The gaming sector is experiencing exponential growth, attracting new players and shaking up traditional entertainment industries such as cinema and television. In this article, we explore the impact of gaming on these industries, the evolution of consumption modes over the decades, as well as the increase in player volumes and time spent on video games. Are gaming audiences being cannibalized? Are they feeding off other entertainment industries? Where do these new players come from with each new wave?
The gaming industry continues to grow, attracting an ever-wider audience thanks to constant technological innovations and immersive gaming experiences. However, this raises the question of whether gaming is cannibalizing other entertainment industries or meeting a specific demand from modern consumers.
Some experts argue around the fact that gaming has captured a significant share of the public's time and attention, which was once devoted to more traditional forms of entertainment. However, others argue that gaming has expanded the entertainment possibilities available, thus creating healthy competition and synergy between the different industries.
An analysis of consumption modes by decade reveals interesting trends. In the 80s and 90s, arcades were popular, followed by the rise of PC and console games in the 90s and 2000s. Over the past two decades, mobile games have taken a major place in the market, even causing the hybridization of some traditional PC and Console models, allowing in recent years to note a gain in popularity of Free-to-Play or subscription models on traditionally Premium supports, to the point that on these supports nearly half of the players do not pay to consume.
The number of players is constantly increasing, as is the time spent on video games. Compared to other forms of entertainment such as music, cinema, or outings, video games occupy an increasingly large part of Western consumers' entertainment time. The rise of VOD (Video on Demand) like Netflix and Amazon Prime, combined with the consumption of games in parallel, contributes to this increase. It is interesting to note that the creation of series on the same licenses as some games have a very significant impact on game sales and the number of viewers (for example with The Witcher or The Last of Us).
New waves of players also play a crucial role in the expansion of the gaming industry. The democratization of access to video games, made possible by the drop in prices of consoles, computers, and smartphones, has attracted a wider audience. In addition, the influence of social networks and influencers has attracted new players thanks to their recommendations, reviews, and game demonstrations. This dynamic has also allowed the opening to non-Western countries, thus creating a diversification of players and a general increase in volume, as well as different consumption modes, such as watching eSport streams.
A major evolution in the gaming industry is the feminization of the audience. New platforms and content have attracted a growing number of women, now representing more than 45% of the audience (40% on PC and Consoles). This opening has created new market opportunities and has strengthened the presence of women in the industry (22% in 2021 in France, compared to 19% in 2020), even if they are still largely absent from management positions (11% in France in 2021)
The gaming industry continues to grow and evolve, impacting traditional entertainment industries and redefining consumption modes. Gaming has captivated an ever-wider audience, both male and female, and has created new entertainment possibilities. As new waves of players emerge, the gaming industry thrives by adapting to consumer demands and pushing the boundaries of entertainment.