Videos games are a big business, a fact that the mainstream media has generally ignored. Long overshadowed by traditional media channels like television, radio, music, and movies, video games are portrayed as “kids’ stuff” instead of the powerhouse media category that they have become. Furthermore, while all of these channels have been disrupted by the shift to digital, the video game industry has quietly innovated much faster than its media brethren. Through AAA-quality content and business model innovation that better aligns the incentives of both video game companies and video game players, the industry has galvanized a massive base of loyal consumers.
At FirstMark, we have a deep commitment to the video gaming industry. We have invested in developer-publishers ranging from Riot Games (League of Legends – the most played video game in the world) to Lumosity (brain training games with over 40 MM users and one of the top global apps) to Meteor (Hawken – an upcoming mech warfare game) to Proletariat Games (World Zombination – a tablet-first mid-core game). We have also invested in gaming infrastructure with Live Gamer, the leading provider of micro-transactions for digital entertainment that powers over 120 clients in more than 180 countries and the Meteor Storm Platform which enables a turnkey free-to-play environment for third party developers. Even with these groundbreaking companies in the market, we believe that we are still in the early days of a rapidly-changing industry. There are many great companies yet to be built.
To demonstrate just how fervent the video game industry and its core audience actually are, we pulled together a few fun facts about the September release of Grand Theft Auto V, a title by Take-Two Interactive:
- On September 17, 2013, the first 24 hours of GTA 5 sales of $815.7M was…
- $43M more than the top 2 grossing movies of 2013 through that date, Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2, which have a combined box office take of $772M
- $402M more than the entire September 2013 movie industry box office take of $413M
- $9M more in revenue generated than the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox combined in 2012
- $213M more than the combined revenue of the top 3 grossing NBA teams (New York Knicks, the LA Lakers, & the Chicago Bulls) at $602M
- $201M more than the combined top 3 grossing concert tours of 2012 (Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, & Roger Waters) at $614M
- More revenue earned in one day than the average daily nominal GDP generated in 2012 by each country in the world except for the largest 35 economies (out of a total of 187 countries)
- $815M is more than the average daily GDP of countries like Denmark, Malaysia, Nigeria, Israel, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, Portugal, and Ireland in 2012
- Alternatively stated…if the first day of GTA 5 sales was a country, it would have the 36th largest one day GDP compared to the average daily GDP of 187 countries in the world in 2012
- The first 24 hours of GTA 5 sales on September 17th of $815.7M is enough to…
- Purchase 3,174 Ferrari 458 Spiders
- Feed every one of the 8.3M+ residents of Manhattan 27 Big Macs each
- Send every resident of the city of Miami Beach, FL (population 88,110) to a year of college in Florida (average cost of $8,200 per year), with enough money left over ($93M) for each student to spend $1,058 on textbooks
- Take everyone in the country of Spain (population 97.3M) to the movies, TWICE, with $33M left over to spend on candy, soda, and popcorn!
- The 11.21M units of GTA 5 sold in the first 24 hours…
- If each of those units represented individual consumers, it would be enough people standing shoulder to shoulder to stretch from New York, New York to Belfast, Ireland (3,176 miles as the crow flies, with 9 miles left over)
- Were 3.8M more units sold than the best-selling DVD in all of 2012, The Hunger Games, at 7.43M units
- Using music recording sales certification terminology, 11.21M units would qualify GTA 5 as a “Diamond” record single in a single day, equivalent to having more than 10M units sold (or 10x “Platinum”, which requires 1M units sold)
Many thanks to my colleague Paul Cianciolo who did most of the work for this post.