The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2002 - issue > Cover Feature

The (r)evolution of Videogames

Richard Ridlen
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Richard Ridlen
AS VIDEOGAMES TOOK THEIR FIRST FEW steps on Earth, they were emerging from garages, basements, and rooms occupied by a few guys on computers. They didn't take much to make and they didn't make much either. Their market was small, mostly kids and teenagers, and the resources they needed to come into creation were few because what they were capable of becoming was simplistic. Not to mention that their distribution was limited and their profit margin was nothing to get excited about. It would have been easy to dismiss the industry, based on its surface, as kid's stuff.

Now fast forward twenty years to the present day and behold an industry's sales that, last year, surpassed the motion picture industry in North America. It was a record year for both industries and, according to the research company, NPD Group, the motion picture industry generated sales of $8.35 billion, and the videogame industry, $9.4 billion. It's estimated that by 2005, videogames will generate $30 billion globally. Now call it kid's stuff. You can't.

Its market no longer consists only of kids and teenagers, though they still comprise a large part of sales, but now the same youngsters from twenty years ago are adults with careers and money of their own. And many of them are still spending money on videogames. More significantly, women and minorities have now come into the demographic, and make up a fast growing segment of videogame players.

The industry's resources have expanded to encompass state-of-the-art technologies, which give it the capability to produce games with 128-bit graphics, complex gameplay, original orchestral sound tracks or exclusive music from popular bands, and the ability to tell a story that is just as compelling as any movie.

Its distribution has become unlimited. The core markets are the United States, Europe, and Japan, but they are quickly expanding to new global markets. Last year Sony launched their older console, PlayStation I, in India and, according to Teruo Ishii, the managing director of Sony India, videogames in India are expected to grow into a billion dollar industry in the next three years.

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