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Lockdown and loaded: How Covid-19 triggered a video game boom

With sales surging to €141bn as a result of the pandemic, gaming is now the world's most profitable form of entertainment

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Gritty revenge saga The Last of Us 2 sold four million copies in three days

Gritty revenge saga The Last of Us 2 sold four million copies in three days

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect antitode to the stress of lockdown

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect antitode to the stress of lockdown

The team at Galway studio 9th Impact

The team at Galway studio 9th Impact

Big Brother The Game is made by Galway studio 9th Impact

Big Brother The Game is made by Galway studio 9th Impact

Game night: Mary McCarthy with her children John (11) Alexandra (9), Dermot (7) and Aris (3) as they play Minecraft during the lockdown at their home in Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture by Frank McGrath

Game night: Mary McCarthy with her children John (11) Alexandra (9), Dermot (7) and Aris (3) as they play Minecraft during the lockdown at their home in Ranelagh, Dublin. Picture by Frank McGrath

Gritty revenge saga The Last of Us 2 sold four million copies in three days

Somehow it seems fitting that the biggest-selling game of the last month anchors its fiction in the deadly aftermath of a pandemic. Certainly, Sony's blockbuster hit The Last of Us 2 was always destined to fly off the shelves - coming from a studio with an impeccable pedigree, built on a budget north of €100m and taking more than five years to produce.

Sony shifted four million copies in three days, making the gritty, 18-rated revenge saga the fastest-selling PlayStation exclusive ever. Its chilling echo of the empty streets of Covid-19 lockdown has its own strange resonance, with cooped-up gamers turning in ever-greater numbers to their favourite hobby since March.