You log in to your Twitter and millions of netizens around the world are talking about one thing and one thing only. You click the first word you see that is trending in Twitter – Cyberpunk 2077. Much to your curiosity, you went on and read multiple reviews about the game, feeling more and more engrossed each time. Then, you proceed to download the game and could not stop playing since.
The gaming industry has always been there, but only now having it gained more viewers and attention from the world. Netflix had revealed that their biggest competitor was not HBO, Amazon Prime or Disney +, it was a video game that has garnered 350 million players across the globe in May 2020 – Fortnite. It is now estimated that the video gaming industry is currently worth $159.3 billion as of 2020. At this rate, current forecasts expect the video gaming industry to be worth $200 billion by 2023.
With its positive increase throughout the years, major companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon have joined the bandwagon in launching gaming software. Not wanting to fall behind, Stadia, Apple Arcade and Amazon Games have been created to compete with top gaming companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. While many users view gaming as a stress reliever, active streamers also take gaming as their career path to earn money. According to Statista, the biggest live streaming platform called Twitch had roughly 9.24 million active streamers in December 2020, and it is not going down anytime soon.
The means of additional social element has been implemented in Twitch, by creating variable content options and thus, increased of user engagement. While it is slowly shifting towards general live-streaming hub, streamers can use its platform and opportunity to communicate and interact with fans, not only to watch games and play competitively. With its steady growth of user and views, it can lead to a positive direction in expanding the gaming culture worldwide.
Streaming is now part of a career and it is here to stay. Even before lockdown, it has become a norm for gamers to stream in their home for hours, sometimes even reaching up to 8 hours a day. This has pushed revenue for gaming industry to skyrocket and giving positive results to gaming companies. While the lockdown has made movement restricted, gamers can still stay connected and communicate with the fanbase online.
Furthermore, it is no surprise that most users have mobile devices stuck to them 24 hours when the pandemic hit. Users that grew bored at home tend to download games on their mobile devices. Due to the huge influence of people directing themselves to mobile games, it has gain huge success among players worldwide. Example of successful games are Among Us, Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, etc. Users also magnify the use of their mobile devices to connect, learn, and work because of the restrictions in their daily life caused by COVID-19. Networking plays a vital role in mobile devices too. Social media apps have been on a roll for many years, one of the top social media apps, Tiktok was launched in 2016 and had a steady rise but spiked in 2020 due to the lockdown, resulting a total of 2 billion downloads in the App Store and Google Play.
Moreover, similar to games and social media, esports is a natural growing community that has been there for years. The streaming community has also been taken over by esports to connect with people around the world and turning it into their careers. With its increase of success rate throughout the years, tournaments and competitions were introduced to serious gamers who makes it out of their profession by winning large amount of cash prize. With the number of gamers booming each year, the prize pool is expected to reach over $ 543 Million by 2023 worldwide.
Streamers that only showcase their gameplay casually can be entertaining to follow due to their personalities and charisma. Famous YouTube streamer FGTeeV has achieved 18.3 Million subscribers and is said to have a net worth of $ 30 Million by constantly creating enjoyable and humorous contents for his followers to watch. The very idea of being able to play and gain followers is a win-win situation.
According to Newzoo’s 2020 Global Esports Market Report, the total audience will grow up to 656 Million viewers and enthusiasts combined by 2023. The exponential growth has gained trust for countries’ like Japan by hosting tournaments at the Madison Square Garden and building huge facilities in Tokyo. Pushing to creating more competitive games, it might even be included in the future Olympic games and plus, the connection of broadcasting has already been built.
It might be a matter of time for esports to garner more viewers than traditional sports. Technologies are constantly upgrading to reach the highest point there is, record breaking games are constantly being created every year. It is highly likely to see a boost in the gaming industry because people will continue to be at home until the pandemic is fully perished. The gaming industry is no longer a hobby to some, it is their walk of life to help pay the bills.