Video games, every parent’s worse nightmare, almost every child’s kryptonite. But leaving all that aside, the video game industry has a very long and vast history. From having its own financial ecosystem to competitions being held, winners would earn cash prizes worth millions of Dollars.
Even today, most people look away from video games, with the majority of them blaming it as a source of distraction or even as a source for people being aggressive in nature
The video game industry is booming day by day, now more so than ever, considering most of us are stuck at home due to the virus that shall not be named. The market value of computer games alone is worth 37 Billion US Dollars and that is not taking into consideration the various other gaming consoles (More about these below) present in the market.
Video games were first introduced in the 1950s and 1960s by computer scientists. The first-ever video game to be played with a video display was MIT’s Spacewar. The game featured two spaceships, “the needle” and “the wedge”, engaged in a dogfight while maneuvering in the gravity well of a star. Both ships were controlled by human players. Each ship had limited weaponry and fuel for maneuvering, and the ships remained in motion even when the player was not accelerating.
By the mid-1970s with computer chips being readily available and more importantly affordable, this led to the introduction of Gaming Consoles. One of the first-ever gaming consoles being the Atari Video Computer System (VCS). This year was considered the Golden Age of the Video Game industry with famous game titles still recognized today being released such as Pacman and Space Invaders.
Video Game Market Crash
A major crash of the United States home video game market occurred in 1983 as the market was flooded by too many poor-quality games, consumers lost confidence in the major companies involved, and the sector saw competition from inexpensive personal computers and new types of games being developed for them.
The crash set the stage for Japan’s video game industry to take leadership of the market, which had only suffered minor impacts from the crash. Nintendo released its Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States and other Western markets in 1985, preventing the failure of the video games sector.
The latter part of the 1980s and early 1990s saw video games driven by improvements and standardization in personal computers, and the console war competition between Nintendo and Sega as they fought for market share in the United States.
The Big Bang for Gaming
By the early 1990s, the gaming industry saw two major changes. The introduction of the optical media via CD-Roms and the introduction of Three Dimensional Polygonal Graphics for game development. This meant two things, One being more data would fit on a disc and two the games would be more eye-catching and look more realistic.
The CD Rom was readily accepted in the PC World and also led to the creation of dedicated graphics cards. This also led to the introduction of Sony’s gaming console which is known by all as the Playstation.
The introduction of Sony’s Playstation into the market, caused Sega out of the console hardware market while diminishing Nintendo’s role.
By the late 1990s, the Internet also gained widespread consumer use, and video games began incorporating online elements. Microsoft entered the console hardware market in the early 2000s with its Xbox line, fearing that Sony’s PlayStation would displace personal computers. While Sony and Microsoft continued to develop the hardware of comparable top-end console features, Nintendo opted to focus on innovative gameplay and developed the Wii with motion-sensing controls, which helped to draw in non-traditional players and helped to resecure Nintendo’s position in the industry.
From the year 2000 to 2010 the entire gaming demographic moved to mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets. This also led to the rise of casual gaming.
With the introduction of mobile games, there was also a rise of free-to-play games with freemium content. This process allowed consumers to use real-world money to purchase in-game currency to buy objects that would help in their game progression.
Growth of the Video Game Industry
With digital distribution, the 2000s and 2010s saw the growth of independent game development, with indie games seen by consumers and critics on par with those produced by triple-A production studios. Hardware and software technology continued to drive improvement in video games, with support for high-definition video at high framerates, and for virtual and augmented reality-based games.
Present Day Gaming
As you have now read, the gaming industry has rapidly evolved. Games nowadays look as if they were straight out of real life. Immersive gameplay, with the introduction of Virtual Reality Headsets, where it would feel like one is looking through the eyes of the main character in the game.
Not only that but there has been an increase in support with regards to people funding such games and there is not a penny spared. The production house Rockstar Studios spent over $265 Million for the production of Grand Theft Auto V released back in 2013. The returns in sales numbers were enormous, in its first three days on the shelves, Grand Theft Auto V made $1 billion. I’ll let you pick your jaw off the floor.
The never-ending market of games continues to flow left right and center. But like every good thing, there is always a bad that follows.
With the pandemic hitting, the majority of game developers have been forced to work from home, leading to multiple delays in video games.
Not only are there delays, but also a limitation in video-game console stocks have caused an issue for the majority of consumers. A great example is that of the PlayStation 5 which was released in the Winters of 2020. The entire market has been buying these consoles in bulk and has been selling them over their actual sticker prices. The internet terminology for these raiders are scalpers and they have also been a major cause for unsatisfied consumers throughout the world.
The video game industry as I have mentioned is ever so vast and continues to grow. The inner child in me cannot wait to see what the future in the world of gaming holds. Be it being able to feel objects as if they were present or the sense of smell in a video game. Well, I could go on and on. The future is near us and all we can do is wait, watch and keep that inner child in your jumping with joy.