We're all more than aware of the havoc being caused by the coronavirus outbreak - E3 is the latest major gaming event to be cancelled as a result - but the spread is naturally causing unique situations depending on your location.
Italy is one of a number of countries which has decided to close its schools in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the virus. With kids being left to occupy themselves at home, a sudden surge in internet traffic has been reported with a new boost in online gaming serving as one of the main contributors.
A Bloomberg report notes that Telecom Italia, a major Italian telecommunications company, has seen the amount of data passing through its network surge by more than two-thirds in the past two weeks. Games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty have been highlighted in the report, as their vast number of players are using more bandwidth than working adults' business programs and conference calls.
"We reported an increase of more than 70% of Internet traffic over our landline network, with a big contribution from online gaming such as Fortnite," says Telecom Italia CEO Luigi Gubitosi.
Reportedly, traffic from games like the ones mentioned above can spike even higher on days when updates are pushed live as keen players all jump online to download the latest content at the same time.
Of course, the popularity of online games like Fortnite may well grow further as more and more people are forced to stay at home. Pokémon GO developer Niantic has actually introduced new updates to allow players to enjoy the game from home, rather than having to go out and about.
[source bloomberg.com, via twitter.com]
No $£#T Sherlock.
Duh, Mr Obvious says.
I'm not even going to the gym, I bought Ring Fit Adventure and am enjoying that.
Proof that COVID-19 was cooked up by the video game industry in order to get more people playing games.
This is a good thing and also very natural. I myself am looking forward to Animal Crossing so I can have yet another excuse to turn off the crazy media-driven frenzy and calm my life down a bit.
As an Italian, I confirm that I'm playing much, much more online with my friends, great Mario Kart and Age of Empires sessions!
... Ah, and I am a University student.
Ah! Wow. I hadn't thought of online gaming traffic.
My brother in the DC burbs text me saying all schools closed, in his area, and everyone is working from home for the foreseeable future. It's wild.
@mesome713 they dont sell them where I'm at but I will happily take my treadmill and weights any day
@Woomy_NNYes theres no cases of covid here yet they're closing all schools! My back log is pretty big so looks like I will be playing alot of my switch games. Also emulators too so yeah
@Woomy_NNYes I was thinking about online infrastructure this morning. Since bandwidth is as much a finite item as the pressure in a water system, it'll be interesting how things hold up over prolonged exacerbated use.
@mesome713 I was actually going to do that as well, but none of my local retailers had any in stock
If all you own is a Switch for online gaming, I'd pray for death
And lo and behold, I'm playing Fortnite.
What even were the odds?
No reported cases of Coronavirus, but all the local schools are shut down and I'm getting a lot of buffering when I stream video or play online games. I'm guessing my whole town is online. Maybe it'll help encourage more areas to get a better Internet structure.
Well yeah, if you're stuck at home with nothing to do. Playing a video game is a great option.
Games like Tetris 99 are appealing to me now. It's obviously not human contact, but there's something comforting about doing an activity with other souls as I'm sorta stuck inside.
@technotreegrass I remember when I was a kid and the internet was some mythical thing that barely anyone had access to. Now everyone and their dog is connected.
How time flies.
Well, I can say that I'm not contributing, as lately I've been on a Doom 1 binge on my Switch lol
If they added online multiplayer player to it, though, I'd definitely try it out!
is there any news on networks crashing due to heavier network traffic than usual, or are we just going to be told about everyone playing online games as usual?
I'm in the US and most states are finally canceling school for two weeks. My daughter isn't in school so Animal Crossing is looking good. Also, stay safe everyone. This is serious, but not cause for panic.
@AlexSora89 what's the situation where you are? Have you been homebound for a while?
"Working from home"
I ate Arby's and pumped my own gas today... Even used the credit card reader at the gas station. I'm not sure why people are boarding up their doors and stockpiling toilet paper... I guess to play switch on the pot until schools reopen?
Its crazy, it really is. We shopped for groceries normally and stores are empty, literally. I finally found toilet paper and had it shipped. Nuts tight now.
What else are people supposed to do? Going outside and playing in big groups kinda defeats the point!
@FredsBodyDouble Don't you know you can play Switch all long on the Toliet and flush all those hard feelings down the drain.
Here in Italy we are required by law to stay at home except for work, health and necessities like groceries and walking the dog. But except for that it is pretty much normal, at least in my town (even though I am in one of the most hit regions): supermarkets are full of stuff and people don't seem to be panicking: they wear masks and stay away from each other but that's it.
Edit: in hospitals the situation is actually crazy.
RIP Old map lol, might need to update that pic just a tad
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