Gaming…once looked down upon, where arcades were for children, and beating records was for nerds. An industry that was almost broken by an ET game, and was only revived by Nintendo’s entertainment system. An industry where an RPG was considered an undesirable risk until a plucky Japanese company darn near forced FF VII down people’s throats and created the RPG genre in the west. Gaming, once the pastime of kids and nerds is now not only the biggest marketplace for entertainment, but is even an international sport where people are paid hundreds of thousands, where online gamers are earning more than doctors, and where Esports is now gambled upon by people all over UK and Europe.
The Biggest Entertainment Market on the Planet
The gaming industry is making cheddar. To put it into context, the gaming industry makes more than all of these industries combined:
- The movie industry (Western and Bollywood)
- Comic book industry
- Theme parks registered as ltd companies
To put it in further context, more people have downloaded Minecraft than have seen Titanic, Avengers Endgame, and Avatar. A brilliant analyst figured out that nearly 6 million years of WOW have been played, with numbers that suggest the 11 million registered users have spent 50 billion hours playing. GTAV sold more copies than any other game at 110 million, and if you include Tetris (a game already installed into Nokia phones and a Game Boy staple), then it becomes the most popular game in history with over 500 million players. That is more games than the population of the USA, UK and Japan combined.
Plus, there was a 2020 lockdown due to a global pandemic, and where it harmed most industries and economies around the world, it actually boosted the gaming industry to record breaking levels.
Just Look at What the Lockdown Did
The comic book industry is irretrievably broken thanks to the lockdown teaching people they can live without comic books, and because every major producer has gone so woke that characters like Snowflake and Safespace are not jokes but are genuine characters. The movie industry and Hollywood is broken because the lockdown slowed production, and because people are tired of Hollywood’s culture shaming and virtue signalling.
Then, take a look at the gaming industry. The lockdown has drawn record sales figures, and game production has slowed by only a tiny fraction. In fact, there were so many mainstream games given away for free during the lockdown that even casual gamers have started congregating online with hardcore gamers (is that good for Nintendo? Probably not). Over 22 mobile games can now boast they have earned over $1 billion, which is in part due to the lockdown. To put that in perspective, there are African countries that do not even have a GDP of $1 billion.
Are Gamers Getting Value for Money in This Industry?
It is fair to say that TV watchers, movie goers, and comic book fans have been given the royal screw job over the past ten years. Classic TV shows like Dr Who and Star Trek have been decimated, Star Wars has been trampled on, DC is so disappointed with comic book sales that they have fired their distributor, and AT&T have declared they will shut down DC if the movies stop selling. Yet, perhaps gamers are getting a good deal. A game may cost up to one hundred dollars, but many triple A games take longer than 40 hours to complete, many have replay value, and even the indie market is cooking up some surprisingly good games.
Before you sell PS4 games or consoles, you will have experienced hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of entertainment, can you say the same about your movie collections or even about your comic books?
Gamers Complained Loud Enough
It is true that gamers have had to take a few hits over the years. Games finally have an age rating in Australia, but some games are still banned and censored. Female representation was attacked by politicians but was quickly eschewed once developers discovered that fantasy rarely involves ugly people and sales started to tank.
Even the rough times are seeing positive results. Things like paid loot boxes are finally dying out thanks to gambling controversy, and big game developers have discovered they cannot just publish an unfinished game like Fallout 76 and expect fans not to complain. Even the controversy over “The Last of Us 2” has started to have some impact, with sales tanking thanks to the Fandom Menace (famous YouTube Gamers) speaking out against its disgusting misandrist themes and glorification.
Final Thoughts – Gamers are Getting Good Value for Money
One could look at the early days of the PS4 and Xbox and complain that games are all show and no substance, but after the dust and excitement settled, games like Witcher 3, RDR2, RE7, FFVII remastered, and many more were released and blew the fans away. PC gaming is still riding high and is the reason for the indie renaissance (thanks to Steam). There are still problems in the industry, such as with predatory in-game purchases and snooping game apps, but compared to other forms of entertainment, it is fair to say that gamers are getting the best deal. It is just up to us in the gaming community to keep speaking out and acting whenever the industry is threatened. If you want to keep something good, you have to fight for it every now and again.
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