The gaming industry is raking it in on a gob-smacking level. The exponentially increasing levels of new gamers entering the market is ensuring that ever-increasing truck-loads of cash continue flowing in.
In fact, 2014 saw a total of $22.41 billion in total earnings. By 2017, the annual profit revenue is expected to reach around $82 billion dollars.
This makes one wonder if video game companies will be able to handle the flood of new gamers, and what will be done with all of this money.
I’m hoping that gaming will be taken to new, breath-taking heights, with all kinds of new interaction, stimulation and visuals.
I suppose what I’m hoping for is that the industry will inject enough capital to produce titillating experiences beyond our imagination.
Let’s look at the current demographics for 2015.
In America alone, 155 million play video games. Their most-preferred genre is action and games like Call of Duty top the sales charts. Four out of five homes own a gaming device. The average gamer is 35 years old. 56% of gamers are male, whilst 44% are female. Women aged 18 or older represent a higher portion of the pie (33%) than male gamers aged 18 or younger (15%).
Either way, the industry seems unprepared to cope with this massive influx of new consumers. The only way forward is massive expansionism.
I fear that many gaming companies will no longer be about intimate groups of highly skilled and innovative champions, but large, Orwellian warehouses housing multiple faceless drones, coding endless cookie-cutter shooters and RPGs dripping with fan-service and pay-to-win enforcement.
If you need an example of that, just see the endless antics of Konami.
On the topic of spending additional money in games, it’s reported that only 0.5% to 6% of cell-phone gamers spend money on Android or iOS games. Around 90% of users are merely draining companies through server maintenance and development.
The same is not true for console and PC gamers. 29% of us pay to play online. Most people with bank accounts stable enough to spend money on extra expansions, skins and items will shell out.
The same is true for ‘pay-to-win’, the hideous and capitalist phenomenon of modern gaming in which an individual will spend the equivalent of a small village in Africa’s weekly food costs just to have the edge over other players.
Extra in-game credits, better weapons, better equipment; a lot of us are guilty of augmenting our capability through bribing the system.
Sometimes this seems like the only way forward, as games are made purposefully exhausting and lengthy, to force our hands to enter credit card details.
Just look at a game like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. There is a multiplayer PvP mode in which one can invade another player’s base.
This would generally be a wonderfully, thrilling experience, if people weren’t paying to turn their base into Alcatraz, purchasing and implementing impregnable security measures.
In any case, I am very excited for the future of gaming. With great power, comes great responsibility, and the industry has a big responsibility appeasing its hordes of hard-core users who have been playing since childhood, as well as the countless new members constantly dropping in.
We demand the best.Forum discussion