The history of electronic gaming is one of unparalleled success. It has been popular since more or less the very beginning, and evidence of that lies in the success of Pong, which is so remarkably simple, yet blew audiences away when it was first released in 1972.
Yet, while video gaming has always attracted interest, it’s important to distinguish between the early days and today. Back then, it was a niche interest, and today, it’s a global interest that spans all demographics. One estimate suggests that around half of the world’s population could be considered “gamers,” making it the most popular hobby in the world.
However, video games didn’t just reach this level of popularity overnight. In this article, we’ll run through some of the reasons why gaming has become bigger than ever — and why its future remains exceptionally bright.
For something to reach a global audience, it has to be accessible, and that’s just what gaming has become.
That wasn’t always the case; in the old days, you’d need a console to play games, which was beyond most people’s means (and interest levels).
Today, everyone has a console, even if they don’t recognize it as such. Nearly 85% of people own a smartphone (and the numbers continue to rise) that allows them to play games. You can buy a PlayStation or Xbox, of course, but you don’t need to. You can play a game just with a few clicks on your iPhone or Android device.
Wider Range of Games
More gaming titles equals a larger audience of players. In the past, the range of games available was relatively small and mostly limited to just a couple of gaming consoles. Today, a diverse range of games is available, allowing players to select a game that aligns with their interests.
With just a smartphone, you can play sports, platformers, battle royale, or online casino games, among many others. There’s a game for everyone, and that makes the audience much larger than it was in the past.
More Time to Play
It’s true that people are busier than ever. But it’s also true that they have more time to play than in days gone by. Again, it comes down to the smartphone. People might be “busy” because they’re taking a bus or subway to work, but those moments also provide a good opportunity to play games.
Take a look around subway stations during peak commute hours, and you’ll invariably see people playing one of those quick and easy games you can play even if you only have fifteen minutes to kill.
Hype and Marketing
Once a successful ball is rolling, it’s hard to make it stop. The runaway success of electronic gaming is partly due to hype and marketing.
People of a certain age will recall a time when it would have been unusual to see a game advertised on television (or anywhere else). Today, you see games marketed everywhere: on TV, websites, public ads, and more. This, in turn, gets more people interested in the hobby, who then tell their friends, and so on. It’s a path that leads to ongoing success.
Finally, there’s the matter of money. The gaming industry is highly valuable — it’s worth more than the music and movie industries combined — and that creates an ongoing success loop. Game developers pump their profits into improving their products, which keeps people interested.
And now, with the biggest producers investing in forward-thinking technologies such as augmented reality and VR gaming, we can expect that gaming will continue to be popular for many years to come.