Interesting article in today's Australian Daily Telegraph regarding video games as a modern day entertainment phenomenon. It draws on many similar data points, although updated, as my article from last year that cites games as a far bigger revenue machine than the biggest movies:
The average age of the Aussie gamer is 32. In the US it is 37. That's because a generation of us grew up with video games - the first Atari consoles making their way into homes in the late 1970s - and since then every few years marked another step in a global industry now estimated to be worth about $US56 billion and heading towards $US82 billion by 2015. We are comfortable with it being a part of the cultural fabric of our lives...
...The biggest film release of 2011 was Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. In its opening weekend it managed to haul in $US169 million at the US box office. By comparison, the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold $US400 million worth in the US and UK alone on its first day of release. Its developer claims the series has now earned more in sales than the total box office receipts for the Star Wars films.
These days for me, 30 years old, the average Hollywood film is typically a boring, laughably scripted, unengaging and/or far too FX-centric affair (and the FX are typically terrible). Even the Harry Potter series drew to a close with an awful 'Part 1 and Part 2' that left me thinking 'thank god it's over'. It takes something supremely well crafted, usually by Christopher Nolan, to make the grade. The rest are just instantly forgettable. Perhaps I'm just getting old. But, compare that with games, be they smartphone or console, where people spend hours upon hours playing them, and developers are making money and pushing the boundaries. It's not hard to see games as the premier screen-based entertainment format of the future.