When the first ever computer was presented at the World’s Fair in the mid-20th century, it was seen as merely an oddity – albeit a very technologically advanced one.
What a surprise it would be to the critics of that era to see that gaming has metamorphosized into a behemoth entertainment industry, worth more than $200 billion.
Today, gaming has cemented its place as one of the most innovative tech industries. Not only that, but its impact on popular culture, entertainment, and even how we choose to socialize with each other has been profound.
With over three billion people in the world playing games on a regular basis, gaming is now an important entertainment industry with a reach bigger than that of movies and music streaming combined.
Home Gaming Becomes a Reality
Video gaming entered public consciousness on a mass scale during the arcade gaming era of the 1970s. However, towards the end of that decade, home gaming became a reality thanks to the mass-scale production of microprocessors that would become the core of personal computers and gaming consoles.
During the following two decades, equipment manufacturers SEGA and Nintendo would go head to head by releasing gaming console after gaming console, each one more advanced than the other.
Meanwhile, portable gaming hit the mainstream with the release of the Game Boy in 1988, and computing specialists Atari and Commodore made great advances in PC gaming tech.
The Modern Age
We can trace much of gaming’s present-day success to the explosion of both processor technology and internet connectivity during the early 2000s. Things progressed at such a rapid rate that each new generation of console or video game release surpassed their predecessors considerably.
Consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox began to showcase just what was possible with online gaming, enabling players to connect with friends and opponents from all over the world.
Additionally, gaming as service storefronts like Valve’s Steam and the Wii Shop Channel revolutionized the way that consumers were purchasing games.
Software updates could happen at the click of a button, and gone were the days when avid gaming fans would have to queue outside stores to get their hands on the latest hit gaming releases.
New Digital Sectors
The development of gaming genres gave rise to new powerful sectors that took full advantage of the capabilities of digital technology.
Casino gaming is a pastime that players have enjoyed for longer than there have been computer games, and new innovations in the 20th century brought classic land-based casino games like roulette bang up to date.
The launch of platforms like PokerStars Casino, with their innovative variants, gave casino enthusiasts a multitude of gaming options to choose from, including roulette games featuring both traditional gameplay and modernised rulesets.
The sheer popularity of such platforms has contributed to an iGaming industry that’s now estimated to be worth close to $100 billion.
Digital innovation has also made mobile gaming a distinct reality. If you cast your mind back to the early 2000s, you’ll remember that mobile games were incredibly primitive and lacked any of the content or gameplay that today’s gaming apps possess.
Within less than two decades, mobile gaming has transformed into the most popular segment in the global gaming industry.
According to Newzoo, mobile gaming now accounts for over half the gaming market, being more popular than both console and PC gaming combined.
In fact, many within the industry share the opinion that mobile is the future of gaming, which has prompted powerhouse gaming brands and companies to invest significant resources into developing mobile-ready solutions.
Of course, we couldn’t discuss the evolution of gaming without mentioning eSports. Also known as the professional side of video gaming, eSports is one of the sectors that simply wouldn’t be possible without the numerous technological advances and digital innovations made by the gaming industry over the decades.
To enable competitive video gaming at an elite level, eSports tournaments need to incorporate cutting-edge gaming titles, high-end gaming gear, and purpose-built gaming arenas.
Naturally, it’s a sector that requires substantial investment, but venture capitalists and popular entertainment brands alike have been lining up in droves to get involved in the action.