Last weekend, Steam’s concurrent users hit an all-time high in user peak, with more than 20 million users jumping onto the platform while nearly 6.4 million of them actively played games.  

I think it’s a safe bet to assume that this spike resulted due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. While the world outside feels gloomy, I’m grateful that there is an industry that can spark some much-needed respite from the current situation.  

As a PR professional, I believe we need to remain self-aware of the current situation and how media are tackling the current conversation around the outbreak. However, there are ways this industry can play a beneficial part for consumers. Here’s a few thoughts developers and publishers could consider to stay connected and help those who are stuck at home. 

Engage More With Your Community 

Let’s face it – it does feel a little awkward to pitch something other than the outbreak, regardless of what industry you’re in. Rather than heading off and trying to reach out to media, consider using other options to get your news out or update your fans. Whether it’s setting up a Twitch stream or connecting with your gaming community through other social channels, these avenues are great ways to connect with those that care about your titles the most. It’s an opportunity to advocate compassion, comradery, and resilience during a period where folks feel isolated. A little personal touch to your content or your updates could really go a long way right now. 

 Be Self Aware and Keep It Real 

If you’re in need of really getting a story out to media, just keep it real and be self-aware. I think it’s important to understand that not everyone is able to handle this situation easily. At the same time, it’s awfully difficult to just pull the brakes on a business or an upcoming launch. Consider taking a step back to see whether you really need to engage press and get your story out soon. If you’re out of options, just address the situation directly. Note the elephant in the room that is coronavirus and respectfully ask reporters if they can give you time on their time on your story. Adding a little bit of thoughtfulness to your pitch can definitely go a long way.  

Now’s A Good Time to Have Your Game Go On Sale  

As soon as my friends and I knew we were going to be practicing ‘social distancing’ for an indefinite amount of time, we started looking through the Steam pages to see what games were on sale. Gaming offers an outlet to briefly escape from reality and/or a fun way to put ‘social distancing’ in effect. If you’re a publisher or indie developer, consider looking to offering a few key titles or pieces of content on sale, as there definitely will be more users looking to jump on a new game to keep them occupied. 

Consumers can rely on the gaming industry to keep them occupied and engaged while they’re at home. As my roommate who works in the industry noted, it helps him knowing video games are helping others get through this challenging time. I most certainly agree.