The History and Evolution of the Video Games Market
Before the heroics of Super Mario and Lara Croft captured our imaginations, video games were primarily used on an academic basis.
In the 1950s, scientists built the first video games as instructional tools or to demonstrate the capabilities of new technologies. Academics tested out rudimentary forms of artificial intelligence on games like tic-tac-toe or chess, while showcasing their findings to the public at events like the Canadian National Exhibition or the Festival of Britain. It wasn’t until the incorporation of newly-invented technologies like transistors or random access memory (RAM) that the cost and size of these computers went down.
By the 1970s, video games were ready for prime time commercialization. The first arcades were opened, compelling games started to hit the market, and tactile features like joysticks made them accessible even to the most basic user.
The rest is history – and the total market for gaming is now worth close to $100 billion today.
The Evolution of the Video Games Market
The following infographic comes to us from GAMR, the world’s first video game technology ETF.
It details the history and evolution of the video games market, the emergence of mobile, and the fast-growing Asian sector.
Today, there are over two billion gamers worldwide – and they all play across a wide variety of genres and platforms.
Despite stereotypes, gamers come from all walks of life. About 59% of gamers are males, and 41% are females – and the average age of a gamer is 38 years old.
The Future of the Video Games Market
While the mobile market is all the rage today for publishers, the future of gaming is likely to be driven largely by augmented and virtual reality.
International Data Corporation, for example, estimates that worldwide revenues for the total augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 181.3% over the 2015-2020 forecast period. Gaming hardware and content would make up a significant portion of this projection, but other types of content such as movies, entertainment, and advertising will also capitalize on the emergence of AR/VR.
For now, VR/AR headsets are currently only accessible to high-end users, and there is also a limited supply of content for users to enjoy. Only time will tell if the technology will mature enough to meet the public’s expectations.
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