Gaming is an important part of everyday life for many people. It has established itself in modern society as a real social culture. More and more people play video games and global technological advancement gives us a bigger opportunity to make them more realistic and enjoyable. As a result, an increasing number of different category games are released every year. It is undeniably true that gaming has formed a separate, constantly growing subculture on the internet. Gaming is now relevant not only on particularly small internet forums and social media, but news from the field are also reported on international media outlets. Influential sources, such as BBC now have separate categories for the latest gaming news on their websites.
Besides the growing number of gamers and video games being released, the industry is also growing financially. It is estimated that the revenue of the field will reach $300 billion by 2025. This is roughly the same size as the economy of Greece, Finland or Denmark. An important factor for this growth is the soaring interest in esports betting. This has become especially popular in the Nordic countries and some of the most reliable betting sites in Norway already cover the area of esports. In simpler words, now people bet on video games, particularly during major international tournaments, boosting the overall revenue.
How the growing industry is threatening the future of gaming
This booming industry has benefited average players a lot. Because of the economic benefit, more and more games are being launched with higher development costs, resulting in more sophisticated products. However, when there is big money at stake, business interest sometimes overshadows what customers want or need.
There are many ways to make money out of successful games. Newly released games already aim at higher profits, while already well-known ones launch new parts that are more money-oriented than before. There are some visible examples from the past, how poor business decisions influence the fate of potentially great video games.
PUBG is a great success. It has a very simple plot and is free to play attracting thousands every day. The online multiplayer has become so popular worldwide, that it is recognized by a soaring number of people. However, not everyone even knows that the full name of the game is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, thus PUBG is short for it.
Despite its success, PUBG made an unthoughtful mistake by introducing paid event passes. This pass that costs real dollars gives the player access to exclusive, limited missions. However, it has been widely criticized, many considering it a rip off. An influential business publishing and a magazine Forbes even compared it to Fortnite’s Far Superior ‘Battle Pass’.
Many prominent video games implemented paid loot boxes over time. Shadow of wars was one of those games and the introduction of such packages broke the hearts of many players. They have said that the involvement of ‘real-life money’ takes the game away from its original purpose. Moreover, some believe that such paid loot box options make the game unfair to those who do not use them.
Everyone knows that the release timing is crucial for the success of a game. Fresh gameplays on YouTube and good reviews can make projects commercially successful. However, some developers miscalculate the risks and lose millions due to bad timing. One such example is Titanfall 2, which was released at the same time as two major games. One of them was Battlefield 1 followed by Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. Both of the games are quite well-known and successful with their established niches. Additionally, they fall in roughly the same category as Titanfall 2, meaning that these three had to fight over the same audience.
This was one of the most anticipated video game releases in 2016. No Man’s Sky was expected to have it all: exploration, survival, combat and trading. These were the exact pillars that were announced by the Indie studio “Hello Games”. However, the result was rather different from what everyone had been waiting for. Why were people going crazy over the game? That was simply because of the marketing campaign the game’s developers conducted. They spoke live on national TV and visited late-night shows creating enormous buzz around the development process. Generally, making promises about a game from the early development stage will likely not bring any benefit. However, in this case, “Hello Games” basically exaggerated everything they could have potentially delivered. The talks were about immense possibilities and an absolutely unbelievable scale. However, once the game dropped for Playstation and Microsoft in 2016, the reality seemed rather different. It led to a huge wave of disappointment among those passionately waiting and the lack of trust towards the studio.
The aforementioned is only a small overview of how developing companies are changing their approach to how games should work in the future. Making a larger profit is a bigger priority for the majority of them and that is ruining more and more games every year. In an attempt to tackle this challenge, some smaller studios are crowdfunding, avoiding any corporate interest in them. Despite this, making money out of games is not bad at all. The increased revenue can help companies make games better and richer. However, it is important to manage the resources efficiently and not to forget about the players’ interest.