The preconception that video games are only for boys, geeks, or kids still exists in some quarters. But an insight into where the industry is heading suggests it will soon be banished entirely.
The gaming market is the fastest-growing entertainment sector in the world, worth $75.5bn last year, and expected to be worth more than $100bn by 2017. The biggest event in the video-game calendar is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), where publishers and developers gather to reveal the most anticipated – and surprise – announcements of the year.
The industry-only event welcomed nearly 50,000 people this year for a show that requires more bandwidth than most US cities need in a year, and for the first time, gamers around the world could tune into video-streaming service Twitch to watch the shows – and millions did.
The main events take place in the LA Convention Center across a space that could fill nearly eight US football fields. E3 is bustling; everyone exhibiting wants to be the next big thing, and everyone else wants to be among the first to play it. But of the hundreds of games shown at the event, the main competition is often considered to be between Sony and Microsoft. Last year, it was all about the move into “next-gen” gaming. It was just five months before the release of their new consoles, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One.