Coronavirus leads to huge spike in online gaming, causing crashes and delays across China

World of Warcraft is one of the games worst affected by the sudden boom in activity

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 19 February 2020 15:07 GMT
World Health Organisation gives an update on coronavirus

China's video game industry has been struck with widespread delays and malfunction in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

With people up and down the country forced to stay indoors to avoid infection, online gaming seems an obvious way to pass the time.

Unfortunately, so many people have had the same idea that servers across China are unable to handle it.

Games company Blizzard issued an apology after Chinese gamers trying to play World of Warcraft Classic faced lengthy wait times, due to an influx of players.

Mobile games have also borne the brunt of the coronavirus’ ripple effects, with titles like popular battle arena game Honor of Kings severely unequipped to meet player demand.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted that more than 100m people are attempting to log into Honor of Kings every day, compared to roughly 60m before the outbreak.

Certain games companies have even started capitalising on the gaming boom to offer free promotions or limited time in-game events, such as Tencent, which has made 55 games free to play through its PC game store WeGame.

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