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Video Games Round Out the Entertainment Package

20/04/2024

Video Games Round Out the Entertainment Package

Andy Marken April 19, 2024

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By this, I take it you think everybody is who they say they are. - Evelyn Salt, Salt, Sony, 2010

Say the word entertainment and immediately you think of blockbuster movies in theaters or studios/streamers stuffing a continuing stream of great content into their libraries to ensure you don't drop them for someone else.

So why would the people in the hallowed halls of US government get all upset because Microsoft wanted to acquire a lowly video game company (Activision Blizzard) for the mindboggling sum of $68.7B?

Of course that didn't phase Disney who laid down their $1.5B bet with Epic Games that will enable them to share IP (intellectual property) and more.

Jeez, let's see:

The global box office hit $32B last year

The streaming video market is set to hit $108.5B this year

The video game market is set to hit $282.3B this year

Ten of the 2023 blockbusters of 2023 were based on video game IP (yes, and one on a doll)

You mean the stuff you played as a kid is actually more popular?

Well, we have a couple of friends who can't get enough movies/shows as long as they aren't bladder-bustin' three hours long.

However, taking on how a six-hour gaming session is a good warm-up.

No, we don't ask them if they take periodic breaks because some things are just personal.

The point is, the video gaming is big business.

Microsoft's game division and Activision each rack up huge dollars from folks who pit themselves against enemies of every shape/side and situation that push them to the limits.

Given a few hours or a days' rest and they're ready to enter the realm again. Put the gaming giants together and they make more than all of the US movie houses combined.

Industry Shuffle - With Microsoft's acquisition of Electronic arts, they moved to being a strong number two provider in the video game industry. The shift to mobile and streaming games will provide growth for everyone.

No, they're not as big as China's Tencent; but after lobbing off two thousand jobs, they make even more money.

And to prove that game IP (intellectual property) is good for things other than playing with, Disney dropped a cool $1.5B on Epic Games to ensure they could get an inside track on really cool movies and maybe just maybe beef up their gaming activities..

Yeah they know!

Folks don't just play a game once and move on to the next big hit, they come back for more and more and more.

The industry is dramatically different from the days when we worked with Tamriel's Atari. Back then, you sold a game system then sold box after box of pretty good games.

Cutting Back - Best Buy and nearly every entertainment software reseller have quit selling video game and movie packages as producers and consumers turn to online sales.

Today, 70 percent of the game sales are digital, which is probably why big box stores like Best Buy emptied their shelves.

And while they were at it, they dumped the movie DVDs because well, we stream our entertainment all of it.

Streaming is just too convenient!

But gaming is different from films/shows.

First of all, streaming video is a fairly passive activity. The most activity, excitement, anxiety you experience is popping fresh popcorn and searching from one service to another until you finally settle on something/anything to watch.

With games, it's the whole range of activity/experience, depending on whether you're playing single-person contests, MMOGs (massive multiplayer online games) or puzzles.

Good for You - There was a time when people said spending volumes of time in front of the screen playing video games would ruin you; but today, healthcare professionals are saying video game play may be beneficial.

Entertainment has to be good.

Our gamer friends critique their games on the plot, characters, content flow, weapon/tool selection, challenges/options and outcomes of some actions/decisions over others.

Or, as one dedicated gamer explained to us after wrapping up a gaming session:

Very moving story and emotional, depending on your decisions. And it's cool to actually interact with ST tech on a Federation starship.

Voice acting is stellar.

Graphics are fair and good enough.

Being your own director (making choices that impact the relationship with your fellows) is great although it doesn't really affect the storytelling.

Playing as two protagonists (2nd female officer and male engineer) really adds to the overall immersion

Overall, 7.5 / 10 and well worth playing IMO

Our gamers, our son and members of the healthcare community even say video games are good for you.

They're great for stress relief/escapism, productively fill spare time, are good for manual dexterity, brain exercise, problem solving, improves vision (especially peripheral vision) and gives you a sense of accomplishment or at least adds to your perseverance level.

And, if you're playing a multi-player game, it's a great way to socialize, gives a sense of community and mutual accomplishment.

That's better than becoming one with your couch for three plus hours or going from social media video to social media video watching people do dumb tricks or pimping some product/service or worse getting drug into some deep/dark/sinister rabbit hole.

There's certainly something convenient about being able to go to a gaming site, pick up the latest version of a game, pay for it/download it and play it forever.

O.K., technically you don't own the game you purchased - read the user's agreement in small, small type - because when they tell you they're going to quit supporting your version or de-list a game, you have no recourse.

Of course, there are winds of change even in the video game i
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