The gaming industry is no stranger to record sales, extensive market reach, and unprecedented growth. It all started in the 1950s when gaming appeared as a technology oddity at science fairs. Things have changed drastically since then, especially in recent years; mobile technology and internet access have revolutionized gaming.
This raises the gaming industry’s growth. Smartphones have generated 81.5 billion USD in 2021. In addition, 42% of US citizens play games, and 80% of households have gaming consoles.
The Initial Years
The first recognized gaming machine was unveiled at the New York World’s Fair in 1940. Dr.Edward Uhler Condon retained the title of unveiling the first gaming machine. The game was based on the ancient mathematical game Nim. It became an immediate hit, with about fifty thousand people playing it in the first six months of release.
This was followed by the advent of the Brown Box in 1967 when Ralph Baer and their team released the prototype. This was a vacuum tube circuit that one could connect with their TV sets where two players controlled cubes chasing each other on the screen. Later, the game was licensed to Magnavox, who again released it in 1972. Further, Magnavox was preceded by Atari just a couple of months later.
The Atari And Arcade Gaming Fever
Taito and Sega were the first companies that generated interest in arcade gaming among the general public. This resulted from releasing electro-mechanical games such as the Crown Special Soccer and Periscope. Then came Atari in 1972, the brainchild of Nolan Bushnell also referred to as the father of gaming. This was when gaming truly began to make a mark on people fueling an ever-growing gaming community.
Atari was not going to stop in-house games. It soon created an arcade game in 1973, making Pong Pong the first real electronic video game Pong Pong. Simultaneously, arcade machines were springing up across malls and bowling alleys. Many tech experts realized this potential, and new games kept flooding the market from 1972 to 1985.
Making Way For Multiplayer Gaming
The Late 70s was when restaurant chains across the US started to install video games capitalizing on the newfound craze for gaming. The fact that gamers could now record their high scores fueled competition among players. However, it was still limited to players competing with themselves on the same screen.
Then came Empire in 1973, which was the first example of players competing with each other on separate screens. This was a strategic turn-based game in which eight players could play the game. Empire was created for the Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operation or PLATO network system. As per the user logs made available by PLATO, users spent 330000 hours playing Empire between 1975 and 1985.
This was the point where gaming began to gain traction. Thus, people began to spend more time competing for higher scores at arcades. But not many imagined gaming to transform into the phenomenon that it is today.
Gaming Of The New Century
Finally, in the year 2000, everyone welcomed the new century with the aggressive growth of the internet and mobile technology. This was when the gaming industry went from playing in tens of billions to hundreds of billions in terms of revenue.
Microsoft hit the markets with Xbox Live. It was an online gaming platform where players had to pay a monthly subscription fee. Players loved this.
In the meantime, Blizzard was capitalizing on the personal computer game with the Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) subscription market. As a result, the world witnessed the release of the evergreen World of Warcraft in 2004. In addition, many new computer games took the market by storm as gaming technologies improved.
Mobile gaming, however, was still struggling to make a mark on the gaming industry as Nintendo still held the lion’s share of the market. However, this changed when Android and iOS phones emerged on the scene.
The App store paved the way for developers to create new mobile games and sell them online. Ever since, the mobile gaming sector has continued its growth, reaching the level it is at today. Moreover, thanks to the increasing trend of purchasing game credits, you can even use cryptocurrencies to purchase gaming gift cards from platforms such as Coingate.
Games are meant to be more challenging and realistic, and given the rate at which the industry is growing, things are looking suitable for the industry. The recent development and changes in this industry hint toward growth in the virtual reality area. But no matter what, the future of gaming will surely be entertaining.