Since its introduction, the Internet has rapidly changed the way in which we communicate and spend our recreation time. Many people today would find it impossible to go a few hours let alone a day without the use of a mobile phone or being connected online.
The Gaming Industry has be changed unrecognizably due to the internet with many companies who manufacture consoles etc. benefitting from this increase in usage, with their profit margin’s increasing as a result. This has the opposite effect when there is a system failure as in the case of Sony with a loss of $171 Million when the PlayStation network went down. (Schreier, 2011). The internet has made gaming a powerful force with Australia’s media sector expected to expand by around 4.1% over the next five years due interactive gaming and the internet continuing their rapid growth (Sandev, 2011).
The growth in the usage of Internet and social media sites is said to have stimulated the growth of online gaming (Fernandes, 2014). The continuous rise in the number of Internet subscribers along with the increased social network accounts is seen as a market driver. The free and assessable nature of the Internet is driving up the demand for online gaming (Fernandes, 2014). More people are now using the Internet, which means the growing demand for entertainment on it.
The Internet revolutionised gaming to a social platform. Users are now able to communicate on platforms such as PlayStation and Xbox. In the past. ‘The Gamer’ was perceived as an introvert personality, spending hours in an isolated room staring at a screen. I believe perception of Gaming has now changed and elevated to be a ‘cool’ activity practised by a cross section of society in a wider social context such as competing on mainstream television channels and organised tournaments. Recent internet dependent game “League of Legends” airing a tournament on BBC3 where the winner was awarded a prize pool of $2.13 million. Although there can be a dispute about the difference between ‘causal’ and ‘hard-core’ gaming one thing that cannot be disputed is the correlation between online gaming and the ‘money making Juggernauts’ (Silverman, 2011) it has created such as Zynga.
Despite gaming being a social platform, social media, is another factor that is causing an increase in online gaming. This is due to the many users playing games on social media platforms such as Facebook. It is estimated that over 200million people play social games (Marketme.co.uk, 2014). Social games use the relationships of friends and their competitive nature, mixed with an addictive game to attract players and keep them hooked and the use of the internet makes these games more accessible. It is therefore plausible to suggest that the rise in social media use is directly linked to the rise in social gaming.
One of the main ways that the Internet has influenced the Gaming industry is through applications on mobile phones. Mobile applications are the basis of trends set to define the future of video games. More young people has access to mobile phones and parents allow their children to play more games using them without concern, as they become more and more acceptable and the norm in today’s society (Stuart and Webber). In recent years parents would have objected to their child playing video games, today most parents play games themselves, most commonly on their phones. This is evident by the increase in popularity of games such as Candy Crush netting over £865 million in 2014 as a result of users purchasing the game. (Dredge, 2015)
Dredge, S. (2015). Candy Crush Saga players spent £865m on the game in 2014 alone. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/13/candy-crush-saga-players-855m-2014 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2016].
Fernandes, M. (2014). Rising social network accounts and internet usage is driving growth in the social gaming market – WhaTech. [online] Whatech.com. Available at: https://www.whatech.com/press-release/23567-rising-social-network-accounts-and-internet-usage-is-driving-growth-in-the-social-gaming-market [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].
Marketme.co.uk, (2014). Rise in Social Media Causes Increase in Online Gaming…. [online] Available at: http://www.marketme.co.uk/rise-in-social-media-causes-increase-in-online-gaming/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].
Sandev, M. 2011, “Interactive gaming to spearhead media growth”, B & T Weekly, [Online].
Schreier, J. (2011). Sony Estimates $171 Million Loss From PSN Hack. [online] WIRED. Available at: http://www.wired.com/2011/05/sony-psn-hack-losses/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2016].
Silverman, M. (2011). The Influence of Social Gaming on Consoles. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2011/02/22/consoles-social-gaming/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2016].
Stuart, K. and Webber, J. (2015). 16 trends that will define the future of video games. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/23/16-trends-that-will-change-the-games-industry [Accessed 27 Jan. 2016].