When it comes to entertainment, the video game industry is worth a lot more than Hollywood. As of last year, its profits surpassed the combined value of all professional sports leagues and organizations in North America. In fact, prize money for the Super Bowl was almost three times smaller than that for the Dota 2 World Championship, which took place this past weekend. Despite these disparities, the video game industry is still one of the largest in the world.
With such large revenues, the video game industry is a huge financial and cultural industry. One recent Morning Consult report showed that 95% of Gen-Z Americans recognized celebrities like LeBron James and PewDiePie, and that they rated them as better than Elon Musk and other celebrities. However, it’s too early to tell whether video games have a long-term future in entertainment.
While other entertainment industries have stagnated and have experienced a decline in revenues, the video game industry is continuing to break records. Microsoft recently bought Activision Blizzard, the company behind the cash-cow “Call of Duty” franchise. Likewise, Netflix released the “League of Legends” tie-in series “Arcane” last year in an effort to revolutionize the gaming industry. Furthermore, video game revenue is expected to reach $179.7 billion by 2020, which would put it ahead of North American sports and movie industries. Those figures will be lower in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still a huge threat to the industry.
In the 1980s, arcade gaming became huge, with Americans spending nearly $5 billion on the industry. As arcade games became more popular, characters and game titles became more important. This led to a rise in lawsuits against game developers. In one such case, Universal sued Donkey Kong for using its likeness to King Kong, which planted the seeds for crossovers with other forms of entertainment. And that’s how the video game industry has risen to its present status.