According to Newzoo’s 2020 Global Gaming Market Report, the gaming industry will grow until at least 2023. The number of players will reach 2.6 billion by the end of this year and exceed 3 billion by 2023.
Last year was the most lucrative year in the video game industry’s history. The profit was $ 148.8 billion, 7.2% from 2018. For example, the entire film industry brought in only about $ 100 billion this year.
We’ve taken the numbers aside. Now let’s see why so many people – a third of the world’s population – love games. What psychological tricks do game designers use to keep you on screen?
The American psychologist Burres Frederick Skinner demonstrated that human behaviour could be controlled by a simple system of incentives and rewards. He created a cage, later known as the Skinner Chamber, in which he held a mouse. At the touch of a button, the rodent gets its food, “enjoys life,” and its subsequent behaviour can be so easily “programmed”. The same goes for developers who turn players into guinea pigs. It looks like this after simplification:
Actions are rewards: Players perform the same actions and receive tips at well-thought-out intervals. It’s the only Skinner camera. Multiplayer games are especially responsible for this.
Virtual nutrition: When you receive new items (armour, tanks, etc.), the human brain perceives them as genuine and prefers tangible things.
Variable Duration Rewards: Randomly falling rewards can lead to high gambling addiction (“Bandit Penguin” also follows this principle). It’s hard for players to leave the game knowing that “a unique legendary item is about to fall”.
Gradual slow progress: With each new level, pumping becomes more and more difficult. Players have more fun with complexity and overcome it.
Exit Fees: Users who leave or are absent from the game lose earned points and other benefits. If you do not get into the game regularly, you will not make any significant progress.
Comfortable mental environment: Games are a simple and effective form of entertainment with the formula “Independence – Complexity – The relationship between effort and result”. Gambling becomes a substitute for what is missing for players who have no personal life (job, relationship, communication, real success). Here, Skinner’s camera loosens up and turns the player into a hamster who keeps turning the wheels for virtual food.
Psychological Tricks that Game Creators use
People like to compare themselves with others and try to give their best. This applies to traditional sports and video games.
Free to Play
The free games with many in-game purchases and microtransactions were a huge hit. The equally infamous “cheese in a mousetrap” entices. After all, it’s usually cheaper to buy an entire game than to buy F2P and spend more money.
People feel anxious when they have many unfinished tasks, especially those about to be finished. Developers use it smartly and put all new “tasks” in a log or task log.
The effect of the Started Business
The closer we get to a task, the more mental stress it takes to perform that task. Therefore, the developers are happy to “pour” new players with a gold foil of various initial rewards, in the form of chests of arms, initial gold coins, etc., which gives the players a long time.
Different types of achievements (medals, titles and other “flashes”) also motivate players to spend time in the game and brag about it in front of other players. But in reality, they are useless.
MMO – worlds that replace reality
In 1997, Ultima Online found success in the diverse gaming community. She was not a pioneer in the genre, but within a year, she was the star of it and attracted 100,000 players under her wings. In a large and detailed world, with almost unlimited freedom of movement, great graphics (compared to text-based MMOs from previous years) and the ability to communicate with the same players live (instead of stupid AI), thousands of people entered the virtual world. Certainly not for the best, but a lot of new entertainment is refreshing.
On the verge of UO’s success, Lineage II is the king of the future – World of Warcraft. At its peak, World of Warcraft had 12 million concurrent players and over 100 million game subscriptions.
eSports to the masses
This year, the eSports market will reach a new milestone with revenue of $ 1.1 billion, an increase of $ 150 million (+ 15.7%) over last year. The main income is sponsorships, hosting rights and championship broadcast rights. Electricity revenues will increase significantly (+ 33%), although the figures here are generally very limited (18.2 million).
The total number of players does not reach just over a billion; it will be 495 million people, including 272.2 million fans and viewers. For instance, if we can take the example of TFUE for eSports’ earning, we will get amazed. Currently, no one knows how much money TFUE makes a month or a year, but estimates are too high.
The total number of esports fans is expected to increase to 646 million in 2023 due to the influx of players from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.
In addition, “mobile” eSports is becoming more and more popular because most people have access to cheap smartphones. Especially for low-end device users, “lightweight” versions of esports games such as PUBG Lite will be released, which will increase mobile gaming revenue to $ 76 billion.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, video games are increasingly drawing people into virtual worlds. Even now that most gamers play on a computer or console, the line between reality and gaming is still very thin, and in some hypertrophic cases, completely blurred.