Videogames have grown to resemble competition-based, interactive movies, and the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the industry to make more money than movies and North American sports combined. Global videogame revenue is expected to surge 20% to $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the videogame industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and North American sports industries combined. The global film industry reached $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association, while PwC estimated North American sports would bring in more than $75 billion in 2020.
For many years, China was the biggest and most profitable market for video games. It is, after all, the most populous country in the world, with a huge and devoted gaming audience. But United States gamers are a large and growing virtual nation. In 2019 the industry sold $36.9 billion worth of games in the United States compared to China’s $36.5 billion. The gap is likely to rise, as US revenues are climbing at 11.7% annually. That said, Asia is by far the highest-grossing continent, with $72.2 billion in projected revenue during 2019, accounting for 47.4% of the global market. North America is expected to account for 26% of sales, while the Middle East and Africa will take the smallest cut, with 3.2% and $4.8 billion in revenue. Among the countries with the highest video game sales, Japan ranks high. With a highly ingrained gaming culture and video games being the popular pastime of many Japanese residents – not to mention numerous companies located there, including Nintendo and Sony – Japan is a hotbed of gaming enthusiasm. The split between the US and China will probably grow. American gaming platforms are slashing prices and running special promotions, boosting US video game industry revenue.
With the release of Call of Duty: Cold War in November 2020, and many countries still being in lockdown due to Covid-19, this led to a high sale rise for the game on many platforms. However, for an industry that has become so massive, music and film seem to have gotten left behind. Amazingly, this year, the money spent on games is expected to reach $92b, which is more than consumers spend on movies ($62b) and recorded music ($18b) combined. This means that the games industry is now five times larger than the music industry, and 1.5 times larger than the film industry. I would say the obvious thing is that computer games are much harder to crack than music and there are less emotional involvement and interaction in films and music. If you play Call of Duty, there are aimbots you can get for warzone.
How has this increased
With 2020 consumed almost entirely by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of US residents turned to video games to fill the time. According to Nielsen company SuperData’s 2020 year in review, 55 percent of people picked up video games — out of boredom, to escape the real world, to socialize — during the first phase of lockdowns. The shift points to a larger one in entertainment. Movie theaters, sports, plays, and more have been largely inaccessible, if not outright dangerous to public health. Just as streaming, both of the Twitch and Netflix variety, became a huge source of entertainment, so did games — especially for adults. According to SuperData, 66 percent of consumers from 18 to 24 played more console games, while 60 percent played more mobile titles. Unsurprisingly, buyers also tended toward digital purchases. SuperData reports that 27 percent of people — about 1 in 4 — played games to stay in touch with each other. In 2020, games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Among Us became cultural touchstones. Animal Crossing was the hit of the early pandemic, while Among Us had nearly half a billion players in November alone.
Positivity of gaming effects
As well as being a stress reliever, gaming has proven to be good for the brain. Many gamers set challenges amongst themselves, which creates a highly engaged community that all compete to be the best. With a staggering two billion gamers worldwide, gaming occupies many different sectors, from elite e-sport professionals to casual mobile gamers. Engaging in these social gaming experiences, aids the social distancing side of lockdown, helping to reduce the spread of coronavirus. However, this movement is not just backed by leading universities. It is also supported by the World Health Organization, which has recently encouraged people to engage with more video game content in a movement to create unification around the world. However, even the World Health Organization has previously associated video games with “disorders”, which has now completely changed. Video gaming is great for mental health, due to the core mechanics not requiring players to be ‘highly skilled’ to gain some form of benefit. Many different games offer a system called ‘skill-based matchmaking’, which places other players of a similar skill level with you. Gaming provides the player with the widely known rush of ‘dopamine’, which is a neurological change within the brain, making the person feel great! Many of the world’s leading neuroscientists refer to this rush as the “reward system for the brain”. Dopamine is an essential part of life, and it’s the indicator used by the brain to create the urge/desire to repeat a specific behavior.