Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing video games. From solo adventures in Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy 7, to late night multiplayer sessions in Age of Empires II and Halo, I spent countless hours immersed in virtual worlds.
My interest in gaming largely waned in college, and after I graduated in 2012 I grew out of touch with the industry. My interest was re-kindled when I came across the insanely ambitious space trading and combat simulator Star Citizen in 2014, and I've been gradually pulled back into the world of mainstream gaming since being given the opportunity to work with 8 Circuit Studios in 2017.
Video games appear to be on an unstoppable path towards being humanity's most influential form of entertainment. Gaming is bringing in more revenue than music, film, and television and the industry hit a whopping $120 billion of revenue in 2019. It is one of the few industries that has been thriving during the Covid-19 recession.
Games aren't just grabbing revenue from the rest of the entertainment industry, they're absorbing talent and content like a black hole. Last week, rap superstar Travis Scott drew 12 million people to a psychedelic concert in Fortnite. Fellow pop icons A$AP Rocky and Grimes are on the soundtrack for Cyberpunk 2077, while Chvrches took home an award for their performance on the soundtrack of Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding. A scene from the most recent Star Wars movie made its debut in a trailer in Fortnite.
Another interesting trend is that a world that defined my childhood is colliding with the one that has defined my adult life. CEOs and directors at Epic Games, UbiSoft, CCP Games (Eve online), and Square Enix are all actively exploring how blockchain technology can improve gaming experiences.
I'm currently making my way through the Final Fantasy 7 remake and am enjoying it more than any movie I've seen in the past decade, aside from Marvel Studios productions. I'm excited to see how the gaming industry evolves and will write more about games in the future.