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How the video game industry became bigger than movies and music

Video games are serious business. In the beginning of the 1990s Nintendo owned nearly 90% of the video game industry, but within just a few years the company found its market share cut in half by Sega.

Just a few years later Sega would be all but dead in the water. Blake Harris chronicled the surprisingly cutthroat world of the video and arcade game industry in his new book "Console Wars."

“Nowadays the video game industry is bigger than Hollywood, it’s bigger than the music industry and it still gets no respect,” says Harris.

It was Nintendo and Sega that made the $60 billion industry what it is today, according to Harris. “Nintendo resurrected the video game industry with great games like Super Mario Brothers, Zelda and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! and then Sega sort of changed that equation a little bit."

Sega was the first to make video games for teenagers and adults, says Harris, revolutionizing the gaming world.

Both companies are now struggling to keep up with the world they created. “There is an arms race mentality of being bigger, better, stronger technologically and Sega’s whole campaign was ‘welcome to the next level’…and that’s expensive, it takes a lot of money for R&D and it takes a lot of money to market a new system,” says Harris. He believes that video game consoles that value simplicity are now headed in the right direction.  

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