Video games have come a long way ever since the 1970s. It has been a billion-dollar business for some time now. In 2020, the global gaming industry was set at 180 billion dollars — with almost a twenty percent increase in revenue.
But what is even more surprising is the fact that the industry had more revenue than sports and even movies worldwide. It would be unfair to say that video games became popular in 2020. Lockdown and quarantine helped certainly but long before the pandemic, video games had emerged as the most popular form of recreation among youth.
The gaming industry revenue was at 139 billion dollars in 2019, as per Adweek and it was more than NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL combined. Can you believe that? With all major sports events canceled and even Olympics delayed, e-sports emerged as the only game in town. La Liga in Spain organized a FIFA 20 video game tournament that was played by 18 real-world stars of La Liga and watched by 170,000 online fans. The online tournament also ran on Spanish TV and raised $150,00 to fight COVID-19.
Some of the major players in the video gaming industry are Tencent, Sony, and Apple, each generating billions of dollars in revenue every year, making them some of the most successful public companies in terms of gaming revenue. Sony's PlayStation 4 is the bestseller among current generation consoles and, in 2020, the unit sales of the PlayStation 4 reached more than 112 million units. The most searched products of 2020 were the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 5. According to a study by Statista of 18+ internet users in the USA, 24% percent don't play video games at all and almost 18 percent spend more than six hours per week playing video games.
As per The Guardian, video games have now come close to a few of the largest Hollywood production budgets. To give an idea, Avatar in 2009 cost around 478 million dollars. As per a study by entertainment brand Whistle, 68% of the population in the USA believes gaming is an important part of their identity and 91% play video games regularly.