Everybody is a gamer
Today, almost each and every one is a gamer. What was considered in the 1980’s as an occupation reserved for people on the margin became a full part culture with its own Entertainment, habits and codes, gradually joined by more and more people.
The worldwide market of the mobile games – which is, stricto sensu, a video games’ market – increased by 24.7% in 2014, thus rising with nearly thirteen billion dollars, according to the estimates of IDATE Digiworld. This calculation doesn’t consider the advertising revenues, only the sales of gaming applications and the purchases in-app, within the game. IDATE provides that this figure will grow and estimates the revenues to 23 billion in 2018. From smartphone to digital tablet, the diversification of the supports and the dominating place that the smartphone takes day-to-day play a significant role in this democratisation. The “FreeToPlay” model developed until it became mainstream, incites the public which was not primarily interested by the video games to discover a nice way to avoid boredom. Then comes the addiction.
The success of games such as Candy Crush Saga shows it well. Developed by King, this game was at first created for Facebook, before being adapted for Android, iOS and Windows phone. Because of its success, it was worth to be preinstalled on every device equipped with the operating system Windows 10. In March 2013, the game exceeded its competitors with an average of 9.7 million daily users and more than 45 million players in the world. The introduction of the company on the stock market devotes its value to height of 7.1 billion dollars on March 26th, 2014.
If this audience wasn’t, until recently, especially interested in video games and was, at best, composed by casual gamers with no deep emotional commitment to gaming, things have changed. Firstly, because super-heroes and sci-fi movies, goodies, e-sport, pirates, new technologies – in short, anything that makes of you a geek – is trendy : « Le geek, c’est chic ». Secondly, because of Pokémon GO, an app that makes gamers leave their computer for a walk in the wild reality to catch some pokemon. What is interesting here is the expansion of the audience, mixing casual gamers, hardcore gamers and people remembering they liked pokemon when they were kids and giving it a shot. So, the app market is evolving as much as a pokemon itself, it is growing and becoming the convergence point between all categories of people playing, even those who do not consider themselves as gamers. Smartphones present a new form of video game consumption. When you see that the daily time spent in Pokémon GO is bigger than any other Top Mobile App, you know you live in an era where everybody, even you, is a gamer.
Thomas Tritsch, étudiant en Master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique