Gaming Industry Overview

The gaming industry is arguably one of the most important and innovative sectors in tech today. Its importance to culture, social networking and entertainment cannot be understated. The term “entertainment industry” is no longer reserved for Hollywood and the movie industry because gaming is now providing one of the most immersive and awe-inspiring forms of entertainment to more than two billion people around the globe.

Nobody could imagine what the gaming industry would blossom into when they were messing around with Pong joysticks in their basements and competing against their friends for the highest Pac-Man scores in the 1970s and ‘80s. These simple games would turn out to be the bedrock of today’s gaming industry and instant cultural phenomena. The gaming industry of today is a $200 billion behemoth that is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and entertainment. Not only do we have the continuous advent of new consoles, PCs and devices that are putting us right into the game, but we also have the opportunity to watch some of the best gamers in the world compete in the e-sports arena and online through streaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer.

The gaming wars of today are just heating up. The battle over console gaming is being waged by Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo, with Google acting as a new competitor with their cloud-based gaming platform, Stadia. These consoles are pushing the absolute boundaries of technology by offering gamers state-of-the-art graphics, speeds and processing powers. Traditional console makers, like Microsoft, will start to compete with Stadia and Amazon’s super-secret cloud gaming platform to make their games available to those anywhere with any decent internet connection. Additionally, PC gaming has opened up a world of opportunities for gamers who are looking for extra ease-of-use and dexterity when casually playing (or competing) their favorite games.

Picture your favorite sport. All sports, whether it’s soccer, basketball or baseball, have many things in common: passionate fans, sold-out stadiums, engaging commentators and world-class athletes. The same thing is true in the world of e-sports. E-sports athletes are essentially the Lebron James’s of their profession, but instead of dunking on opponents on a court, they’re outwitting, outmaneuvering and outplaying their opponents in virtual worlds. Thousands of screaming fans pack the arena to root on their teams who are sitting on stage clicking away for a chance at a title, while millions more watch online around the world.

By 2020, e-sports is projected to have a viewership of more than 70 million people for a final. That’s more viewers than the NBA finals, NHL Stanley Cup finals or the World Series. With a growing fanbase that will rival any professional sport on earth, it’s no wonder that cultural icons and savvy investors, like basketball legend Michael Jordan, rapper Drake and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, all own at least partial stakes in e-sports teams.

Streaming has also been a massive success for the gaming industry and gamers alike. Platforms, like Twitch and Youtube Gaming give individual gamers the opportunity to livestream their in-game play to subscribers all over the world. This invention has allowed millions of streamers to gain a fanbase, interact with one another and monetize their gaming skills. Streaming has become uber-popular to the point where the top four platforms (Twitch, Youtube Gaming, Mixer and Facebook Gaming) garnered a combined 13 billion hours watched in 2019. Breakout successes in the streaming industry, like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, have been able to make upwards of $10 million a year just through the fans and endorsement deals that come with running a popular streaming profile.

The meteoric rise of the gaming industry is just getting started. Born from humble beginnings, today’s gaming sector is ready to take on any other in tech for the title of the most innovative industry. What makes gaming so special is that it’s not only immersive and entertaining, but it’s inclusive and expansive as well. There is a game and a way to play for almost every human, which makes gaming one of the most beloved industries in the world.