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The video gaming sector has seen significant changes in the last decade or so. Statistics relating to the industry traditionally centred around who was playing video games. In the present day, however, the reach of video games is such that now the questions are more likely to concern which games, on which devices and with whom? With total video game sales exceeding $43.4 billion in 2018, it follows that video games have an undeniable effect on our culture. But just what is behind the driving influence of the industry and what can we expect to see in the future?
Fornite’s Foray into the Mainstream
Those who follow the video gaming scene will already be well aware of the drawing power of Fortnite. The game has become a staple for streaming sites such as Twitch and popular figures on the site such as Ninja (real name Tyler Blevins) have helped briefly bring the game into the public eye. However, the recent Fortnite World Cup garnered worldwide coverage due to the event’s massive prize purse and competency of its young competitors. The tournament was eventually won by Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who scooped $3 million dollars in the solos portion of the competition and also gained worldwide fame and notoriety. The fact that the name, “Bugha” was trending on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the event is proof that Fornite and video gaming in general has taken its place in mainstream popular culture.
The Increasing Influence of Online Gambling
The latest statistics suggest that the online casino industry will be worth $94 billion by the year 2024, which will represent a 104% increase since 2017. Those unfamiliar with the online casino sector often hold the mistaken belief that platforms offer only traditional games such as blackjack and roulette. However, the industry has branched out and diversified in the last decade or so, offering video games which are every bit as playable and immersive as those on next generation consoles; one only has to play king jackpot games on Paddy Power and other such titles to see this first hand. With the advertising exposure of sports betting platforms also growing by the day, online gambling is undoubtedly a huge part of our every day lives.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Record labels are the latest to tap into the inherent power of the video gaming industry. Back in June, Sony Music launched the record label, Lost Rings, which is essentially a label “about gaming culture, for gaming culture, created by gamers”. With independent EDM label Monstercat also looking to get in on the act, the amalgamation of music and video game streaming will surely further propel video games into the public eye. With gamers such as Bugha already being lauded as celebrities, the continuous rise of eSports could well blur the lines between the movie, music and gaming industries and it won’t be long before professional gamers are regarded in the same standing as Hollywood actors and best-selling musicians. Or so we hope.