Recreation and entertainment are some of the most vital aspects of our lives, with gaming emerging as one of the most accessible forms of interactive entertainment. Not only that, video games have grown from a niche hobby to a billion-dollar industry, surpassing traditional forms of media, such as the music and film industries.
But how was this possible? In this article, we'll look at how gaming propelled itself to the forefront of the entertainment industry, dethroning music and film.
As previously mentioned, the video game industry has come on top of its counterparts - the music and film industry. At the time of writing, the former was valued at a staggering USD 396.2 billion. Compared to the revenue generated in 2020, this year's amount is an impressive 26% increase. It is also projected to surpass the USD 500 billion mark by the year 2025.
In contrast, the film industry is expected to be worth USD 283.5 billion in 2023, according to the Business Research Company's Film and Video Global Market Report 2023. Meanwhile, the music industry generated USD 28.29 billion in revenue in 2023, according to data from Music Market Analysis 2023 - 2028 by globenewswire.com.
Gaming has been used for recreation and entertainment for decades. However, it experienced exponential growth in the 2000s, when key players such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo emerged as the most powerful companies by releasing accessible yet affordable consoles.
Sony dominated the console market in the 2022 financial year, selling over 19 million units, compared to Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S' 8.6 million units.
While consoles provide the most accessible gaming methods, Personal Computers (PC) cannot be left behind. According to reports, the PC games market was worth approximately USD 29.1 billion in 2022 and is estimated to surpass the USD 32 billion mark by 2030.
Blizzard Entertainment, for example, has turned iconic titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft into million-dollar revenue-generating IPs.
World of Warcraft remains the most popular MMORPG on the market, with over 5.6 million active players as of 2023.
Let's look at which sectors of the industry generate the most revenue. According to Statista, the mobile games market is one of the industry's largest contributors, with a projected worldwide revenue of USD 89.2 billion in 2023.
The top-grossing mobile games of the year were:
Games as a service, or GaaS, has emerged as the preferred model for multiplayer games. For those unaware, instead of a one-time purchase, developers provide updates and services to an IP throughout its life cycle. It could be free or included as "downloadable content (DLC)" or a "battle pass."
Bungie's Destiny, Blizzard-Activision's Call of Duty franchise, miHoYo's Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail, and Epic Games' Fortnite are some of the most popular examples of titles that incorporate this model.
Competitive gaming has also gained mainstream popularity, with major esports tournaments attracting millions of concurrent viewers. The esports market is expected to reach USD 3.8 billion in 2023 alone. Riot Games' 2023 League of Legends World Championship attracted a record-breaking 6,402,760 peak viewers, making it the year's most-watched event.
Furthermore, AAA games are now selling for $70, a 16.6% increase over what they used to cost a few years ago. Though minor in the grand scheme of things, this shift has helped overtake the music and film industries.
That said, readers can expect the gaming industry to reach new heights in the coming year or two, thanks to the next installment of Rockstar Games' highly anticipated open-world title, Grand Theft Auto.2023-12-06T15:00:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd