In the decade after the video game industry began to experience a growth spurt in popularity, developers and publishers have been able to leverage technology to increase the variety of video games. Xbox Live, a monthly subscription service that features multiplayer matchmaking and voice chat, was launched in 2004. Similarly, Blizzard tapped into the Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) subscription market with the release of World of Warcraft, which eventually topped 14 million monthly paying subscribers. Despite the continued growth of online gaming, many companies have seen a potential future in mobile gaming, such as BlackBerry’s attempt to integrate game apps into its phones.
The early 1980s saw the rise of 8-bit home computing and home-made games, which were very popular in Europe and Asia. This also coincided with the introduction of video game journalism, which grew to include cover-mounted CDs and DVDs. By the 1990s, Microsoft realized that video gaming on PCs was important, and developed the DirectX API to enable developers to create games for their computers. This would lead to the development of the Xbox, which became the industry’s largest seller.
As the video game industry grows, its intellectual property must be leveraged to generate more revenue. Many games have become so popular that merchandise related to the game is sold separately, including t-shirts, figurines, and mugs. There are also upcoming television series and novels based on popular games. And the long-rumored movie that spawned video games has now become a major revenue-generating sector.