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Evolution of gaming and how it became a multi-billion dollar industry

Video games have come a long way since their introduction in early 1960’s. Probably the first ‘true’ video game to have ever been created was ‘Spacewar!’ in 1962. Gaming itself did not reach mainstream popularity until the 1970’s-80 when arcade games, gaming consoles, and most importantly, home computers were introduced to the general public.

Multiplayer online gaming is very popular among teenagers
Multiplayer online gaming is very popular among teenagers

Video games have come a long way since their introduction in early 1960’s. Probably the first ‘true’ video game to have ever been created was ‘Spacewar!’ in 1962. Gaming itself did not reach mainstream popularity until the 1970’s-80 when arcade games, gaming consoles, and most importantly, home computers were introduced to the general public.

Now with the onset of the digital age, lightning-fast processing speeds and amazing graphics of the Xbox, PlayStations and modern PC’s, Gaming has gone from being just a hobby to a multi-billion dollar industry.

Video Games of today are a major part of modern culture and have now become one of the most popular forms of entertainment. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association, an estimated 59% of Americans played video games in 2013.

Consumers have also spent a staggering $21.5 billion in 2013 on game purchases alone. A large part of the growth can be attributed to the spread of cheap Internet connectivity. According to a report from Global Marketing Consultants Roland Berger, one in four of the world’s population now accesses games on the internet.

With a decent PC/Console and an internet connection, gamers from different parts of the globe have now gained access to a plethora of games. This in turn gave birth to a line of Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing games as well as a Multiplayer Mode in other games.

Now, the multiplayer option has become a huge aspect of certain games, such as Halo and GTA series. This massive figure is set to increase over the coming years and some analysts have estimated that the global online and mobile gaming market will increase in value by almost 60% in 2016.

As a result of this explosive growth, the Gaming Industry has undergone a huge transition. With the rapid growth of tablets, mobile phones, and internet, Gaming has now become a much more mainstream activity. Gamers are now concerned about new releases, updates, DLC’s, as well as information, cheats etc on their favourite games as well as connecting with other players through online modes.

Also, developers both big and small were looking to boost their sales, spread the word and basically get the ‘hype train’ going for their releases. And that is where online gaming websites stepped in.

Besides giving players regular updates on their favourite games, online gaming sites also provide them with info on the latest releases, upcoming titles, indie games, interviews with developers and studios and much more. Of course, all of this falls into the journalism department that focuses strictly on news.

But more recently, a new trend seems to have emerged with these sites where writers have begun express their opinions, some of which are highly regarded (or criticized, depending on the site and the topic). Opinions range from Game Reviews to Top 10 lists. So it is safe to assume that online gaming websites are now a major part of the Gaming Industry itself.

One of the largest online gaming sites right now is IGN. With tons of gaming news, updates, interviews, and trailers released every day, IGN has now managed to draw in nearly 20,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors, making it the most popular gaming news sites today. The second biggest is GameFAQs followed by GameSpot.

These sites have become a huge source of modern gaming news. Sure it isn’t the only source out there, and a majority of leaks tend to come from gaming forums and anonymous posts. But what these sites do is take all of that info and bundle it together in one easily accessible page. After all, gamers spend only a portion of their time reading and a much larger portion in actually gaming.

As for India, the gaming industry still isn’t there yet. It’s no surprise that most gamers hail from urban areas where internet and PC/Consoles are more common. But this is bound to increase in the coming years, especially with the increase in development and income. There are already a few gaming competitions and sites that have cropped, which is proof that India is getting there, albeit slowly.

But it is certain that the growing interest in online games will fuel the growth of the gaming sector for many years to come, propelling online gaming platforms into the one of the most powerful entertainment media.

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