First, despite what Zynga’s early stats say, broader stats on the role of video games in media and entertainment speak for themselves. This is from The Economist’s special report on gaming last weekend:
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a consulting firm, the global video-game market was worth around $56 billion last year. That is more than twice the size of the recorded-music industry, nearly a quarter more than the magazine business and about three-fifths the size of the film industry, counting DVD sales as well as box-office receipts. PwC predicts that video games will be the fastest-growing form of media over the next few years, with sales rising to $82 billion by 2015.
Second is a personal anecdote. I was visiting an old friend in LA two weekends ago, and he asked on Saturday if I minded if he played some NBA 2K12.
“Sure,” I said, thinking I’d just blog or space out awhile since I’ve had little interest in video games since the days of Karate Champ, Joust and Tempest.
So he turns on the game, and it was just that: the full experience of a televised game.
For me, a pure spectator with no ability to play nor interest to learn, I was sucked in just watching the video game like it was a live NBA telecast. Complete with realtime play-by-play commentary, replays, and graphics so detailed you can see the tattoos on each player. Also the players actually have playing styles just like they do in real life.
I was blown away, and completely entertained. Now I can better grasp the PwC stats above. And as the dad of a three-year-old, I now realize that his obsession with Monsters, Inc. is the tip of the iceberg.
As for what the NBA game looks like, watch this 2K12 teaser video.