In today’s world, video gaming is one of, if not the most popular, forms of entertainment. It has grown into a massive industry that matches the movie industry in size. Within three days of its debut, the relaunch of the popular PC game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare raked in $600 million. As contemporary trends have given rise to a whole new breed of ‘cyber-athletes’ and E-sports, more people are playing more games than ever before. People have become so enamoured with watching others play video games that E-sports may become an Olympic event by 2024. Almost every major IT company is either involved in or attempting to solve the video gaming puzzle. Following the spread of the internet and mobile phones, this has evolved into an ecosystem. But just how large is it?
In the late 1950s, a scientist created the first video game; he was also a member of the team that designed the first nuclear bomb. It was a two-dimensional tennis game with only one colour. Since then, both hardware and software have seen significant advancements. Processors have reached a point of no return in terms of improvements, signalling the end of Moore’s Law. Graphics chips have spawned a whole new slew of AAA games with stunning visuals. In recent years, faster internet has connected players across continents, and emerging F2P business models have grabbed gamers.
Developers of video games
These are usually small, self-contained studios that create games from the ground up. A writing team creates a plot, while a design team creates the concepts that will bind the entire storey together. This reasoning is codified into computer software, along with additional code for features such as Online Gaming and Multiplayer.
The availability of the game engine at a developer’s disposal is a big strength (made in-house or brought externally). Many game publishers own game creators, such as EA’s DICE, who created Battlefield.
Publishers of Video Games (Distributors)
A game publisher, like a book publisher, is in charge of the distribution of a shippable game. They usually fund game production, typically managing the game’s design by assessing user interest, preparing manuals, and deciding on packaging and marketing for the retail edition of the game, among other things. Many publishers, such as Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), own Treyarch Studios, which created some of the Call of Duty titles.
Many publishers also sell their games to retail retailers to distribute them (maybe through a distributor). Much of the distribution is now done digitally through platforms such as Steam, Origin, UPlay, and PSN, among others. Even though it doesn’t manufacture games, Apple’s app stores make it one of the top game publishers in the world, with yearly revenues of more than $9 billion!
Developers of hardware
Depending on the platforms and functions, they construct the electronic infrastructure required to play games. The most popular platform at the moment is mobile (phones and tablets), which is dominated by major smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, and Apple. Intel produces processors (CPUs), Nvidia produces graphics cards (GPUs), and a slew of other firms produce monitors, enclosures, and hard drives for PC gaming (desktop and laptop).
Last but not least, there are three major consoles: Sony’s Playstation, Microsoft’s XBOX, and Nintendo’s Wii. AR and VR are two emerging stage platforms, with Oculus, owned by Facebook, being one of them. Companies such as Razer, Steelseries, and others produce gaming keyboards, mice, headphones, and controllers.