The gaming industry and the movie industry are one of the biggest mediums of entertainment and have entertained people for decades. Movies have been around since the late 1800’s whereas the first video game was made in 1958, so there is quite a history attached to both mediums. Both movies and games have evolved over the past century or so and have garnered their own respective audiences. It is remarkable to see the evolution of both industries as movies began from still images and video games were birthed from the electrical components of an oscilloscope. The origins of video games and movies may have been vastly different but the idea of entertaining the masses has always remained the same. We watch movies to escape from reality and be part of stories that can only be experienced through the big screen. Similarly, video games also provide the same effect and are unique in their own ways and they both have their advantages which solidify them as one of the biggest mediums of entertainment. The question is how do they compare with one another?
Both industries have seen huge growth in the past decade or so where movie have now moved away from the cinemas and now can be viewed anywhere thanks to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. No longer do people have to take out 3-4 hours of their day to drive to a cinema, see a movie and drive back home. The ease of access provided by streaming services has really pushed the movie industry to greater heights.
Now movies and TV shows are being exclusively for such streaming services which are now able to rival the traditional movies in terms of quality. Similarly, the gaming industry has gone through several changes where we have advanced from console and PC gaming to VR (Virtual Reality) and portable gaming on our mobile devices. Thanks to the Internet we no longer have to worry about getting our games from a local game store or ordering the physical copies from an online store. Today we just need to have a stable internet, an account on our respective gaming system and we are ready to download just about any game. Furthermore, games are now taking full advantage of streaming with services like Google Stadia that allow you to stream a wide variety of games at a monthly subscription without the worry of purchasing individual games. So now that we have talked about the advantages and evolution of both industries let’s compare their revenue figures to see which one is more successful at the moment.
For example, let’s go back to 2018 and see the revenue figures for both industries. An article by the Hollywood Reporter suggests that for the year 2018 the total box office revenue generated was around 41 billion dollars.
These are impressive figures for the movie industry considering the amount of big blockbuster movies released in 2018, however the global revenue of the video game industry in 2018 blows past this number by a large margin. According to Newzoo’s forecast back in 2018, the gaming industry would have likely make 137.9 billion dollars. These were staggering figures for the gaming industry as it has generated more than triple the amount of revenue in comparison to the movie industry.
Much like 2018 the same outcome followed with 2019’s figures where the movie industry grossed $42.5 billion dollars according to the Hollywood Reporter, which saw a 4% dip in North America, but an overall increase of $1.5 billion in global revenues. Whereas the games industry projected by Newzoo once again saw an increase with the forecast speculating that this time the industry will make $152.1 billion, a staggering increase from the previous $137.9 made in 2018.
We have seen that both movies and video games are leading giants in the entertainment world. Both movie and video games borrow aspects from one another and use it to enhance their own material. Some of the big AAA games now use movie techniques to convey their stories, whereas the movie industry has now recognized the capability of storytelling in video games and are hence making movies based on video game IP’s. It is good to see that both industries are complementing one another and are learning from each other as well. It was clear that before gaming became a widespread phenomenon, the movie industry ruled the entertainment sector with an iron fist but for now in terms of revenue generated by the industries, gaming has gone far ahead of its fellow competitor.