In the name of mythbusting, a little post today about the "games have passed movies" myth.
The exellent Aphra Kerr has written The Business and culture of Digital Games. On page 48 you find an estimate of the value of software and hardware sales in 2003. She estimates software sales to be 18 billion US $ in this year. In 2005 the box office of the American movie industry was 23 billion US $, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Now software sales may have gone up between 2003 and 2005, and we may argue that hardware should count, but if we do so, we have to consider other sources of revenue for the movie industry, such as television and video. And how about video/dvd recorders? Are they not hardware, which in that case should be counted?
I don't think this is a big deal, an 18 billion dollar industry is nothing to trifle with, and deserves to be taken seriously. But it's perhaps time to take note of this claim as a prophecy, strategy, or just plain wishful thinking, for a few more years, until we can decide on comparable variables and put the numbers on the table.
Of course, if somebody have better numbers than what I have found so far, I am happy to learn about it. Would be fun if it was true!