It’s no secret that the sports genre is one of the most popular within the world of gaming. According to research by Statista, this area of the market accounted for 11.1% of total video game sales in the United States in 2018. Although MMOs – massively multiplayer online games – and role-playing titles have since piqued the interests of gamers, few can argue that sports-oriented games haven’t retained their undeniable appeal. So, let’s take look at the genre’s contemporary outlook.
Buoyed by Diversification and Expansion
Given the global attraction of real-world sport, it’s hardly surprising that virtual adaptations have proved popular too. To illustrate the genre’s success, FIFA held the Guinness World Record for the best-selling sports series in gaming history, amassing more than 193.15 million unit sales as of January 28th. Fundamentally, expansion is one of the primary factors behind the sector’s 21st-century attraction. To a degree, this is evident from the FIFA franchise. Although the fundamentals of the game remain the same from one release to another, subtle alterations and several updates aid in providing more depth to the series with every release.
Furthermore, eSports is a prime example of physical expansion. Although the market is enjoying heightened success through MMOs and strategy titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends, FIFA is leading the way for sports-centered competitive gaming. In showcasing the genre’s longevity, the FIFA eSports World Cup has been in existence since 2004 and continues to thrive despite a shift in gaming trends.
Diversification has also been at the heart of sports content retaining a sense of relevance within an ever-changing industry. As social trends have an influence on gaming habits, audiences often seek to explore flourishing markets. Interestingly, the emergence of online casinos has brought more accessibility and variation to the sports genre. For example, at Caxino Casino, where bettors are also offered sign-up bonuses, prospective players can immerse themselves in a wide array of sports-inspired and sports-themed online slot titles, including Basketball Star and The Champions.
What Do the Statistics Say?
Despite the sales generated by FIFA throughout the franchise’s existence, alternative sports titles have kept intrigue alive within the genre. As per a report from Forbes, NBA 2K20 was the second best-sellingvideo game in 2019, while Madden NFL 20 came third on the list. This is a testament to the sector’s coverage. Although they don’t cater to MMO-driven audiences, the intricacies of such developments appeal to the deep-rooted interests of global sports fans.
Throughout the last two decades, this aspect of the market has allowed for exploration surrounding the potentials of specific platforms. Crucially, this has paid dividends. WePC reports that, as of March 2018, Wii Sports was the all-time best-selling console game, with 82.65 million global sales. Although the title has since been unable to maintain this accolade, being overtaken by Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, and even Tetris, its interactive approach demonstrates the flexibility and appeal of the sports genre.
Although other genres have come to the forefront of global gaming in recent years, that hasn’t detracted from the popularity of sports-related developments. While the market appears to be heading in a direction that targets the demands of MMO audiences, those with a passion for sports are unlikely to turn their backs on a much-loved genre.