Gaming is by far the largest and most expansive industries in the world of entertainment. The gaming sector is now worth over $145 billion US dollars globally and this continues to grow year after year. Playing games is seen as a great way to relax, have fun and socialize with friends and there are a number of reasons why gaming has emerged as the most popular entertainment in recent years.
To put gaming’s popularity into perspective, the global music industry is worth around $20 billion dollars while the worldwide box office saw takings of around $42.5 billion dollars, even when combined these two top forms of entertainment are worth less than half of the gaming sector. By way of comparison, when one of the world’s top blockbuster movies Avengers: Endgame was released by Marvel, it made $858,373,000 US dollars in its opening weekend, and when action game Grand Theft Auto V was released in 2013 it made over $1 billion US dollars within just three days.
There are a variety of different ways that players can enjoy games, and this has really evolved in recent years due to technological advancement and increased access to internet connections. Mobile gaming is the most popular type, accounting for 45 percent of industry revenues, this is followed by console gaming at 32 percent and PC gaming at 23 percent.
Something that makes gaming so appealing to such a large market is the amount and variety of games on offer across all of the different device and console types. For instance, this online casino in Michigan offers over 370 online slots and 60 table games, the shear range of choice means every type of interest is catered for, ensuring the industry is only going to go from strength to strength in the future.
The online casino industry is an example of an industry that has really benefited from the growth of gaming. The global online gaming and betting market is growing by around 10% each year and is estimated to reach over $100 billion US dollars by the year 2026. The most popular casino games include card games such as poker, blackjack and baccarat, as well as roulette and slots.
Over in the video games sector, the top performing game types include action, adventure, strategy, first person shooters and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), with simulation, sports and puzzle games also being player favourites. At the end of last year, the first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War had the most recorded sales and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare came in close second.
The third most popular video game in terms of sale numbers was the simulation game Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. The game, which is often praised for its creative freedom and gameplay mechanics, appeals to a wide audience that includes fans of the original Nintendo DS game as well as a new, younger audience.
So how did gaming emerge as such a popular form of entertainment?
It wasn’t until the 1990s that gaming became possible and easily accessible on the internet, before then players relied on arcades, consoles and computer software to enjoy this form of entertainment. In 2003, the online games store Steam entered the market and made it easy for gamers to purchase and review games online.
Shortly after the game World of Warcraft was released. WoW remains one of the most popular games in the industry after becoming the first MMO to achieve 10 million subscriptions.
By 2007, online gaming began to grow in popularity on mobile and tech giant Apple soon added the ability to make in-app purchases to their devices. Then in 2015 the number of mobile gamers reached over one and a half billion for the first time.
Gaming without a console became more easily accessible in 2019 when Google announced the development of their cloud gaming service Stadia. With such fast growth and advancement, it is little surprise that gaming has now trumped more traditional forms of entertainment like music and movies.
The future of gaming is said to be mobile
While mobile gaming is still a relatively new industry, its current rate of growth suggests that it will soon account for the majority of all gaming. Last year, around two and a half billion people enjoyed playing games on their phones.
Smartphones have become an essential item for many people around the world, they help us to stay connected to friends and family, access online resources and source of entertainment. The three most popular categories for mobile app downloads include social media apps such as Facebook and TikTok (67 percent), shopping (56 percent) and mobile gaming (50 percent).
For young people aged between 18 and 20 years, mobile games are actually the second most popular type of app download behind social media apps.
As the gaming industry continues to grow, new audiences will be enticed by technological advancements that add to the gaming experience. In particular, virtual reality gaming cloud gaming and real-time personalization are all set to revolutionize the industry as we know it in the years ahead.