“Music? Sales down. Hollywood? Hit or miss. Tech? Flat.” So, what are the options? Writes Fortune:
Games are becoming culturally pervasive, stealing time and dollars from other consumer entertainment options like movies, television, and, ahem, magazines. On average an American will spend 75 hours this year playing videogames, more than double the amount of time spent gaming in 1997 and eclipsing that of DVD or tape rentals today, according to market research firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Of the other forms of entertainment, only Internet usage is expected to grow faster than videogamesa fact that the videogame makers plan to use to their advantage.
And with time comes money. Though the global videogame market was just $28 billion in 2002, some people think it’s on track to rival the movie, music, or television industries, perhaps by the end of this decade. Music sales have been falling in recent years, the moviegoing experience hasn’t changed that much since Gone With the Wind, and network TV is on the skids. The games business has been racking up double-digit growth rates for the past decade, even through the recent tech slump.
Electronic Arts wants to become the “biggest and best entertainment company in the world”, according to its CEO Lawrence Probst III. Adds Fortune: “Its stock recently hit an all-time high of $90, making the $13.2-billion-market-cap company the world’s fourth-largest software maker, behind Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.”