Entertainment has always been big business around the world, but now, perhaps the most engaging form of entertainment is expected to hit an unprecedented peak in revenues. The gaming industry has been on the rise for years and years now, with more accessible technology and platforms presenting new gateways for people to take up the hobby.
Now, GamesIndustry.biz reports that global games market revenue is set to soar by 9.3 percent this year, making 2020 a $159.3 billion year for the industry. Asia, specifically, will dominate the industry, accounting for 1.4 billion of its 2.7 billion gamers and 49 percent ($78.4 billion) of the global games’ revenue.
Gaming has come a very long way since its basement beginnings several decades ago. Nowadays, whether it’s via smartphones, consoles, or computers, there are very few people who haven’t played a game.
Getting games in the hands of everyone
The price point has long been an issue for gaming, and while browser gaming offered ways to play for free, a lack of individuals owning personal computers and fast internet connections limited the reach of low-cost gaming.
So, until fairly recently, those who wanted to play the best and most popular games on the market had to pay hundreds of dollars for dedicated hardware and then pay in the region of $50 for each game. Then came the mobile phone, which evolved into the smartphone and became the most prominent space for gaming in the world.
Not only is mobile data and strong smartphone technology affordable in most regions, but the two have effectively become necessities in the developed world, and increasingly so in potentially massive markets like Africa and India. Not only is the platform accessible, but the games are too, with most of them being free-to-play.
Recognizing the reach of mobile, triple-A publishers and studios started to turn their attention to the smallest screen, with their infusion of big-name gaming franchises and cross-play between consoles and mobiles in online games helping to bolster the scene a great deal.
Now, you’ve got the console and computer games like Fortnite and PUBG being playable via smartphones for free, and a specialized Call of Duty for mobile that’s also free. Even Pokémon is getting in on the act, first with Pokémon Go and now their upcoming MOBA Pokémon Unite, as we showed at TheCourierDaily.com, which will feature cross-play between smartphones and the Nintendo Switch.
Mobile gaming has been so important to the industry, and not just because of the revenue stream. People who didn’t play games before can now easily try games on their phones and then, if they enjoy the entertainment medium, are more likely to move on to the more expensive forms having experienced the on-the-go gateway into the scene.
Creating an informed audience
A well-informed audience is a happy audience, and a happy audience is much more willing to engage with an industry’s offering. In gaming, as the popularity of all kinds of digital and online gaming has become more popular, more resources have been founded to offer valuable information about products.
This way, potential customers can quickly and easily get a good idea of what they should and shouldn’t buy. Having the chance to make informed decisions in any non-essential industry is crucial to creating a strong customer base.
One of the primary resources for many is Metacritic when it comes to video games. The service brings together critic reviews to generate an average overall score for a game. Using this tool helps players to get a general idea of how experts rate a game, thus either validating them leaning towards purchasing a top title or dissuading them from a weak creation.
In the ever-expanding space of iGaming – the combination of online betting and casino gaming – these kinds of review sites have become integral to gamers. AsiaBet.org reviews online gambling sites, scrutinizing the platforms on their safety, reputation, payment methods, customer service, and quality of the overall offering to make its recommendations. This allows people to make informed decisions and know what to expect before committing money to gaming platforms.
It isn’t just third-party services that are helping to keep gamers and would-be gamers informed, however, with many platforms in iGaming and video gaming offering ways to play top games for free first. The essence of the demo is to allow players to try before they buy, with Nintendo being one of the leaders in this sense. Almost all of their more offbeat full-priced games offer a free demo, which anyone with a Nintendo console can try.
Making the most engaging form of entertainment even more engaging
In a move that couldn’t be replicated by other major lines of entertainment, gaming has been able to spawn a new sector of entertainment that’s centered around its already existing platform.
The competitive gaming scene of eSports has become a goliath in its own right, with people tuning in to watch people play games via platforms like Twitch as well as post videos of themselves playing games for others to watch. It was found that, in 2019, over 200 million people watched enough eSports to be classed as enthusiasts, with another 250 million making up the occasional viewers group. It’s a similar sensation to watching a sport like cricket and then wanting to play some cricket and emulate what’s been showcased by others.
Through avenues like Twitch as well as YouTube and other social media platforms, the big-name companies have also gone heavy on their advertising campaigns for upcoming hardware. Both Sony and Microsoft have made the unveiling of their next consoles and the forthcoming games must-watch events, with their presentations keeping gamers involved throughout the run to launch. From there, the audience is left to debate and discuss which ones they prefer, making even game news more exciting and engaging.
All forms of gaming have become massive thanks to their embrace of accessible technology, the willingness to keep people informed, and its ability to be engaging beyond holding a controller.