We all spend hours hunched over our computer or mobile device playing video games, probably more time that we’d care to admit. It’s been a pastime for several years now, and it’s not a new idea. The evolution, in the world of online gaming, that’s taken place over the last few years, has been incredible.
Just a decade ago, the Internet was still widely unused and the majority of people were tethered to console based gaming platforms. There was Nintendo, Atari, Sega, and so on. It was kind of like the, “Pepsi or Coke” choice. Yet, lately, we’ve seen the gaming world evolve to such a degree that many are trying to figure out where it’s all headed. This is the same question that many in the gaming industry are asking ever since, earlier this week, Electronic Arts announced that it was buying Pop Cap Games.
This is a strange move for E.A. Games. The developer has made millions through developing games for consoles like Xbox and other high profile clients. The buyout cost E.A. an estimated $750 million, and that’s a big chunk of change for a game developer that has dealt with, primarily, free web based online games. The Seattle based Pop Cap has been making games for Internet, smartphone, and tablet use for a while now. This has many in the industry wondering why E.A. made this move, but it’s not that surprising when you consider several factors. Online gaming has become increasingly popular in the last decade. E.A. has watched games migrate, in the millions, from console based gaming platforms to the Internet.
Pop Cap has too many popular games to even being to list off. They’ve been one of the dominant developers in the world of casual gaming and it looks like this is the direction that much of the gaming market is going. The company brings in over $100 million annually from its games and has shown a thirty percent growth rate every year. This is big money for a company that started just over a decade ago, back in 2000. It seems as though this is the tide of the gaming and E.A. is hoping to diversify its holdings and percentage of the gaming market. Many are touting this as a smart move, but many are wondering if under new management, E.A. will alter the marketing strategy that has made Pop Cap games such a powerful industry leader. Much is changing for gamers and it’s hard to tell what the future will look like.
Many attribute much of the rapid changes taking place among gaming companies to the light speed advancements in mobile technology. It wasn’t long ago that most people had to use dialup to log on to the Internet. Now you can do it from practically anywhere and, besides just doing simple tasks, like a reverse phone lookup, you can streamline video, take pictures, and play online games from anywhere.
Many believe that these advances in global technology go hand in hand with the myriad changes taking place among gaming developers, but it’s not just gaming. These changes are effecting the entertainment industry, politics, and everything else. It seems that gaming is just another target of a mass media culture begging for more ways to stay connected and entertain themselves.
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