70’s and 80’s ArcadeArcade games were the first major milestonein the computer games industry. Games weredeveloped bydevelopers/publishers who then distributedthe games via machines throughout variouslocations across the world. Financialtransactions took the form of coins put intothe machines and the gain was clear. Thisinvolves a large investment but the financialreturns were clear.
1980-2010 Box, Ship, DoneWith most games now being played on homeconsoles the gaming industry became very lucrative.Game developers wouldn’t produce games thatcouldn’t run on one of the major platforms thus toplay the most popular games consumers had topurchase the consoles making Microsoft, Sony andNintendo powerful driving forces in the gamingindustry as no game could be made for theirconsoles without their permission. It was around thistime that pc and homebrew consoles games becomepopular but the inconsistency with pc specs meantthat the market was to unstable and many of themajor developers avoided the area.
2010+ Observe, Measure and ModifyWith the number of retail game purchases rapidly declining it is believed that there will soonbe no more physical goods purchased this means there will be no more need manufacture,transport, store and distribute game content on disk. This is very cost effective for thepublishers but opens the market up to much smaller indie game companies who could notpreviously afford to mass market their home made games. Another rapidly growing standardis the use of player monitoring which allows companies to watch how their players play andreact to the games they play and react to them further developing and refining their games.User generated content is another feature rapidly expanding in the gaming industry (Skyrim’sSteam workshop recently reached 30,000,000 downloads) which allows gamers not only tocustomise their gaming experience but allows game developers to earn more from theirgames without themselves developing new content (as more people will buy the game for itsmod capabilities).Where Will The Income Come From?As digital transactions are increasing in popularity so is online gaming. Games like World OfWarcraft (10 million subscribers paying £9 a month) having such success have promptedmany companies to opt for a subscription model of online gaming while others opt for a ‘payto win’ model where players can only access a games best features and equipment by payingand many more. Onlive.co.uk is another rapidly growing aspect of the gaming industry itallows players to rent games for a period of time and play them on the cloud without needfor downloads or consoles.