FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

Video Games; from Niche to the Most Popular Entertainment in the World

While video games have been around for the better part of five decades and improving in quality year on year, they haven’t always been as mainstream as they currently are across all demographics. For the longest period of time gaming had often been associated with a much younger audience, and particularly aimed at younger males, but with newer technology and changing attitudes as a whole towards gaming, this notion is changing, and many are quickly finding that the demographics are much different than they would have otherwise believed.

The biggest change had been with the widespread usage of mobile devices – back in 2008, Apple launched the App Store for the iPhone and Google quickly followed with the Play Store, it allowed people to access gaming from the device in their pocket at no additional cost and with all the convenience of little time requirement or complex approaches. That same approach still rings true today as our devices have improved and the quality of games and availability has improved alongside it – but the biggest change has been within the audience. Whilst dedicated gaming platforms such as consoles and PC are still largely dominated by young males, the mobile gaming market is very different – figures suggest that over 50% of all players across mobile gaming are in fact women over the age of 34, a stark contrast to what many have expected, and this number is only continuing to grow as attitudes continue to adjust.

Photo by Beata Dudová from Pexels

Other changes have also come around in the past year as more traditional sporting options were unavailable for some time due to the coronavirus pandemic which had led to the growing success of esports in a market that had typically been underrepresented too – part of the success had come through with more familiarity as sporting titles found more online representation, but also as esports betting started to grow as these sites are now proving popular amongst the audience that are moving from traditional sporting to video game based events. Whether this will keep up in to 2021 is yet to be seen, but attention has certainly been growing and the opportunity is there for many to succeed.

It’s an exciting time for gaming enthusiasts – mobile devices are becoming more capable than ever before and whilst the most popular titles remain as the more simplistic puzzle and similar games, it may not be long before bigger titles are available and may attract more players in to what could be considered mainstream gaming, similarly with the advances in console gaming it has become more appealing for the same mobile gaming audience to make the shift over to a dedicated console too where possible – with a future in gaming being certain and the strong performances over the past few years, gaming as a whole has moved away from a niche targeted at a small audience to something that is arguably the most popular form of entertainment in the world, and something that shows no signs of slowing.