The global video game business is sprinting towards a $40 billion annual take with last year's U.S. market alone bringing in a healthy $19 billion. That record haul was despite the sluggish economy. Over the past few years, in large part due to Nintendo's one-two punch of its motion sensor-controlled Wii and its portable touchpad Nintendo DS, games have become mainstream. And an expanded audience has meant a whole new way of thinking about gaming for developers, marketers and players.
The average age of a gamer today is 33, according to the Entertainment Software Association, but over one quarter of gamers are older than 50. New gamers are entering the market as young as three years of age and a new audience of lapsed gamers is also expanding the demographic. "I've been in the industry 20 years and I can't think of a time when the type of games and the type of gamers and the types of consoles have changed this much, this quickly," says Chip Lange, general manager of EA Hasbro, who oversees the mass market conversion of popular brands like Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Risk into online, mobile and console game experiences. "I think it's just the perfect storm right now of convergence."