Recently, within a month, the video game segment experienced something of a seismic shock. There were no less than three transactions worth billions of dollars involving companies that develop online games.
The first move was made by Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the game Grand Theft Auto, by purchasing the mobile giant, creator of the game FarmVille, for US$ 12,7 billion. It was the highest price paid in the history of the sector. But the record did not last long. A little over a week later, the giant Microsoft announced the purchase of Activision Blizzard , owner of Warcraft, Candy Crush, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty, among others. The deal was worth $68.7 billion, more than five times the record deal so far. A few days later, it was Sony’s turn to announce the acquisition of Destiny 2 developer, Bungie, for $3.6 billion.
Microsoft’s move has obviously attracted a lot of attention and gained prominence in major media outlets around the world. Virtually everyone linked the purchase of Activision to possible plans to enter the race to secure their space in the metaverse , the new virtual reality environment that will take us to a whole new level in the digital world.
The studio, which was the first independent developer of video games for consoles, has many experts in three-dimensional environments, critical to design and reproduce the 3D environments that will bring the metaverse to life. However, what few have considered is that the video game industry is by far the largest in the entertainment sector.
Bigger than the music and film industry combined
The games market is expected to move around US$200 billion worldwide this year, according to Statista’s projections, and will surpass US$300 billion in 2026. The sum of in-game purchases is close to $70 billion a year. This makes the games sector bigger than the music and film industries combined. And it’s growing even faster with the arrival of streaming.
Another little-explored aspect is that the acquisition, still pending approval by the regulatory body, expands Microsoft’s presence in mobile games.
Many of the popular games have mobile versions. Even if the emotion isn’t the same, it’s important to be present in this niche of the modern gaming scene. Some entertainment companies, such as Netflix and Disney, have been investing in this to be present on as many platforms as possible.
The games have also been used to improve the development of artificial intelligence. The Japanese giant, by the way, has just announced the creation of an artificial intelligence (AI) agent, named Gran Turismo Sophy (GT Sophy). Its development involved AI research, a racing simulator, infrastructure for training on a massive scale, and around 20 PlayStation consoles running simultaneously for around 12 hours a day.
The result? GT Sophy beat the best players in the world in the simulation game for PlayStation Gran Turismo. With all these projects, the investment applied, and the results already achieved, there is no doubt about the impact of the games very shortly.