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Gaming traffic sees an increase over the last 12 months

Gaming traffic sees an increase over the last 12 months

Gaming traffic sees an increase over the last 12 months

Gaming Week 2014 Plusnet customers are gaming more than ever, with traffic levels from consoles and PC rocketing up in 2014. We have delved deep into our data to have a look at just how gaming has changed since we last covered this topic during Gaming Week 2013. Read on to see what the data showed... Our stats revealed that:

  • Total gaming traffic per day has increased from 8.8TB per day to 10TB per day – a rise of 13%
  • Average gaming traffic per customer each month has increased by 37.5%
  • Gaming traffic on PC almost doubled, rising from 25% to 45%


What has happened in the past 12 months?

Although small compared to last year’s growth of 50%, the 13% increase of traffic we are seeing on a daily basis still shows a continuing trend that gaming is becoming more popular for all generations. Bandwidth in gaming According to a study by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) 40% of respondents aged 16 to 64 said they played games, with 29% saying they did this online. 16% admitted to playing downloaded games and 8% via online multiplayers. Plusnet has seen a 37.5% rise in gaming on average per customer, growing from 437MB per month to 601MB. Not only has the number of people playing online increased, but the growth can also be attributed to Sony and Microsoft releasing new consoles over the last year. This will have seen gamers upgrading to the new hardware, testing out the features and downloading games and updates for their new systems. It will also have seen people new to gaming starting to play online, further increasing the number. We also have to factor in the appeal of social media and video sharing websites, like YouTube and Twitch, which allow gamers a platform to showcase their gaming abilities to the wider world. The ability to do this will increase data usage, as more people play online for longer periods of time in order to maintain visibility on their channels.

Top traffic using games this year

So what are we playing now, and have we seen a changing in gaming? As with last year, the stalwarts of the gaming world continue to top the most-played online games, with Minecraft taking a leap from 5th to 1st. Both literally and metaphorically it looks like it has all the blocks in place to keep it there, since Microsoft recently purchased the game for a huge $2.5 billion. The game has always been popular but it seems to have grown again over the last few years, and not just for those gamers who played when it first came out. In fact, it seems to be more appealing to younger children than adults. Earlier this year, IGN reported that Minecraft’s console sales surpassed those through PC whilst the BBC reported that more than 14,000 copies of Minecraft are sold a day. In contrast, Call of Duty has taken a tumble down the most played games but keeps a heavy presence in the Xbox breakdown. Whilst eight of the top ten games from last year remain in the top ten in 2014, one new entrant has managed to force its way in. “Infestation” has taken position two, which is quite surprising given its history. DayZ is just outside the top ten, whilst Team Fortress and Guild Wars have dropped out from last year. Top 10 bandwidth using games in 2014 PC and PlayStation are contributing more than Xbox to the overall amount of traffic we see from gaming. Grand Theft Auto V leads the traffic coming from Xbox and only Call of Duty and Battlefield remain in the top ten for Xbox games.

PC Gaming having a renaissance?

What this information suggests is that PC gaming is coming back, and is once again becoming a more popular gaming choice than consoles. It seems a long time since Doom 3D and Duke Nukem were the pinnacle of gaming. For a time it seemed that PC gaming was superseded by consoles in the same way that CDs replaced tapes and DVD replaced VHS. However, like all of these, there are still people that will never forsake PC gaming and that will continue to play games that were around in our childhood. In support of this PC revival Plusnet’s own statistics also show that PC, which contributed approximately 25% of our total gaming traffic last year, has now increased to 45%. Xbox has remained fairly similar but Playstation has seen a massive hit by dropping from 30% to 15% of total gaming traffic. With technology constantly evolving, specialist computers for gaming have grown and the ability to improve computers is a deciding factor compared to a console. The portable nature has also encouraged competitions with huge financial prizes, which are played on PC. Gaming has almost grown from being a hobby to being a profession. Places like Steam make it very easy to download games and play against other people online, which is another possible reason why PC gaming is rising in popularity again. Senior Product Specialist at Plusnet, Dave Tomlinson, commented:

“The difference in the PC v Xbox is probably down to games like Minecraft and Blizzard games. “Minecraft has a usage pattern that looks like kids play it which adds a lot more traffic because they probably have more free time than the adults, while a lot of the older games are still popular like World of Warcraft and Counterstrike.”

Will this always be the future?

The reality is that over time the consoles may become more affordable to people and there may be a shift back. The resurgence of PC is certainly something to be celebrated, especially in getting more gamers online and building communities. Whether the topsy-turvy nature of the gaming industry continues will definitely be something to keep an eye out for.

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