In 2007, the science fiction first-person shooter video game Halo 3 made $300 million in release week sales.
That compares to $350.3 million combined for the top three selling movies first week sales for 2007 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Transformers).
In 2008, the open-world crime video game Grand Theft Auto IV made $500 million in release week sales.
That compares to $318.6 million combined for the top three selling movies of 2008 (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Wall-E).
In 2009, the military first-person shooter video game Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made $550 million in release week sales.
That compares to $575.7 million combined for the top three selling movies of 2009 (Avatar, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon).
In 2010, the military first-person shooter video game Call Of Duty: Black Ops made $650 million in release week sales.
That compares to $315.9 million combined for the top three selling movies of 2010 (Iron Man 2, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, and Inception).
THOUGHT: Notice a trend?
My a-ha moment came when I first heard about XBox Live. When Microsoft introduced the Xbox Live service, allowing gamers to match up against one another online, to the original Xbox video game console in 2002, it turned a gaming device into a communications medium.
That’s when I decided to buy an Xbox and get back into the video games I’d abandoned since I was a teen playing Asteroids in the arcades.
When I’d tell people I started playing video games again for professional reasons, they rolled their eyes. I was only half joking.
The video game industry is bigger than Hollywood now.
Take a moment to think how Hollywood has shaped our cultural environment since the advent of the “talkies” in the 1920s. The motion picture industry’s influence over American, and even international, society has been profound.
The influence of the video game industry will be profounder.
Gaming has already begun to weave its way into the fabric of our everyday lives: Consider the ubiquity of gaming mechanics in tools like Foursquare and Facebook Places; consider social games like Farmville and mobile games like Angry Birds (which, by the way, is developing a real-world version); consider geocaching.
The video game industry is raising the bar for how stories are told and, unfortunately, communications professionals have been all too slow to understand and take advantage of this exciting “new” medium.
SUPER COOL TOOL TUESDAY: Twitter for Newsrooms is a one-stop shop for reporters looking to make the most out of Twitter on the job.
Thank you for L.A. Noire.
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