Although gaming is already huge, it’s still a growth industry. Is there anyone left on the planet who thinks games are for children?
We’re not kids! Although, as we’ll see, a lot of gamers actually are.
A recent survey of US gamers revealed that their average age was 30, and that a surprising 29% were over 50. So are gamers an ageing breed? Well, apparently not, as the survey also showed that 91% of children play games. The multitude of ways to access games these days certainly contributes to these surprising results. Online, via tablet, phone or desktop; or on your PC or console, if you have access to electricity, you probably have access to games. So what are people playing?
The longevity of the console is reflected in the continued success of the franchise games – Madden, FIFA and so on. Consoles, in 2013, might seem like a bit of an anachronism, given that you can play games on pretty much anything you can plug in, but the ability to play online through a console has helped to pump new life into the market. Between them, the Wii, PS and Xbox 360 have shifted nearly 335 million units.
Grand Theft Auto V is the most talked about game of 2013. Everyone who’s heard of it – i.e. almost everyone in the world – has an opinion. What’s undeniable is that it moves games even further into movie territory in terms of visuals, acting and plotline. Final Fantasy XIV continues to thrill gamers around the world, though the franchise is over a quarter of a century old. The popularity of the zombie apocalypse theme in other media is matched by the success of this year’s survival-horror adventure The Last Of Us.
Online games continue to lure us away from the mundane. If you’d gambled on the popularity of the farm simulator 10 years ago, most people would have laughed in your face; but Farmville, Farmerama and others don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. The lo-fi, hilariously psychotic Happy Wheels currently includes over five million levels created by players. Online gambling sites such as Royal Vegas Online Casino offer poker and other games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as sports betting and bingo.
The PC games market right now is dominated by dystopian shooter Bioshock Infinite. The massively popular Fez offers dimension-based fun, while Spelunky, according to PC Gamer, is “precision engineered to make death fair”. Sounds like fun. Let’s play!