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Question Game market and monetization today. How is the game market now?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wayneforce, Jul 29, 2022.

  1. wayneforce

    wayneforce

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    I read that both iOS and Android or even Steam is flooded with games published monthly. Selling indie games is extremely tough. Do we have actual data on this? How is the market today?
     
  2. DragonCoder

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    Don't have data unfortunaty but some logic. The market is getting flooded because it has become easier to make games. That's on one side thanks to engines like Unity and others and on the other side because so much information is readily available on YT and co. (not only tutorials on how to program but also on how to make a game feel engaging).
    The result of this however is, if you ask me, not that the effort to have success has increased.
    Maybe in the past it did suffice to just publish a "good game" but you had to put more effort to make it good.
    Today that's easier but it has to either be exceptionally good, or requires you to be good at marketing to have success.

    Whenever there's easy money somewhere to gain, people will stream there and constantly raise the bar.

    As for monetization, it always has been only the rare gems that were really profitable in the indie field. Don't think that will ever change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  3. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Selling games has always been extremely tough. The only change is more people than ever are wasting their time finding that out.

    You need something cool / special, because people only have so much time. Steam is filled with AAA titles selling cheaper than indie games. There is no game shortage.

    Mobile is filled with farms producing targeted rip offs and fillers that absorb most of the ad rev, with some giants that control the top 10 by large.

    You don't really have a chance to make money making a clone or any old tat. You do have a chance if it's unique, polished and clever. Think about signal and noise, think about high quality, not necessarily high graphics. Just lots of polish and an interesting idea could serve you well.

    Don't clone or make a poor version of an existing title.
     
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  4. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Here's an older video discussing the state of Steam as of 2018.


    Statista has recent numbers on the number of games released per year.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/552623/number-games-released-steam/

    upload_2022-7-29_11-56-42.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  5. hippocoder

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    Expect numbers to be at least, at minimum half as good as those in the vid, as it was 4 years ago. The pandemic greatly increased engine adoption, and greatly increased number of titles being released as well. Very bad numbers now.

    Basically no-one should expect money unless they have extremely strong artistic ability or other special feature. You can't walk in and expect things. That was hard 4 years ago.

    But then, the doomsaying has been going on forever, and everyone sees that one guy who shone and did great. And think "I could do that" - but here's the fallacy in that reasoning:

    1. you didn't do that
    2. it's been done now
     
  6. Ryiah

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    You shouldn't even expect to be successful with that. You need marketing too.
     
  7. hippocoder

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    You can't afford marketing that's loud enough to be heard over the deafening din of AAA and farms. So you will want a publisher, I guess. And that means the title would have had to be pretty cool and special. Seems like a harsh reality check for many, that they won't want to hear.
     
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  8. wayneforce

    wayneforce

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    What’s the point of being on Unity if the market is flooded? I thought the main point of being here is to actually make at least some profit.
    What about the metaverse and VR? Isn’t that a new market to catch up to?
     
  9. ADNCG

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    You can make money. The issue is that you want to make money while remaining independent.
     
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  10. gjaccieczo

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    No data to back that up, but there is a difference between "a game that doesn't stand out, is poorly made and seems more like an actual Asset Flip™ than a project that has identity" and "a game that has a well defined identity, is well made and stands out". What you refer to as stores being "flooded with games" is a case of many indie developers just trying what gamedev is like and publishing their work right away. Many are discouraged, seeing that their work doesn't succeed right away. I personally wouldn't consider the amount of games published on the stores as a viable metric to understand what market is like. If you have a vision of a project, if things just "click" when you're thinking about it or there is nothing on the market that could rival what you're doing, chances are that the community or a publisher are going to support you/pick your project up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  11. gjaccieczo

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    The point of sticking with Unity is using a tool. Whether you want to monetize what you're doing or not is strictly up to you. The point of using, say, a word processing software is to put letters on a virtual paper and whether it's just a cat walking on the keyboard or you working on something, the point is to accomplish what a tool is supposed to do.
     
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  12. xjjon

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    Monetization is easier these days and the barriers to entry are much lower.
    Getting your product in front of players is harder though due to more competition
     
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  13. gjaccieczo

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    I would add "no-one should expect money unless they understand how and why would their project bring the money in". This is not limited solely to just monetizing it but also publishing, understanding who your audience is, how relevant your project is, etc.
     
  14. kdgalla

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    My strategy is to have a day job as an enterprise-systems administrator, so that way I can make whatever stupid and esoteric game I want in my spare time without having to worry about little details like whether anyone would actually want to play my game or not.

    I'd hate to try and make a commercially viable game because I have no idea why anyone plays the terrible games that they do, or how to mimic them.

    Since I'm not targeting any specific audience, I'm free to make my game as dumb as I want without worrying about it. It's really very liberating.
     
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  15. hippocoder

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    But in general, follow people like https://twitter.com/GreyAlien and others, build a network of indies you know are successful. Then you can all stop guessing. There is not much guesswork as they have steam stats, analytics etc. These aren't indies flying blind, they're indies with math and a wealth of experience.

    Also though these indies don't really make impressive blockbusters, just casual games or niche games that hit a specific market segment. There's a bunch of healthy indies out there with a lot of knowhow. Go and find them instead of expecting them to reply in this thread!

    One thing pretty common with all these indies doing well is... they aren't on mobile. Maybe they port there sometimes, but usually something stops them doing it again or often. Probably analytics and experience.
     
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  16. wayneforce

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    Omg Jake Birket is someone I used to follow. He had a tech talk about him making games. The story was extremely funny and entertaining. I found it. 11 years without a hit, is a lot. It says a lot about this business. It’s sad.

    I watched his video years ago but remember the story very well.

    I was one of the few who celebrated that Unity acquired infoSource. Hoping their new focus will lead to better indie game sales for each individual.

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2022
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  17. hippocoder

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    You mean 17-18 years now. But he was working in games even longer.
     
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  18. wayneforce

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    Another story
     
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  19. hippocoder

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    Just know that the success stories are rare. So they are widely shared. Not many of them though, when you look at how many indies are trying.

    Although I hope it leads people to think about making stuff that matters to themselves, instead of crappy clones.
     
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  20. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    a lot of the success stories you can find on youtube also involve a developer who spent as much or more time on the youtube channel as they did making the game.

    probably most of us dont have the desire or personality for that sort of approach, so it's something to think about. Personally i put all the effort into making the game, so also trying to manage a youtube campaign is just out of the question. Maybe you could find help, or hire help, or adopt some other marketing strategy.
     
  21. hippocoder

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    I am just doing things that inspire me, it's purely selfish and why would I do anything else in an age where risk outweighs reward?
     
  22. xjjon

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    Another thing is that making money from a game (aka running a business) is a vastly different undertaking than developing the game. It requires the same things that starting a new business requires like a pool of initial capital, strong business plan, ability to execute on it, and the right market conditions to thrive in, etc.

    In that sense, I don't feel that selling a game is more difficult than selling other forms of entertainment. It's likely harder to make it in other industries (art, writing, music, etc). Many indie devs don't put much focus into the business aspect of game dev though. Looking at game dev through a different lens (as a business) helps reduce the risk of a total flop
     
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  23. neginfinity

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    That is the right thing to do.

    Because if you keep doing something you dislike for too long you can burn out which can turn into health problems which can cost more money.

    Learned it the hard way years ago.
     
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  24. neginfinity

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    (opinion) Metaverse is likely a bubble. VR has utility and market (and there is a small crowd of people hungry for content) and is going to stay, but facebook adverts of metaverse are complete insanity. Plus facebook is not the best company to work with.
     
  25. Murgilod

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    I think calling the metaverse a bubble is overselling it. I have yet to see a single person who isn't developing for metaverse related products even know what the metaverse is.
     
  26. neginfinity

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    Well, what was a better word, then? Vaporware? Doesn't seem quite right. Buzzword?

    The reason for "bubble" is because facebook itself is investing into whatever it is supposed to be despite its dubious nature.

    In essence they want to present it as cyberspace. In practice t hey at best will create a vr chat clone.
    The point of cyberspace was that EVERYTHING was connected to it, and you could probably dive into a toaster, if you wanted to.
     
  27. Murgilod

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    The not so technical term is "a fart in an elevator," but the more technical one is "a non-starter."
     
  28. DragonCoder

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    Think Metaverse just needs an invention or two to happen to pop off. Not necessarily a software one, but hardware. Imagine actual haptic gloves that work well and solid VR glasses < 300$. Can well imagine tons of people would then opt in to walk through a fully virtual mall, arcade, museum, conference room etc. -> A true virtual world, not just small, separate applications where the UI feels different every time like how VR currently is. That's what the metaverse is about.
    "Ready Player One" was inspiring to me in every case.
     
  29. Moonjump

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    "Survivorship bias is a type of sample selection bias that occurs when an individual mistakes a visible successful subgroup as the entire group"

    People only hear the stories of those who are successful and think they can do it themselves. The don't hear the stories of those who fail. And if they do hear of failures, they assume those failures are caused by lack of talent and effort, which is true for some, but far from all.
     
  30. Murgilod

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    Nobody wants to go to virtual malls or arcades because the only reason they went to those things in the first place was because they offered a level of convenience that simply didn't exist and provided a social space that also didn't exist. Both those things have been superseded by online alternatives. It's like that video of somebody shopping in a virtual Walmart: nobody wants to do that when they can just click "add to cart." For museums? Sure. Maybe. But again, there are options for that that don't involve spending $300 on a fancy hat. Also, conference rooms are something people don't want to go to in the first place, VR isn't going to make that more palatable.

    This idea of a seamless VR world alternative is, frankly, completely and utterly absurd. It's an attempt to try and make the mundane more interesting by making it virtual, but that's not why people engage with the mundane in the first place. Services like VRChat thrive because they offer interesting and novel social spaces and experiences.


     
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  31. neginfinity

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    It needs the actual metaverse. Right now it is not a thing.

    Affordable haptic Gloves don't seem to be a thing. Headsets under $300 exists, not glasses.

    I can imagine them puking their guts out and vowing to never touch VR again. VR sickness is real, people adapt at different rates, and some do not ever adapt at all. As I mentioned before for me it took a month of pushing myself to the verge of vomiting and enjoying a hour of nausea every time after a session to adapt. This is not an experience a normal person will want to go through.

    A mall is one of the last places you'd want to visit in VR. There was a rendering of someone's concept of VR mall shopping and that was the dumbest thing I've ever seen, because somebody decided that picking groceries with hand is fun, because it is VR. It is not. This sort of complete misunderstanding of what is convenient in VR is among the reasons why the whole thing is pretty much a "non-starter".

    The attractive point of VR is visiting places where you cannot be physically present. A VR museum will not cut it, what would cut it is telepresence in the real one.

    And regarding Player one, large multiplayer worlds at the time is a pipe dream. Because we have limited bandwidth to sync large masses of people and limited computing power. We also do not currently have proper multiplayer physics (which is why Blade and Sorcery is single-player). VR chat for example, can handle few dozen people max.

    Right now a good chunk of the content is going through "motion controller phase", when they go after a gimmick and do not try to take the medium seriously. Like when Xbox were advertising a game to "pet" on-screen tiger, various kinect games, motion controller games, and so on. Where are they now? Mostly dead, along with "3d" tvs.

    After trying a huge chunk of VR content steam offers, there is a tiny number of games that got it right. Those were Moss, No Man's Sky (sadly, they killed the performance so I can no longer play it in VR), X-Plane and Skyrim with a truckload of mods (VRIK/HIGGS/PLANCK...). VR content often suffers of poor interactivity of characters. Meaning there isn't such thing as a "virtual persona" that you can interact with right now.

    *sighs*

    You know what was really an unusual experience? standing on the surface of the Moon. Then on the surface of the sun, then seeing scale of the universe in person. When you move outside and the galaxies turn into some sort of powdered soup and you realize that you can't findthe one you've come from. But this sort of experience is a one-time thing, you won't be exploring it forever.
     
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  32. DragonCoder

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    Well "nobody" is definitely not true.
    I do want to do those things. Including the conference room after more than two years on 80-100% home office...

    We will see how things go. The future is likely never how one imagines it :)
     
  33. PanthenEye

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    Eventually, VR screen resolution and ergonomics are bound to get good enough to replace my tri-monitor setup. Unlimited screen sizes, a nice vista in the background, so I don't have to stare at the same four walls.

    I'm not sure about gaming since VR/motion sickness can't really be solved but for productivity it seems like eventually it'll be a nobrainer to spend money on one headset providing unlimited screen space (or field of view limited screenspace) instead of buying 3 expensive monitors. Then if you're already spending a significant amount of time in VR for productivity, it could also extrapolate to everything else.

    The value proposition is not there just yet. But it could be in the future given enough tech advancements.
     
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  34. neginfinity

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    Do you actually have a VR headset?

    I've seen people claiming that they work this way with Quest 2.
     
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  35. wayneforce

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    I used a quest 2 to work via the browser. The browser was not that feature rich to code on. It was very comfortable to write long texts in. I loved it. Returned the quest 2 so I can wait for what valve and Apple and meta will release next. I don’t want to continue on an old quest 2. But the experience was extremely positive from my view.

    What’s important and motivating is having a somewhat thriving business. Perhaps not just creating something without audience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  36. Ryiah

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    If you truly care about this you need to set aside that mentality of not wanting to target older headsets. Go back and buy another Quest 2. VR is no longer purely enthusiasts and most of the audience on that headset won't just drop it when the latest model is released.
     
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  37. wayneforce

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    You are totally right. I agree with you. According to the market, VR is still a very low target segment.
     
  38. neginfinity

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    I was talking about people using quest 2 as a display(or multiple displays) for their PC. So you put it on your head and use mouse and keyboard. I can definitely see this being usable. I also tried to do that on Quest 1, but resolution is a bit low. Additionally at least some companies that offer "PC desktop in quest" try to push this sort of thing as SaaS, which makes their software very unattractive.
     
  39. gjaccieczo

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    Perhaps those games are not that terrible if they are commercially viable? If someone enjoys playing a game and they support the project with their money/attention, chances are – for them, the project is not "terrible".

    If a provided solution is "Mall/Arcade Sim and nothing else" then yes, it is indeed pointless. If a provided solution is "Whatever VR environment you want and also check out this cool thing that you can order after checking it out in VR" then it's a solution that was applied properly.

    While it's within the subject of discussion (VR/virtual spaces and the perception of them), i find that the image that you've posted is very skewed towards showcasing particular political messages as a part of cyberpunk culture rather than understanding how and why cyberpunk as a genre became popular (just like the "look guys, we're in the future!" gimmick technologies, the image (ironically) misses the point just like the "cool future!" guy).

    Exactly. At the time being, malls and arcades were the same but for real life. For some time, just using the Internet as a whole was an entryway into the "online culture" and i don't have any reasons not to expect VR to go any different route.
     
  40. Murgilod

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    I was literally replying to "Ready Player One was a major inspiration."
     
  41. gjaccieczo

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    Yeah, i think that the logic of targeting "minimum specs" hardware rather than top of the line perfectly translates into the VR headset world. Consider that the used market has plenty of options from those who either weren't exactly impressed by the medium or just moved to something better (tech wise).
     
  42. gjaccieczo

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    I've noticed that. The point still stands, "Ready Player One" is exciting for one simple reason: the pipedream of "imagine if like reality but like virtual and everything feels real!!" is universal and doesn't have anything to do with any sort of messaging. Cyberpunk as a whole is a reflection of a similar pipedream.
     
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  43. Murgilod

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    It isn't universal at all and the entire point of the VR stuff was that it was used as a method of social control, which is a theme that cyberpunk constantly touches on. It was also a terrible book.
     
  44. gjaccieczo

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    Take the tech out of cyberpunk and all you get is a boring critique of a society, which can be applied to both the modern and ancient times. Besides, while yes, cyberpunk as a genre provides a critique of VR in a variety of contexts, it also showcased VR as just a superior form of entertainment or a culture within a culture. As to how "Ready Player One" decided to go about that, well, that's just another cyberpunk themed book (and a movie (and potentially, sometime in the future, a videogame (and a licensed VR space))).
     
  45. neginfinity

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    Not really. Transhumanism and aritifical sentience are a very modern thing, and related concerns are new. In ancient time the closest you'd get would be "do not play god, or gods will curse you".
     
  46. gjaccieczo

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    Transhumanism and AI related concerns are continuation of concerns related to technical progress. Those are not new at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  47. neginfinity

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    I do not think so. I'm of opinion that they're concerns related to survival of humanity and what it means to be a human. And whether you should continue being one.
     
  48. gjaccieczo

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    That's an interesting perspective and honestly, i haven't looked at this from the survival standpoint, simply because the possibility of transhumanism (in the cyberpunk "philosophy") is perhaps the ultimate evidence of our ability as a species to survive (again, imo). While i really want to continue the cyberpunk related discussion, it might derail the thread even more than it already is and i don't want to write paragraphs upon paragraphs of pointless jibber-jabber, that clearly belongs to forums beyond Unity Forum :D.
     
  49. neoshaman

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    Also isn't the concept of the metaverse a yesterday technology? It's literally just the internet.

    I had to double check but you can create a website that can be interacted in vr RIGHT NOW, we can build 3d and exchanges 3d file formats. Web socket are a thing, so you can have multiuser. If metaverse is internet on vr, we got this already. It's just a matter of time before a vr chat open source clone see itself made and shared on the old cyberspace.

    But yeah I'm interested in the screen productivity of vr.
     
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  50. Billy4184

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    The games market is worth billions of dollars and is growing all the time. The 'vid only made it grow even faster. Those who really want some of those billions will find a way to get it. And those who want to find a good reason not to attempt, will also do so.

    The world goes round.
     
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