Gaming takes over everything

Next year, video games will move to the center of the world of entertainment and pop culture.

  • Important reasons: Streaming services, Hollywood studios, tech giants, and even the Saudi government are all vying to capitalize on the game’s ever-expanding popularity and lucrative intellectual property.

game movie The greatest challenger to Hollywood’s superhero supremacy.

  • In 2023, the “Super Mario Bros. Movie” will be released. This is a partnership between Nintendo and Illumination, the studio behind Minions.
  • HBO’s first prestige series for 2023, mid-January’s The Last of Us, is an adaptation of the hit PlayStation video game.
  • The streaming platform is preparing a pipeline of games to shows, including adaptations of God of War, Fallout and Assassin’s Creed.

Big picture: Gaming is now a $184 billion business, a profitable IP resource for other media, and at the cutting edge of the tech industry, both as a business and as a harbinger of industry policy battles.

  • This is the underlying technology that influences Meta’s costly adventures into virtual worlds.
  • This is how Netflix grows its subscriber base as streamers strive to become top video game developers and distributors.
  • It is in this industry that Saudi Arabia’s elite chose to invest $38 billion because of its economic diversification and image.
  • This is a growing arena for the labor movement in the tech industry, with game workers at Activision-Blizzard, Microsoft and others moving towards unionization.
  • This is a recurring goal of the Federal Trade Commission. The agency is looking to score a historic antitrust win by trying to block his $69 billion bid for Microsoft’s Activision. He also secured a $520 million settlement with Epic Games for the purchase of a runaway kid in Fortnite.

the game itself is poised for a big hit year.

Reality check: Not all video game breathlessness goes well.

  • Esports is growing awkwardly. It’s still gaining an audience, but its low profitability has scared off investors.
  • Seeing a potential gaming disruptor, Google shut down game-streaming platform Stadia in January.

Line spacing: This is what happens when a subculture has deepened its roots for half a century.

  • Many of the first children to grow up with games become gamer parents, ready to pass gaming on to new generations.
  • Power attracts attention. The outside elite elbows in.
  • Inside, young workers and players look around and see a once-rebellious pastime as an institution that needs to be challenged.

To the point: From World of Warcraft to Wordle, it’s a gamer’s world.

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