Before the days of in-home and portable gaming, arcades were the place to be. Playing video games was a social experience shared among friends. Over time, the video game has evolved, using new technologies to create a unique social and communal experience. We examine how it happened in this infographic, brought to you by Rounds.
Welcome to the museum of gaming!
Gaming has evolved to utilize new technologies. As the industry has transformed, it's grown to include a greater audience, larger market, and more diverse formats.
- A decade ago - 150-250 million gamers
- Today - 1-1,2 billion gamers globally
The growing popularity of games on mobile devices and social networks has prompted a surge in the number of gamers worldwide.
North American market
Projected growth, in billions (includes console and PC game software and online and wireless games)
- 2010 - $15,3
- 2011 - $16,1
- 2012 - $17,0
- 2013 - $18,0
- 2014 - $19,2
A growing audience of gamers creates big potential for the video game market.
What we're playing
US gamers per platform by share of online population percent
- 34% - PC/MAC digital (direct downloads)
- 36% - mobile devices (phones, iPod, iPad)
- 53% - online casual (game portals)
- 56% - consoles (includes handheld consoles)
- 41% - social networks
- 38% - PC/MAC boxed (installed from CD/DVD)
- 24% - MMOs (massively multiplayer)
Today's gamers have more options than ever to play and engage by themselves or together
Gaming's social evolution
with so much growth in video games, you'd expect millions of isolated, anti-social gamers worldwide. But the reality is quite contrary. As video game consoles, software, and platforms have evolved, so has the social nature of the experience.
The in-home consumer console
- Solitary home-gaming (single-player console-based games)
The 1972 Magnavox Odyssey and 1997 Atari 2600 brought the arcade gaming experience into consumers' homes. However, play was only single-point.
- Social home-gaming (multiplayer console-based games)
Multiplayer at-home gaming took off with the popularity of the original Nintendo in 1985. Gaming becomes a more social experience with multiplayer options.
- Solitary portable gaming (single-player portable device gaming)
The introduction of Game Boy in 1989 took portable gaming to a new level. The device had mainly single-player offerings, creating a less social experience.
The internet age
- Social online gaming (multiplayer online-based games)
DOOM's release in 1993 sparked the beginning of the networked gaming revolution. The game allowed users to connect several computers to a local network for cooperative play.
- Social online console gaming (multiplayer console-based games connected online)
The Playstation 2 debuted in 2000 and marked the rise in popularity of gaming over a high-speed Internet connection. People could now connect with other players without being in the same physical location.
- Social competitive portable gaming (multiplayer portable device gaming)
The 2004 release of the Nintendo DS brought wireless technologies to the handheld gaming devices, making the once solitary platform more social and more easily multiplayer.
Developments in online play
- Play only
Gamers find new players around the world to compete against in real-time on the gaming platform. Text communication can take place in the game.
- With voice
Gamers are able to communicate with other players through audio capture, speaking as if they were playing in the same location together.
- With video
Gamers can see and hear their playing partners and respond to their facial expressions and movements as if they were sitting next to one another playing.
The social network revolution
Social Gaming on Social Networks (single and multiplayer online gaming)
The popularity of gaming on social networks has been spurred by three qualities.
Users already on the social network can easily access games through the site or through mobile apps on their phones.
- Gaming network
Users have an already established network of friends with whom they can easily engage and play.
- Social connections
Users have a streamlined way to share information about their gaming activities with friends through the supported platforms.
Interactive console makeover
- Wii (motion-determined console-based gaming)
With its debut in 2006, the Wii brought interactive gaming to the next level. TV ods played up the social aspect of the console by showing a perspective from the TV, looking out at people having fun together.
- Kinect (motion-detected console-based gaming)
The Kinect for Xbox 360 debuted the motion-detecting input platform in 2010. The platform relies on gestures and speech, mirroring real-life social experiences with a natural user interface to be played with friends.
Today's social gamer
The social gamer's network
- 33% play with siblings
- Almost 60% of frequent gamers play with friends
- 25 play with spouses or parents
Mobile social games
26 million unique users play social games on mobile devices
Console-based online social games
By 2012 148 million households are expected to have a next-generation game console connected to the internet
Social network games
100 million people play games on a social network
Online-based social games
11,1 million players subscribed to the most popular MMO game, World of WarCraft, as of June 2011.
This infographie is brought to you by Rounds. Rounds takes social gaming to the next level by combining communication and entertainment and allowing you to interact with your friends.
SOURCES: MIT | PBS | NEW YORK TIMES | NEWZOO | TIME | UGO COM | USA TODAY | PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS | FLURRY | POPCAP GAMES