By Adam Walker, Economic Correspondent
Is the Video games industry our Christmas Saviour?
As the Christmas season begins to move into its busiest period the commercial world’s focus has been firmly fixed on the videogames industry.
With a multitude of Triple A game titles being released across 2013 and one of the most highly anticipated console wars heating up, the holiday period is sure to see soaring demand from consumers.
However, the importance of this games war goes beyond simply changing the gifts under the tree this Christmas as it drives more money into the global economy.
Brace Yourselves. Consoles are coming…
The titans of the industry have already launched their Christmas campaigns with Sony releasing the PlayStation 4, Microsoft launching the troubled Xbox One and Nintendo continuing to promote the Wii U which is in its second Christmas holiday. Each has already sold millions of units to a fan-base of hardcore users as well as casual gamers with increasing sales predicted over the coming months.
The industry itself drew in around £40 billion in revenue during 2012 after the market stagnated slightly from 2011. However, the heavily promoted and greatly anticipated new consoles could see the market grow by as much as nine per cent by the end of this year. This multi-billion dollar industry is already becoming a keystone of consumer retail figures as the market is adopted by older generations with the average gamer age at 35 in 2011.
The market has also seen increasing popularity through the adoption of smartphone technology allowing casual gamers to engage in gaming-on-the-go whilst game developers build mini-economies through micro-transactions. The industry is constantly seeing new diversity and increased investment with wearable technology beginning to take its first steps into the world it’s clear there is still a vast amount of untapped money at present.
A Storm of Sales
Year-on-year retail sales have been unstable throughout 2013 despite the increased footfall seen at the end of Q2. So as Black Friday approaches and Christmas shopping sales begin to move into their busiest weeks, many will be expecting to see the gaming industry support sales and boost economic growth by the end of 2013.
Time to Level-Up?
The video gaming industry has been described as many different things: a blockbuster world of interactive action, a sick fantasy that inspires crime and violence and the newest platform for artistic media.
However, as the industry moves beyond the £45 billion mark it can now be called one of the largest consumer-led economic contributors. Whether you’re a PlayStation fanatic, a Microsoft fan-boy or a Nintendo lover, you’ll be helping the economy in your own way.