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How Big is Video Gaming?

The year’s 2022, and reports all over the news are focused on the acquisition of a certain company for a whooping $68.7 billion, yes, you read that right. $68.7 billion. I don’t even think it’s possible to visualize that many dollar notes in my head, that’s how incredible that sum of money is.

You may be wondering: what sort of company could possibly be valued so highly? Maybe a social media platform like TikTok, or Snapchat? I mean, what else could it be?

Prior to January 2022, the largest Microsoft acquisition had been that of LinkedIn for $26 billion back in 2016, and six years later, they’ve almost tripled that figure to acquire Activision Blizzard, in what is an incredible bet on the future of video gaming and the “metaverse.” For the juggernauts behind Xbox and it’s video game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, the acquisition would make them the third-largest video-gaming company in the world in terms of revenue, and it’s a true declaration of their ambition to become absolute giants in the video-gaming sector (a second declaration, considering they’d acquired Bethesda prior to this), and to gain a foothold in the metaverse which continues to grow by the day.

Microsoft only acquired Bethesda for $7.5 billion and have multiplied that sum by more than nine to acquire the company behind massive video-game franchises like: Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Starcraft and Candy Crush! There’s a number of smaller IPs involved in the acquisition such as the Prototype video game series, which could witness a potential reboot following the acquisition.

But after a deal like this, one that’s sure to have massive implications on the video gaming industry, there is one question that has to be asked. Just how big is video gaming? $70 billion is a lot of money to spend on video games, but it’s not an expenditure that would be made if Microsoft weren’t completely confident of the dividends it would pay in the long run, such is their faith in the enormous industry.

Video games have been around since about the late 20th century, which is a long time away. The first video game in existence could be traced back to 1958, but the industry truly surged in popularity during the 80s and 90s. We saw platforms like the Atari, the earlier Nintendos, Sega Master, Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast, the first of five PlayStation generations, and a lot more, and video games such as Super Mario, Pacman, SimCity, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and Tetris rose to staggering levels of popularity.

Fast forward more than four decades, and the video game industry hasn’t slowed down, hell, it’s taken things up several notches and gone much harder than it had before. With modern classics like Sonic, Mortal Kombat, Halo, Call of Duty, Minecraft, Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, and with more recent popularly-played games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, PUBG, and more, it’s safe to say that the industry is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I mean, we’ve gone from pixelated video games to now owning powerful beast consoles with 4K capability and ray-tracing. The growth of the metaverse is likely to even take the video gaming industry to an entirely new level altogether.

The video-game sector is immensely massive, and is by far, larger than the movie and music industries. Combined. There are more than two billion gamers across the world, more than 25% of the world’s population, gaming across different platforms, ranging from Xbox to Playstation to Nintendo to PC to smartphones. Gaming’s everywhere.

In 2020, the industry generated more than $150 billion in revenue. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY. With numbers like that, maybe the acquisition of Activision doesn’t seem so insane anymore and it’s not at all surprising that more moguls are looking to secure a foothold in the gaming sector. Keep in mind that Call of Duty games have been the best-selling games for the past couple of years, despite suffering a dip in quality and experiencing workplace controversies.

Gaming’s always been about innovation, about imagination, about leisure and relaxation. As tech gets even more sophisticated, as more platforms are released, gaming will only continue to grow even stronger and attain new levels of immersion, especially with the rise of the metaverse. If you need a proper indication of how massive the industry is and the eye-watering sums of money aren’t enough, then look no further than the increasing number of theatrical or streaming releases inspired by or based on popular video game franchises. We’re talking Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Super Mario, Sonic The Hedgehog, Resident Evil, Max Payne, Assassin’s Creed, and the upcoming Uncharted movie.

Video gaming is massive. Much larger than you can imagine, much larger than this article even covers. And the truth is, with deals like Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the rise of the metaverse, it’s growth is bound to see a sharp spike pretty soon. Only thing we can do is get with the program.

Now’s probably a good time for you to get an Xbox, and a VR headset. Get with the times, my dude.

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Jordan Oguntade

Jordan Oguntade

Avid reader of science-fiction and fantasy, with an unhealthy obsession with technology. And junk food, also that. Huge fan of really cool gadgets.

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