Time feels to be passing quicker and quicker each year, and over the last few short decades, the video gaming industry has grown substantially. From simple single player games like Tetris and Pong, to massively online multiplayer games which connect hundreds of thousands of players from across the globe. Generally, video gaming is no longer simply an activity for kids – something which they do in their spare time – but instead has become an integral part of human culture. Here it is important to specify online video games, because games, such as board games or card games have been around for hundreds of years, but online video games are just that part of human culture embodied by the 21st century and research from FindBettingSites shows just how quickly these games are growing.
Online gaming was growing in popularity and accessibility in the 1990s because of the growth of the gaming industry and, most importantly, growing accessibility due to the increasing availability of the internet, especially in the USA and across Europe. The USA especially saw the earliest growth of e-sports and collective gaming tournaments as it were introduced into the mainstream culture quickly. Shortly after, in 2003, ‘Steam’ was launched which has since become the go-to place for gamers to buy and review games online, as well as engage with other gamers in communities and groups.
In the early 2000s there were already games breaking major records and setting great milestones for online gaming. An example is World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game which, in 2004, became the first MMO game to go above 10 million active subscriptions. From the games which are around today, World of Warcraft is an early example of games where the payments are made through a subscription service, as the game gets large regular updates, as serves as a base for the early online gaming culture. The next big milestone for specific video games was probably Minecraft, which was launched in 2009 and has become the highest selling video game, with around 200 million copies sold since launch. It’s difficult to come across someone who hasn’t played or doesn’t currently play Minecraft – it’s crazy!
In 2015, there were around 1.5 billion people worldwide gaming regularly. This number is insane, but arguably true. This could be seen through the launch of Pokemon Go back in 2016 which was a step forward for online and mobile gaming, as well as Gaming as a whole. Firstly, it generated the most revenue ever grossed by any mobile game within the first month of its release, and it introduced augmented reality gaming to a wide audience. In the summer of 2016, when Pokemon Go was launched, if you were out in the streets of cities around the world, you would have seen people outside on their phones and there was a good chance they were playing Pokemon Go.
Today, online gaming is estimated to be worth around $200 billion. Around half of that market is estimated to be accounted for by the US and Chinese markets, who contributed around 24% each. While the other half is made up of mainly Asia-Pacific region (excluding China) and Europe, Middle East and Africa. So as a whole, the Asia-Pacific region, including China, is leading the rise in global online gaming, and itself makes up just under half of the market.
Online gaming has been rapidly growing and been making huge strides in terms of the technology used in gaming, as well as total money involved in the industry. There is however much more room to grow in the gaming industry, so this growth will not stop anytime soon.
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