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From PUBG to Minecraft, here's a look at the most-played online games during COVID-19 lockdown

There is no denying that Indians are spending a significant amount of time during the coronavirus-driven lockdown in playing online games.

June 03, 2020 / 10:26 PM IST

Online games such as PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnight Battle Royale, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, and Clash of Clans have seen increased traction during May – when the country was under the coronavirus-driven lockdown – a SEMRush study has shown.

As many as 22 lakh people played PUBG in May, followed by Minecraft which was played by 8.2 lakh Indians. Other games include Fortnight Battle Royale, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, and Clash of Clans which was played by 8.5 lakh, 1.5 lakh, 1.5 lakh, 1.1 lakh, and 1.1 lakh people respectively.

Not just games, many Indians are participating in online tournaments as well.

From January to April, number of searches for tournaments like International, Fortnite World Cup, Counter-Strike, Pokeman World Championships, and League of Legends World Championship increased by 81 percent, 22 percent, 84 percent, 255 percent and 50 percent respectively.

When it comes to consoles, Nintendo Switch was the most searched in April with 1.1 lakh searches, followed by Xbox 1 and Playstation 4 with 0.49 lakh searches each, and Wii u with 0.02 lakh searches.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The study also saw significant rise in online searches for Mobile Premier League (MPL).

From January to April 2020, there was a 406 percent increase in the number of searches on MPL, the study said.

Coming to mobile games, India’s favourites are PUBG Mobile, Subway Surfers, Ludo King, Garena Free Fire, Temple Run, Angry Birds, and Clash of Clans which were searched 10 lakh times, 8.2 lakh, 18 lakh, two lakh, 2.4 lakh, 1.6 lakh, and 1.1 lakh times respectively from January to April this year.

There is no denying that Indians are spending a significant amount of time during the coronavirus-driven lockdown in playing online games.

According to recent Nielsen data, time spent on playing online games has increased by 44 percent in the week starting May 16. During the pre-COVID period (week of March 16), this increase was at 11 percent.

It was in the week starting April 25, when online gaming saw its peak, with time spent on smartphone per user increasing by 62 percent, as compared to the pre-COVID-19 period.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Jun 3, 2020 10:25 pm

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