Video games, since their introduction in North America in the early ’70s, have become a part of growing pop culture.
And this is when video games are nowhere as good in design or technology as they should be. This is why it has had many changes over the years. Let’s take a look as to what shaped the industry as we know it.
1. Technical Innovations
VR games are quite the trend these days. With immersive gameplay, it adds another layer to the user experience. That said, VR also tows along another shift in the industry: touchscreens, gestures, and voice support.
This means that we might see some major changes in the gamepads or consoles to keep with the new features. Nintendo’s Wii U already has a touchscreen gamepad, ushering in an era of tap-gaming.
As a trend that has been capitalized a lot in the gaming industry, merchandising is not going away anytime soon. Since production costs are pretty hefty, companies have to find another way to increase revenue.
If the games get popular, then it can become a cash cow for years to come. T-shirts, mugs, and action figures (and even comics/novels and rumored movies in case of Microsoft’s Halo) are a way to spin money off intellectual properties.
3. Mobile Gaming
From the days of Atari arcades to Playstations, gaming was supposed to be platform-specific. With the arrival of smartphones packed with top-of-the-line specs, mobile gaming is on the rise.
It is a relatively new concept and is yet to realize its full potential, but in-app purchases and advertising have become steady revenue streams for small developers. The trend of mergers and buyouts has already emerged and a standard profit model can be expected in the future.
4. Increased Popularity
The expansion of the gaming market in terms of demographics is an important part of this gaming boom. From ‘70s arcade lovers to new-age gamers, people from every walk of life are playing video games, regardless of their age.
Video games are also getting more approval than in the last few decades. Be it FPS games to real money blackjack sites, gaming has an increasingly wide appeal. So much so that top gamers participating in eSports events can apply for professional athletes’ visa for the US.
5. Mergers and Acquisitions
The cost of game production is quite high - even more than some Hollywood movies. Then comes the cost of marketing and distribution, which can easily cost a large fortune.
This has led to a trend of mergers and acquisitions in the industry with corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Softbank purchasing large gaming companies such as Nintendo, Take-Two Interactive, and Activision Blizzard.
From a $200 million industry in 1978, the gaming industry is estimated to be worth over $230 billion by 2022. This enormous potential and rapid growth due to innovation make the industry a huge asset.
Small game studios are being swallowed by bigger market fish in efforts to realize the financial potential and the expanding demographics are making the future look bright.