Almost everyone would have played video games these days, as they happen to be one of the breathers. Be it at your workplace or home or pretty much anywhere else, these games allow you a momentary escape from reality and help you become some different entity altogether.
So have you ever wondered how this industry gained foothold in the entertainment field? Games were not this complex as they are now. We are speaking of games as a whole, be it a popular smartphone game like Clash of Clans or some big-budget AAA title like Titanfall 2. It all started with very simple games on a vacuum-tube computer, we can precisely call this game as a version of Tic-Tac-Toe, which was invented in the early 1950s.
Later, in the early 1970s, the first ever arcade game “Computer Space” was created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, followed by the release of the famous game called “Pong”(this was released as an arcade game too) by the same person (Nolan). These two went on to create one of the most successful video games company ever, “Atari” in 1972. The “Pong” was even released as a home video game in the year 1975, marking the beginning of a billion-dollar industry.
The birth of the consoles was in the early 1970s too, with the development of Magnavox Odyssey in the year 1972, with games like Tennis and Soccer being released for it. The second generation consoles, notably the Atari 2600, was released in the year 1977 and so did “Pac-man”, one of the most successful video games ever being released for it. First generation handheld consoles were born in the late 1970s and again in the early 1980s, with the release of “Nintendo Game & Watch” in the year 1980.
The third generation of consoles saw the introduction of many groundbreaking technology consoles ever (it might not seem much now, though it was a huge thing those days), with the introduction of Sega Mark III and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and widely popular games like Super Mario Bros. being released for it.
There can be an unending list of popular consoles and games ever released. Currently we are in the eighth generation of video games (be it consoles, handhelds and games). If you are reading this article, you probably know how complex the games have evolved to be. We will be concentrating on AAA titles from now on, as handheld console games is pretty much done and is being taken over by smartphones.
It requires hundreds of hours and years of work, investing millions of dollars by the industries to bring up just one AAA title. It was reported that it cost a whopping $265 million dollars to release GTA 5 (including development and marketing) which almost equals a high octane Hollywood movie, and is collecting even more, making more than $1 billion in just 3 days! Undeniably, this a target well-nigh impossible to achieve, even for some blockbuster movies.
Now, this is not the only game we are speaking of. The popular Call of Duty-Modern warfare 2, cost more than $250 million to release, Destiny (a consoles exclusive) cost around $140 million, Max Payne 3 cost more than $100 million and the list goes on. The collections summed up to a minimum of $300 million for all the above games.
The industry being able to provide jobs for thousands of employees (both in the field of console development and manufacturing and also game development) has also helped in the creation of many gaming dedicated companies (such as MSI, Dell’s Alienware and Razer) that are further broadening its scope. It does not stop here, as there are many e-sports competitions held every now and then among some widely popular games such as DOTA 2 and League of Legends (LOL), where the prize pools include a staggering $20 million dollars!
The industry also includes many Youtubers such as PewDiePie(his channel being most subscribed in the world), VanossGaming, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye whose main source of income(or at least believed to be) depends on the gameplays and walkthroughs which they make on popular video games. Twitch, a video streaming platform is primarily focused on the live streaming of video games by hundreds of streamers around the world, some of them again, depend entirely on the income from these video games.
As we said earlier, the above information is related to only AAA titles for Consoles and PC and the mobile gaming industry (do not be confused by handheld consoles and games which are entirely different). It is steadily proving its importance to the industry through the release of many widely popular games such as Temple Run, Angry Birds and Clash of Clans, making millions of dollars on just 2 platforms (iOS and Android).
Some of the most popular video games were also made into Hollywood movies, such as Resident evil, Need for Speed, Assassin’s Creed and Doom, proving once again, the importance and the never-ending growth and possibilities of the industry.
“Video games foster the mindset that allows creativity to grow.”
– Nolan Bushnell