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2,600,000,000 Gamers Can’t Be Wrong

Finally, a way to justify my erstwhile Counter-Strike habit.

Video games are big business, and if you don’t believe it, look no further than yesterday’s news. In the span of a few hours Spotify launched a portal for music dedicated to gaming, Microsoft (MSFT) acquired the Seattle game-streaming service Beam, and GPU maker Nvidia (NVDA) posted its fastest-growing quarterly sales in years, driven by—you guessed it!—gaming applications, which represent more than half the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s total revenue.

And if that isn’t enough, two companies are currently hard at work developing a 1,000-seat facility in Oakland’s Jack London Square for the sole purpose of watching other people play video games, aka eSports, a $463 million global business this year.

As they say: FTW!

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you need to go out tomorrow and buy a PlayStation 4, much as Sony CEO Kaz Hirai might like you to. But if you’ve been wondering what’s behind the hubbub about No Man’s Sky or why some people are excited about actor Michael Fassbender’s turn in the forthcoming action-fantasy flick Assassin’s Creed, well, follow the money.

Oh—and troll the respawn, Jeremy.