It’s difficult to assess the impact video gaming has had on global entertainment – its growth and universal acceptance is nothing short of incredible. According to the Consumer Electronics Association:
- Video gaming business for 2007 exceeded $32 billion globally with an expected growth rate of 30 – 40% per year through the decade.
- Upwards of 1.5 billion people participate in some form of video gaming on a daily basis – up from only 300 million in 2004.
- Gaming consoles and accessories was the strongest growing product category for on-line sales in 2007 up 130%.
Gaming’s glowing statistics arise from its’ universality. With the possible exception of television, gaming has the broadest reach of any other form of entertainment, as it spans age, culture, gender, and economic levels.
Gamers classify games into deep or easy – the very most successful being both. Singular play still dominates but social and multiplayer gaming is rapidly increasing (be it on-line or in physical group interplay as the Nintendo Wii gaming platform encourages). Additionally, unlike most other entertainment, games are easily accessed having the widest variety of user platforms: PCs, consoles, on-line, hand-helds, cell phones, wireless networks, etc. Easy access, coupled with its recent emphasis on self- improvement and social interaction make gaming the most versatile of all recreational activities.
The couch gamer is now getting up and socializing with an activity that can be compared, contrasted, created, and communicated with others. For example, Activision’s Guitar Hero, introduced in the fall of 2005, is an interactive and social game now in its third version. Since its launch over 14 million units (valued at over $1 billion) have been sold in North America alone. But Guitar Hero is more. It is a media distribution platform as songs to play are downloaded for a fee from the Internet. The latest version, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” generated over 5 million song downloads in the first 10 weeks of its debut.
The Guitar Hero franchise’s broad appeal confirms that video games have reached the status of a true mass medium.
PLAYER vs. SPECTATOR
More so than viewing an event – be it sports, music, concert, T.V. program, or movie – video gaming offers an enhanced adrenaline high, as it fully engages the consumer. When viewing a sporting event, for example, there is a lot of boring space between exciting moments – in contrast video games offer full-time engagement.
Consumers are becoming players vs. spectators. They are interacting with and controlling much more of each activity they engage in, be it working, traveling, playing, or shopping - at home, office, or wherever they may be.
HOW CAN CINEMAS TAP INTO THE GAME CRAZE?
The movie and gaming industries have had a symbiotic relationship for quite some time – movies inspiring game creation, games inspiring movie creation. Now, that relationship is triangulating: as content, gaming, and advertising/marketing merge, each mutually benefiting the other.
With the socializing aspects of gaming, with competitive gaming on the brink of going mainstream, and with the existing link between movies and gaming, a cinema offers a logical platform to fully enjoy the gaming experience. The local cinema provides a convenient, safe, and familiar venue, and one (with little effort) that is “gamer” ready.
To address this phenomena Entertainment Equipment Corporation created NextLEVEL. A stand-alone, turnkey, day-one revenue generating business resident within a cinema. The concept of NextLEVEL is simply to have movie exhibitors tap into the gaming phenomena in a meaningful way by filling a need – offering a place where people can go to play video games and interact and socialize at the same time.
The goal is the utilization of available space within a cinema for a business tied to a social activity that is growing exponentially and linked via the common thread of entertainment. Requiring small investment, NextLEVEL has significant and evident benefits:
- Play Time Fees
- Increased Concession Revenues
- Sales of Games and Gaming Accessories
- Cross-fertilization with Box Office Attendance
NextLEVEL offers a great opportunity for those exhibitors that want to expand the entertainment scope of their cinema and broaden its’ business reach.
For more information on NextLEVEL please contact EEC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-855-2162.