It finally happened… Gaming is now the most popular form of entertainment in the world…
It was inevitable really as gaming is practically everywhere. But the fact of the matter is, more money has been spent on video games than any other form of entertainment in the world, including books, movies and music. According to the UK news agency Reuters, in the last year alone gaming had increased its activity by 10.7%, while another common source of entertainment, television, continued its rapid decline with a global 8% drop.
In that same year, the total revenue of gaming added up to an estimate of $116 billion, while TV and TV streaming services came to only $105 billion in revenue. And when you compare that to movies and music, which are very popular forms of entertainment, gaming absolutely trumps them in terms of revenue too. From digital music sales, only $17 billion in revenue was made, while movie box office totals amounted to $41 billion. To put this into perspective, gaming is now worth nearly 3 times as much as the movie industry.
Now, that’s popular!
So, you’re probably wondering where the sudden increase came from? Sure, gaming is quite difficult to hide from, but for it to suddenly be as popular as that… there must be a reason for it, right?
Reasons for the Spike in Popularity
Well, one of the leading answers takes place in China. Games have grown a lot in China in recent years, with a game sale increase of 14% every year, and there has been an increase of Chinese players using digital distribution platforms such as Steam and Origin as well.
Another big reason for this sudden increase is in the form of a simple game called Fortnite. This game has taken the world by storm; you may have heard it, or you may have not, but let me give you some bite-sized details about it anyway. Fortnite is a battle royale shooter made by Epic Games, the same guys who made the Unreal Tournament franchise, and it is one of the main things responsible for the sudden growth of the gaming industry.
Around 125 million people have played Fortnite, with over 40 million of them playing it every month; this is insane numbers for a single video game, and the fact that it is free to play means that basically anybody can pick it up and give it a try. You can check it out here if you’re curious…
But it’s not just Fortnite… Grand Theft Auto V is another game with insane numbers to its name. Ever since it was first launched in September 2013, it has sold nearly 100 million copies worldwide across all platforms, making it more successful than any movie ever made.
A Big Issue That Needs to Be Tackled
After seeing how much revenue they bring in, it’s hard to see video games being ignored and dismissed as an invalid form of entertainment… Unfortunately, there are still some issues in the world that need to be tackled first if everybody is to accept video games as the entertainment giant they have grown to become now.
One of the key issues that needs to be fixed is the severe lack of positive news or information about video games from big corporate news networks around the world. It’s a bit of a double standard really as they would easily talk about a new movie, book or TV series, but video games? “Good heavens, no! That’s only for thugs and criminals! They’re bad for people! Won’t someone please think of the children in all of this!”
That needs to stop.
Video games are not bad for you, they never have been bad for you, and they never will be bad for you. I may tackle this issue in a separate post in the future, but I’ll talk about it a little here…
Video games have been proven by countless studies to be very beneficial with our hand-to-eye coordination. It also improves problem solving skills and enhances your memory, and these are just a few examples on how beneficial video games really are to both adults and children.
News casters, or the people in charge of new networks, really must get with the times and understand that video games aren’t the enemy to civilization, and as they are now the most popular form of entertainment worldwide, they need to do it quickly…
One Problem Video Games Need to Sort Out…
Of course, video games aren’t always so innocent… One huge problem that game developers need to address and cut back on doing if video games are to be accepted as the most popular form of entertainment is the deal with loot boxes and other forms of greed. If you don’t know what loot boxes are, let me give you a little rundown…
Loot boxes are digital crates that you either randomly receive after online matches, get one traded to you by another player in the game’s trading feature (if it has one), or if you purchase one yourself from the specific game’s online store. All of this does depend on the game, however, as different games have either all these options, some of these options, or only one of these options.
To open one of these loot boxes, you will need a special key which can be traded to you by another player or brought in the game’s online store; in some rare cases, you don’t need a key to open these crates.
While this sounds like a lot of fun, it is classed as a form of gambling, and games have been caught having unfair chances against players, ultimately getting you to purchase more and more crates and keys to unlock these crates for items which have some worth to them. Furthermore, as a large percentage of players of these games are kids, the law is actually being broken as gambling is illegal for them.
However, loot boxes are perhaps one of the main sources of income for video game developers and publishers, and a reason for the insanely high revenue gaming has achieved. If loot boxes ceased to exist, I’m pretty sure the total amount of record-breaking revenue would drop dramatically…
It’s Easier Than Ever to Make Video Games
Being the most popular form of entertainment in the world will do gaming some good, and it’s hard to see video games being dismissed as an invalid form of entertainment in the years to come. Thanks to how simple it is to create a video games with popular and free game engines like the Unreal Engine and the Unity Engine, being able to develop brand new video games is now more available than ever to the aspiring public.
Practically anybody can learn how to use and master the game engines with helpful tutorials found all over the internet, and use their imagination to create all sorts of mobile, console and PC games for the masses. Furthermore, with little obstacles preventing you from submitting a game to Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and even Valve’s Steam Store for PC games, you will easily have your newly-developed game up there for sale to the general public in no time.
It’s clear from this then that there’s no stopping people from using their imagination, heart and soul to create aspiring video games which will inspire others to create their own video games, and soon enough there will be millions and millions of video games all over the globe.
It’s not exactly that easy for people to create their own blockbuster movies, chart-topping songs or captivating books…
Will the Video Game Movie Curse Finally Be Beaten?
Over the years, when film and TV were ruling the roost of entertainment, there were many game adaptations made and released as a way to promote and advertise the movie or tv series. These were very hit or miss depending on the audience demographic, how well the game was, and how hyped and well-known the movie or tv series was. However, nowadays, the roles have been completely reversed.
You may have noticed there were movies made of some video games like Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed and Angry Birds just recently… As video games become more and more popular, and maintain their record-breaking revenue, you can be sure more and more movie studios will try and cash in on these games by making movies and tv series’ about them.
Unfortunately, video game movies seem to have some sort of curse on them ever since the trend started in the 90s because throughout the years, no video game movie has been… well, good. They’ve all been either rated as very average movies, or just downright poor ones…
The recent movie Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson, on the other hand, seems to have narrowly escaped the curse as it earned around $425 million in box office revenue, and to this day is the most highly rated movie based on a video game with a whopping 52% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Does that mean the video game movie curse is broken?
Well… there’s no such thing as curses, really… just coincidences and very bad luck…
Really, the only way for movie adaptations of video games to break the so called” curse”… is to simply not be terrible. Movie adaptations of video games either try and copy the original plot of the game they’re based on, which if people have already played the game, then it’s really not worth watching the movie, or swing in a different direction altogether and dreadfully miss the mark, and scoring poor rating from critics and moviegoers alike.
With Rampage finally being the video game movie to make it past the halfway score of a popular movie reviewing website, will video game movies from here actually be decent and appeal to people who don’t generally play video games and convince them to? Only time will tell…
Video games have certainly come a long way since the days of Pong and Space Invaders… Nobody would have thought that a bunch of simple arcade games would lead on to overtake movies and books in revenue and popularity and become the entertainment powerhouse they are today.
As somebody who loves video games and has been around them all my life, I’m very happy they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Video games have always been my favourite pastime, and now they can be the favourite pastime of many other people alongside me too.
I wonder what the future holds for video games now… Where do they go next after overtaking just about every other form of entertainment on the globe? What kinds of games do we have in store for us later down the line? Will this generation’s Super Mario come along and become a widely recognized video game character soon? We’re living in some very exciting times, my wonderful readers… and I’m loving every single bit of it… 😉
Jamie – the PC Gaming Nerd