of Americans Googling old-school board games to play online

- Searches for 'online board games with friends' increased 12,556% in March with 'Trivial Pursuit online' recording 1,608% increase from February to April

- Xbox recorded Black Friday levels of traffic and PlayStation saw searches more than double whilst Nintendo Switch was the most searched lockdown console (592% increase)

- Searches for The Sims almost doubled in March, increasing 94%

LONDON, June 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Board games have made a lockdown comeback with millions of Americans Googling old-school board games to play online at home, according to new data collected by Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

Chart: Lockdown Google Search Increase for Game Consoles in US

Uswitch's Isolation (Play) Station study analysed gaming Google search trends in the US and UK during lockdown to determine the most searched for video games.

Table 1: Lockdown Google Search Increase for Online Board Games in US

Online Board Game

Av. monthly searches (May '19 - Apr '20)

Total searches Feb '20

Total searches Mar '20

Total Searches Apr '20

Total increase in searches (Feb - Mar '20)

Total increase in searches (Mar - April '20)

Total % increase in searches (Feb - April '20)

Trivial Pursuit online

3,600

1,300

12,100

22,200

10,800

10,100

1,608%

Pictionary online

1,2100

4,400

33,100

60,500

28,700

27,400

1,275%

Cluedo online

2,400

1,300

4,400

9,900

3,100

5,500

662%

Monopoly online

33,100

22,200

90,500

110,000

68,300

19,500

395%

Connect Four/4 online

10,200

9,500

17,500

26,200

8,000

8,700

176%

Battleships online

8,100

8,100

18,100

22,200

10,000

4,100

174%

Game of Life online

9,900

6,600

14,800

18,100

8,200

3,300

174%

Boggle online

8,100

8,100

12,100

18,100

40,00

6,000

123%

Backgammon online

18,100

18,100

27,100

33,100

9,000

6,000

83%

Checkers online

40,500

40,500

49,500

60,500

9,000

11,000

49%

Source: Uswitch.com

Searches for online board games saw an increase in volume in the US, with 'online board games' being Googled an extra 61,900 times in March compared to February. The term 'online board games with friends' saw searches increase 12,556% from February to March.

Compared to the nine other popular board games analysed, 'Trivial Pursuit online' searches increased the most by 1,608% from 1,300 in February to 22,200 in April. However, 'Monopoly online' recorded the greatest increase in actual searches from 22,200 in February to 110,000 in April.

Consoles also saw a significant increase in searches, with 16,670,340 (170% increase from February to March) search terms recorded during March relating to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. In April, searches increased to 29,274,020 (76%).

The Nintendo Switch saw the greatest increase of 592% from February to April, while PlayStation saw searches more than double in April compared to February.

Xbox recorded the lowest increase in search volume compared to competitors, however, in March it experienced similar traffic levels recorded during the 2019 Black Friday and Christmas period sales, before increasing to 3,044,530 searches in April.

Due to increase in demand, consumers experienced Nintendo Switch shortages across the US, with the console sold out at most retailers in March and April. However, the console is now back in stock and available to buy from the official Nintendo website. Whilst the Sony PlayStation 5 event is postponed without a current reschedule date, it is said to still be on track to release PlayStation 5 late 2020, however there may be fewer units available[1].

Table 2: Lockdown Google Search Increase for The Sims in US and Europe

Country

Av. monthly searches
(Apr '19 - Mar '20

Total searches Feb '20

Total searches Mar '20

Total searches Apr '20

Total increase in searches (Feb - Mar '20)

Total % increase in searches
(Feb - Mar '20)

Total % increase in searches (Mar - April '20)

USA

705,200

599,900

1,165,200

1,362,700

565,300

94%

17%

UK

222,200

202,800

579,000

468,500

376,200

186%

-19%

France

165,230

150,130

444,730

338,640

279,500

196%

-24%

Germany

160,940

174,360

360,190

242,390

185,380

107%

-33%

Spain

63,330

51,360

177,040

147,330

125,680

245%

-17%

Italy

23,640

22,350

40,480

40,840

40,480

81%

0%

Ireland

11,050

10,010

31,150

25,670

21,140

211%

-18%

Source: Uswitch.com

Once the best-selling PC game series of all time, The Sims has seen a resurgence of search traffic. The US's Sims search volume increased 94% (565,300) from 599,900 searches in February to 1,165,200 searches in March. Searches rose a further 17% in April, to 1,362,700.

Compared to the six European countries analysed, in March the UK recorded the second greatest increase in actual searches in March with 376,200 extra searches. Spain recorded the greatest proportional increase (245%), whilst Italy recorded the lowest percentage increase of 81%.

Only the US recorded an increase in search traffic from March to April (17%). However, the UK, France, Spain, and Ireland still recorded at least double the monthly average search volume in April. 

Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, says: "It's hardly surprising that people are looking for games to play at home during lockdown. However, what is surprising is that people aren't searching for new games to play, instead they are seeking entertainment and solace in nostalgia.

"We all remember spending hours playing The Sims and Monopoly in our childhood bedrooms. Before lockdown, the average casual gamer spent 6 hours per week gaming. Now that many of us have more time than ever to spend at home, we can once again get lost in our favourite virtual gaming worlds of the past.

"Social distancing can be a lonely time for many people, especially those that live alone. Therefore, connecting with friends online to play classic board games is a great way to switch off and have some much-needed fun.

"With all this extra gaming, it is important to have a good broadband connection at home. A good place to start is by checking your broadband speed and comparing it to what you should be getting."

You can see the full report here.

Find out your home broadband speed and the fastest service available in your area here.

Source/Creative Commons: Uswitch

Methodology:

Google search trends were analysed using the Google Ads Keyword Plan tool. Historical data from April 2019 to March 2020 was extracted. This data was then analysed by Uswitch.

Notes for editors

1.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-16/sony-is-said-to-plan-limited-playstation-5-output-in-first-year

It's all about "U"!

Thank you for indulging us over the last 20 years by using a small 'u' and a big 'S' when writing about our brand in your articles.

We are delighted to let you know that you are now off the hook - it's big U's all the way (and small s's) as we undertake our biggest ever rebrand - so let your autocorrect go wild!

About Uswitch

Uswitch is the UK's top comparison website for home services switching. Launched in September 2000, we help consumers save money on their gas, electricity, broadband, mobile, TV, and financial services products and get more of what matters to them. Last year we saved consumers over £373 million on their energy bills alone.

Uswitch is part of RVU, a new business that also owns Money.co.uk and Bankrate.

For more information please contact:

Lucy Moffat, Uswitch.com on lucy.moffat@rvu.co.uk

Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1178952/Uswitch_gaming_search_trends.jpg

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