The video game industry has grown to be a dominating presence in the entertainment field and even managed to surpass the music and film sectors, combined. With the popularity of social media, game creators have adapted their development methods to include interactivity with them. Thus, we will take a look at 4 ways that social media has impacted the video game industry.
1. Mobile Games
The realm of mobile gaming has steadily increased over the last decade and now represents more than half of the total video game revenues, compared to its PC and console counterparts. While these portable titles are easily accessible and mostly free, the integration of social media also enhances the player’s experience, by bringing a competitive aspect. For instance, players can send challenges to other gamers or fight their way through established leaderboards.
2. Social-Network Games
Social-network games have been increasingly popular, especially on Facebook. In fact, they attract more people than prime-time television shows. These programs are mostly free, doesn’t require any downloads since they are browser-integrated, and continuously encourage players to engage with each other. According to a study conducted by video game developer PopCap Games, the average gamer is of 43 years old, which is quite surprising given the typical active audience. Additionally, businesses are also taking advantage of this phenomenon by either inserting ads on popular titles or creating their games for promotion.
3. eSports and The Creation of Specialized Platforms.
The electronic sports industry has grown to be an important element of the gaming culture. Just like regular sports, players may get to sign contracts with teams and sponsored by brands, which in turn generate a lot of revenue for them. Furthermore, social media platforms have been an integral part of the eSports success by mostly showcasing the athletes’ distinguished performances (e.g., YouTube) and their daily routines (e.g., Instagram, Twitter). Consequently, it also broadens the reach, thanks to dedicated gaming social infrastructure like Twitch, a game streaming video platform that currently has more than 15 million active users. Just like mobile & social-network games, businesses often use these platforms to insert ads for the audience to notice.
4. Sharing your progress.
The inclusion of social media has left his print in the video game industry, most notably the current generation of gamers. Popular consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One encourage players to record their accomplishments and upload them to their desired virtual platforms. Aside from the dominant social media platforms, entertainment systems also foster interactions with others through their in-built functions. For instance, Sony has a personal streaming app called “Live from PlayStation” that not only provides live broadcasting but also allows players to interact in many ways.