Earlier in 2020, I commented on an article of how sports events are becoming a thing of the past, with a disproportionately Boomer-heavy market, and getting weaker with each generation after. This has put sports marketers into a crisis position, wondering what to do with the billions of dollars that go through the industry each year.
However, there is another trend that is emerging, one which I also have noted, and that is of video games, or “vidya” to many Zoomers, which is exploding in popularity as a new genre of ‘sport’ and entertainment.
Videogames have grown to resemble competition-based, interactive movies, and the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the industry to make more money than movies and sports combined.
Global videogame revenue is expected to surge 20% to $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the videogame industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and sports industries combined. The global film industry reached $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association, while PwC estimated global sports would bring in more than $75 billion in 2020.
Both of those industries suffered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, however, while the videogame industry is expected to show double-digit growth this year following high-single-digit growth in the previous two years. Experts forecast that strong growth will continue in 2021, following the recent introduction of next-generation gaming consoles from Sony Corp. 6758, -3.46% SNE, -1.74% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT, 0.63% and new games to get the most out of those upgrades, even as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out.
“I do think there will be a deceleration as soon as effective, cheap, globally available vaccines get out there over the course of 2021, but I’m quite sure at the end of 2021 there will still be billions of potential people that will need vaccines,” Lewis Ward, gaming research director at IDC, told MarketWatch in an interview. “So, my deceleration happens in 2022.” (source)
Vidya championships, “sport” competitions, and marketing is going to explode. This is the reason why they have become, in the words of many Millennial and Zoomer gamers, “pozzed”, or filled with political propaganda mostly of a left-wing nature and why there have been so many strange ‘conflicts’ around them. Vidya has been identified and seems to be turning actively into the next ‘sport’ venture of the 21st century.
Unless there is a return to an emphasis on physical skill- as with one’s body -right now the growth in vidya will likely not be limited to just COVID-related conditions, but something the continues as with “popular sports” was for Boomers, the main source of ‘entertainment’ for many Millennials, Zoomers, and possibly the next generation.