The Evolution of the Video Game Industry

Video games first made their appearance during the 1950s even though they were very simplistic. Their evolution only really started to take hold after the television set was invented and Atari, Nintendo, and Sega began introducing bulky home game consoles that ran off 128 MB of memory. It sounds impossible but the graphics were unsophisticated and one-dimensional. The golden age of video arcade games came next which generated competition among players but up until this point, multiplayer gaming was still limited to competing on the same screen.

With the advent of the Internet, and the continued development of technology and computers, video games started to transform and today it is one of the most profitable entertainment industries globally. At the turn of the century, Microsoft and Sony were the major players in the video gaming space with Xbox and PlayStation 2 going head to head. But the launch of Xbox live took gaming to a new level with its online gaming network. Nintendo came back as a strong competitor with its Wii console, which attracted a wider demographic into the world of gaming.

The gaming market is predicted to reach over $200 billion within the next five years. And, over the last decade, the boom in mobile technology has also morphed the video gaming industry with Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Apple (AAPL) cashing in on the action by providing their own gaming platforms and apps.

Facebook

Facebook and gaming are words that were never synonymously, but the social tech giant has broadened its offering of games by providing live streams and a gaming video destination at fb.gg. Gaming groups are now the most engaged communities on Facebook through its launch of Instant Games that boasts over 6,000 games.

Apple and Google

While Apple and Google both offer game purchases through their online stores for mobile device platforms, which account for over a third of the revenue generated by the video game industry. Apple Arcade and Google Play Games also offer a tremendous collection of games through subscriptions and pay per play models that are decreasing manufacturing and shipping costs for games and related hardware.

Virtual Reality

Today, video games use cutting-edge technology to create realistic, immersive experiences. And virtual reality has become another aspect of the ultimate gaming encounter. Ten years ago, Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a virtual reality (VR) headset that gave birth to the rise of modern VR. Since then, others have jumped on the bandwagon to compete in the virtual reality space such as Sony, Samsung, and Google. This has stimulated the development of VR apps, and games, 360-degree videos, and even caught the interest of film-makers to explore its potential for animation and documentaries.

Retail Off-spin

Video game players and their communities are passionate and engaged, and it has created a collectibles market with a value of over $13 billion. Rovio’s Angry Birds generated over 40% of a $200 million revenue simply through its Angry Birds merchandise. Merchandising in the gaming industry has taken on a life of its own life similar to how companies such as Disney created a mammoth retail industry. The tentacles of video gaming have also crept into the movie industry, where major films were produced based on popular video games like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Sonic the Hedgehog, Resident Evil, and Assassin’s Creed. A move that has produced millions of revenue.

Going Retro

The video game industry is not just looking to the future for new opportunities, they have also renewed interest in “old-fashioned” games and consoles, which appeal to both the older generation and the millennials. Nintendo in particular has created a resurgence in traditional games through the release of consoles like the Nintendo Classic Mini and Switch. As with most things, going retro is cool and popular.

Wrap-up

Gaming has become world-class entertainment, a sport, and an invaluable educational tool that has extended its demographic appeal far beyond the conventional norms. Current demands in gaming are steering development and creative research to provide content that is not limited by location or platform. The stereotypical gamer image is fading as video games become an integral part of modern culture that draws interest from social, tech-savvy, and goal-oriented people.

Source of information: Gammicks.com

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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