The number of people gaming has increased dramatically in the last few years. There are now more than 2.3 billion gamers worldwide, with this number estimated to be increasing by at least 9.3% each year.
The types of games that people play have changed over the years. More casual fun games were once in popular demand; however, these have become overshadowed by highly immersive competitive action, sport and warfare games, in addition to strategy games that require skill or are driven by monetary incentives, like online poker and other similar card games.
The gaming industry: where it all began…
Since its conception in the post-war 1950’s era, gaming has developed into one of the world’s most profitable industries. The very first technological game device went on display at a world fair in the US in the 1940s, this was an experiment based on the mathematical game of Nim.
Then in 1967 the first commercially sold game console, the Brown Box, was introduced. The device plugged into televisions and hosted classic games such as golf putting, ping pong and checkers.
Gaming started to become more competitive in the ’70s and ’80s, as more multiplayer action games were introduced to Sega’s Atari console. The game Gunfight was the first player-to-player combat shooter to be introduced to the market in 1975.
Fast forward a couple of decades and technological advancements have allowed for better graphics processors, high-speed internet connections and bigger, less costly servers. Games are now downloaded from online stores like Xbox’s Marketplace and Nintendo’s Wii Shop Channel.
So, what did the competitive gaming landscape look like five years ago?
Competitive gaming was emerging as a high growth industry five years ago. 2015 saw the release of a number of high-profile games, including the highly anticipated Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Bloodborne. Some of the highest grossing mobile games included Game of War – Fire Age, with an impressive $916 million revenue, Clash of Clans, with $583 million, and Madden NFL Mobile, with $311 million.
The simple fact that all three of these games are competition or battle focused, with two being warfare themed and the other a popular esports title, is indicative of the growing demand for competitive gameplay.
Interestingly, the sale of console games took a bit of a hit in 2015, as mobile gaming became more popular than ever before with revenue hitting $25 billion for this device type.
Competitive esport games are now some of the most popular…
Within the last couple of years, esport games have become a growing trend. Some of the world’s best and most dedicated players are now able to earn a full-time living from playing popular games such as the FIFA series and Dota 2.
Many experienced game players, predominantly those playing esport games, run their own YouTube or Twitch channel. Through these channels they play games live, offering gameplay advice and tips to their followers.
While in the past games were enjoyed either alone or with others playing on a console with you, these days players can connect and chat with gamers on the other side of the world in real-time through their headsets.
If the last five years is anything to go by, the competitive gaming industry could be unrecognizable different by 2025, with some experts predicting that it could be worth an impressive $300 billion US dollars. Game companies will continue to listen to feedback from their dedicated fanbase and keep on developing their franchises for the most popular competitive games, while developers will continue to bring forward new innovative devices that can provide even more immersive experiences for game players.
Advancements such as the roll-out of the 5G internet network in many countries will make gaming faster and more enjoyable than ever. Also, new developments such as cloud-based gaming, which is currently still a new concept, will give gamers access to a much wider variety of games, particularly if subscription models are used by these gaming platforms.
Competitive games are likely to remain some of the most widely played, as gaming influencers and streaming sites continue to build a community around these games. It is safe to say that our love for gaming will continue to flourish and the industry will continue to grow and prosper for years to come.
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