With Covid-19 which has forced many of us to remain inside for the last couple of years, online gaming has transformed from being a source of distraction to a way for many to interact with others, develop an escape into virtual worlds filled with excitement.
With a surge of new gamers, current players playing more often, and players who have been around for a while to play, the number of players has increased to 3.1 billion across the globe, resulting in the gaming industry soaring to $300 billion.
What makes this surge distinct is the fact that it’s occurring all over the world. In countries with more developed economies where the market for gaming has grown and gamers are fighting for fingers on the Xbox Series X or PS5. Sony recently announced that PS5 sales have surpassed the 10 million mark despite shortages of supply.
In countries that are less developed, where the market for gaming is in its early stages mobile gaming continues to hold its position as the leader, helped by the accessibility of cheap smartphones that run top-of-the-line mobile games. In India which mobile gaming is on the rise in country, games downloaded from Android Play Store from 2019 to 2020 were up by 51 percent and apps downloaded via iOS App Store increased by 20%. iOS App store increased 20 percent.
Gaming is the most profitable activity that generates the highest amount of revenue?
Statistics provided by Newzoo reveal that of all the nations that exist, China generated the most profits via video games during 2020. It earned just over 44 million, then followed by the US with 42 million, and finally, Japan with 20m.
The amount of money that China earns is not surprising considering how big the population of its citizens is. It’s nonetheless fascinating to observe that gaming generates an enormous amount of money despite the numerous efforts of the government to limit the number of time players spend playing video games. It’s the most recent law that has just come into force that limits the number of hours children play games online.
Although many people are surprised by the ban the restrictions on gaming on video in China are not new. There are other countries that have laws in place that limit the way in which and how games can be played. Venezuela has a complete prohibition on video games which the aim is to shoot players, Japan prohibits games with controversial content. Australia restricts games that promote violent sexual content, nakedness or drugs, as well as graffiti. Singapore is a no-go for games that are deemed by the government to be inappropriate to their residents. Some of the more well-known video games that are banned in the United States include that of the Mass Effect series which promotes homosexuality.
Despite strict gaming regulations, China is also responsible for a lot of the world’s most loved games. Chinese studios have created games in games like Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Tom Clancy, and Rayman franchises, just to name just a few. Chinese game maker miHoYo is also behind Genshin Impact. An extremely well-loved action role-playing game on multiple platforms which was the first mobile game to exceed $1 billion in revenue in just six months since its launch in September.
Removing the negative stereotypes
There’s a noticeable trend that shows that countries that have large players tend to create more games. If you were born in the US such as, for instance in which two-thirds of Americans use video games it is more likely that you will take up a job in gaming than if you were in a place where gaming isn’t accessible and is not considered to be a viable career.
The stigma associated with video gaming is getting rid of. With the growth of the industry with the advent of free-to-play games as well as the growth of mobile gaming the game is now accessible to all, regardless of their income, age and location. The notion that a “gamer” is the teenage boy locked up in a dark, secluded room is slowly disappearing. With it, a completely new concept is emerging of what it means to be a “gamer.
However, there is an issue of diversity in the gaming industry, partly because of the negative image that many still think of as a “gamer”. This has resulted in an industry that is predominantly male-dominated, with the majority of the most well-known series coming from just a handful of countries, including Japan, China, and the US. This also means that many of the characters and stories that players have become familiar with and love do not reflect their culture, values, or even the locations they reside.
As gaming expands and more popular, we’re seeing this trend change, with the increasing diversity of characters, locations, and values being represented. But, there’s some way to go. As gaming is able to penetrate new communities and new locations It’s fascinating to think of the diverse perspectives that emerge from studios and gamers in those areas that allow players to encounter diverse cultures, different people, and viewpoints. It’s exciting to see more games that draw inspiration from countries such as Africa and India created by players who grew up in those areas. In the end, one of the greatest benefits of playing games is that you are transported to a completely different place to experience life-like from the perspective of another.
The metaverse is in the making.
With gaming expanding at a staggering rate, and cash flowing through the industry there is a belief that the metaverse, first introduced during Snow Crash and more recently in Steven Speilberg’s Ready Player One, is nearing its completion. Game studios are already beginning to make preparations for this place in which people gather to socialize, play develop and learn. Already, we can witness the foundations of this taking place on popular platforms across the globe like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft.
The agencies, brands, and games studios who are creating for this industry should take into consideration the value of their values in the world of virtual. If the goal is to create an open, accessible space for everyone it should be open to individuals from all over the world and from kinds of backgrounds to guide and influence it instead of having some select few make standards and guidelines in order to benefit them and others in their vicinity who are looking at, hear and think alike.
The future of gaming is coming and it’s all up to the game studios as well as advertisers who provide a large portion of the funding to ensure that the right foundations are in place to allow for the creation of a naturally diverse, fair, and welcoming environment for everyone.