According to KPCB, there are 2.6 billion gamers worldwide – that’s 2.6 billion people turning to video games for relaxation, entertainment or to kill time on the bus or metro.
The Institute for the future estimates that gamers spend well over 3 billion hours per week playing games on smartphones, laptops, PCs, hand-held devices, and gaming consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s Playstation.
Video games, which used to be considered a niche market with little mass appeal, has grown 26x in the last 20 years to become a hugely valuable part of the modern technology consumer market.
What’s more, it’s a market with tremendous diversity.
While some game developers focus on single-platform releases with high name-recognition, on a model similar to big-budget movie releases (think of Halo, Call of Duty, Destiny, FIFA), others try to carve out a new market through innovation.
The rise of hand-held, casual gaming has also presented opportunities for games-based marketing, direct-to-consumer advertising and micro-transactions that can turn a single game into a cash machine for whichever company develops it.
Nintendo, famous Japanese developer and a pioneer in the gaming industry, After passing through a rough period, amidst fierce competition for platform market share with Sony and Microsoft, bounced back.
Recent quarterly earnings were $1.37 billion, a leap of 150 percent from a year ago.
Expectations for future profits are high, thanks in large part to Switch, a new gaming platform that debuted earlier this year.
Light, portable and multi-purpose, the Switch has driven strong sales for Nintendo, which expects to move 10 million units in this fiscal year.
Many PC gamers prefer to use high-end gaming rigs, which can run in the $2000 or $3000 range.
Gaming laptops, however, have become increasingly popular.
Light, cheap and capable of playing even new games on lower graphics settings, the proliferation of affordable gaming laptops from Asustek and other developers indicates how the market has grown.
Recent research shows that gaming hardware sales were $26 billion in 2016 and likely to rise above $30 billion by 2017.
While “heavy” gamers accounted for 46 percent of total sales, they constituted only 3 percent of the total consumer base.
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Photo @Flickr / Taylor McBride