This is ostensibly about gaming, but really “interactive entertainment” is code for “apps” – some of which are games.
The interactive entertainment industry has only been around for 45 years, but has already exceeded music and print, and is knocking on the door of the film industry. Growing at a clip of around 10% every year since 2010, interactive entertainment continues to capture an ever-increasing mindshare around the globe. The examples are many: Pokémon Go approaching the one billion download mark, the League of Legends 2017 World Championship reaching 60 million unique viewers, and Chinese mobile juggernaut Honor of Kings hosting over 100 million daily active users during Chinese New Year in 2018. But these instances only skim the surface of how supercharged — and mainstream — this industry has become.
The frequency of small, player-led innovations is directly tied to the business environment at the time, often sparked by the advancement of underlying technologies, as well as the rise of open and unsaturated marketplaces.
The democratization of tools and technology — paired with open digital marketplaces — enables the creation and distribution of better, cheaper, and more diverse content. An ever-increasing number of talented people are becoming independent developers and taking advantage of these new opportunities, increasing supply. All of this is fueled by demand as more consumers — especially younger generations — engage with interactive media, and have plenty of spare time to do so. A decade ago, who would have thought that a lone programmer in Vietnam would develop and self-publish a game that would take the world by storm? Much like the game itself ( Flappy Bird ), this is a simple yet powerful example of this new world we’re now living in.
Looking slightly further into the future, it’s easy to imagine how even better tools, wider proliferation of game-ready devices, increasingly pervasive cloud-based technologies, faster connectivity, deeper social elements, emerging markets, and more diversity in both thought and cultural backgrounds will lead to further growth and innovation.
This article is about Makers Fund, but also covers good shifts and tools that we’re thinking about – including the small teams creating big things.