In brief: It's always been clear that the gaming industry is big; both in terms of the number of titles that get pumped out per year the sheer volume of cash publishers rake in. Thanks to a report from the Entertainment Retailers Association, we now have a much more concrete idea of exactly how massive it is.
The report says that the gaming industry in the United Kingdom is now worth an astounding £3.86 billion, which is around $4.85 billion - it was worth less than half that amount a decade ago, according to the BBC. If that number isn't enough to make your head spin, here's some context: gaming in the UK is now worth more than the country's music and video industries combined.
For anybody who regularly plays video games, that probably won't come as much of a surprise. Though movies, TV shows, and music all have their place (and they certainly aren't going anywhere anytime soon), video games effectively combine several different entertainment mediums into one interactive package.
After all, a good game development studio doesn't just have "game designers." It has 2D and 3D artists, musicians, coders, writers, interface designers, and more. Games are massive creative undertakings, just like a feature film or a novel.
According to the ERA, much of the game industry's recent growth can be attributed to the success of three games in particular: Red Dead Redemption 2, FIFA 19, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Each game was a massive critical and commercial hit (FIFA 19's user reviews are another story, though), and all of them offer recurring revenue to their publishers in the form of microtransactions.
Only time will tell whether or not the industry can continue its growth, but for now, the future is looking bright.