With annual gross sales surpassing 100 billion U.S. dollars each of the last two years, the digital games industry may one day challenge theatrical-release movies as the highest-grossing entertainment media in the world. In their examination of the tremendous cultural influence of digital games, Daniel Reardon and David Wright analyze three companies that have shaped the industry: Bethesda, located in Rockville, Maryland; BioWare in Edmonton, Alberta, and CD Projekt Red in Warsaw, Poland.
Each company has used social media and technical content in the games to promote players' belief that players control the companies' game narratives. The result has been at times explosive, as empowered players often attempted to co-op the creative processes of games through discussion board forum demands, fund-raising campaigns to persuade companies to change or add game content, and modifications ("modding") of the games through fan-created downloads. The result has changed the way we understand the interactive nature of digital games and the power of fan culture to shape those games.