These days, success in the video gaming industry can be spectacular, but it isn’t guaranteed. Even established developers, like World of Warcraft and recent Microsoft acquisition Blizzard, can go through turbulent times. Be that as it may, developers and publishers of early hit ‘computer arcade games’ from the seventies – like, say, Space Invaders and Breakout – couldn’t have dreamt of the vast player numbers that many genres in the gaming industry are now able to garner.
Big Attractions for Gamers
The example of casino games is instructive here. Once confined to brick-and-mortar businesses that people often had to travel long distances to visit, today, thanks to the rise of online casinos like Resorts Casino (which started as a conventional casino in New Jersey in the 70s and migrated to a hugely successful online enterprise in later years), people can enjoy these games in the comfort of their own homes. Or even while on the go via their smartphones. Thanks to developments like this, no one has to take time off work, book a hotel for an overnight stay, and travel to a casino’s town; they can enjoy a game of real money slots, say, from the couch in their living room.
In fact, so popular have some video games become that the online gaming market is undergoing unprecedented growth, rising by 21% in 2020 even in the midst of the Covid pandemic. How? Primarily because they offer a tremendous amount of excitement and fun.
But how and why do some games accommodate larger and larger numbers of players with every passing month? The fact is that today, the video gaming industry is bigger than the music and movie entertainment businesses combined!
Gamers Leave the Living Room
Several factors have contributed to this. For one, gamers no longer need to be tethered to a fixed gaming PC or console. The rise of mobile gaming has been nothing less than stratospheric; research by Accenture shows that mobile gaming, usually played via apps, has become the number one source of revenue in the video gaming market, accounting for $83.7bn of $200bn in direct consumer spending. That’s way ahead of PC games ($41.4bn) and console games ($39.9bn).
But another driver in this market has been the rise of internet games: no one has to go to a store, buy a game and take it home anymore. They can just select from the gigantic pool of game titles available for immediate play online via platforms like Epic Games Store (online), Uplay, and Steam.
A significant development has been the rise in social playing: not merely inviting a handful of friends around to your mom’s basement to watch one another slug it out in a battle royale on a console as before, but multiplayer games conducted online. Add to that the rise of literally watching pro players pit their skills against one another in live online video game championships: these digital gladiatorial contests are watched by vast numbers of would-be future professionals.
Polled in the Accenture study, 84% of gamers said that video games helped them meet people with similar interests to their own, while 77% said they helped them remain in touch with friends.
If a game has a big sociality factor and is thrilling to play, it’s on course to gain a colossal following.