A souring economy isn’t stopping players from spending more of their unemployed free time staring at computer monitors and World of Warcraft.
Even as unemployment numbers climb steadily, a growing group of gamers is using its unemployment checks for funding World of Warcraft accounts instead of other sustenance such as food.
In an interview with Reuters over whether the economic downturn is inhibiting gamers playtime, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter commented, “I don’t think (online multiplayer games) get impacted at all, because people who play them are addicts. Losing their jobs makes them more likely to play because they have more time to play.”
“During economic downturns, people will look for the highest return on their entertainment dollar. Online games provide an immersive virtual world for people to escape the daily struggles,” explained Lan Hoang of Aeria Games & Entertainment, a provider of Asian games in America.
Being depressed enough about losing a job to soothe wounds with nonstop gaming instead of job hunting is both sad for those spending their time connected to the internet and the economy as a whole, since many of potential employees are giving up the work search.
Those not sad? Publishers like Activision-Blizzard, which earns half of its profits off of the world’s most widely-played MMO, World of Warcraft, and anyone providing internet access to desperate WoW raiders.
“These days more people stay late in the evening playing games,” said Jung, the manager of a Seoul, Korea internet cafe. “I think they don’t have other places to go.”