My video game comment was more oriented toward the decline in the user base for self-propelled wilderness enjoyment than at the video game industry. I don't blame the game inventors for creating couch potatoes, I blame couch potatoes for making vapid entertainment a growth industry. And growth is a key word here.
Profit is a given in any business endeavor, large or small. Try running a business without making a profit, you won't be in business long. The only sustainable non-profit system is government because they have the coercive power to extract ever increasing fees (taxes) even when demand for their services, however exclusive, or just as likely poor or fraudulent, is low. If (voluntary)demand were high there'd be a profitable private sector providing the service anyway.
I don't know about you, but I'd be very suspicious of any typical, bureaucratic, one size fits all solution to my lightweight backpacking needs, freed of the constraints of greed and profit by a Gear Freak Dependency Bureau, created by the Omnibus Innovative Gear and Engagement Act of 2006. Think clunky military contract gear dispensed by a reject from The Department of Redundancy Department. Next!
Though in fairness, government does do a reasonable job of maintaining wilderness, however, no one can say if it is done cost effectively as economic calculation under socialism isn't feasible (See Hayek, Von Mises, Rothbard, etc.). But who needs economic calculation when you have the IRS or deficit spending. Don't we all wish we had a magic checkbook? Still I'm happy that millions who don't use, need , or value the (wilderness providing) service get their pockets picked so my playgrounds are kept from the bulldozer and paving grader.
What we are seeing in the industry is the MBA-culture and business model (growth, short sighted, quarter by quarter) applied to everything in business. Profit-loss accounting is the feedback system that lets us know when we are serving each other best (eg. relative to real demand in real bids with money, not just hollow opinion polls). Big companies who want to grow (not just simply profit) look at the demographic bubble of easy leisure activities and an aging population and see growth there, not in specialized niche markets, regardless of profit margin. Volume is the big driver. Compare McDonalds to your favorite corner bistro.
It's too easy to spout platitudes about greed. A rich man's greed is just the flipside of a poor man's envy. Every living thing operates in self-interest, making choices and acting on them. Characterizations of class interests don't help to explicate the problem to find a solution.
Money is just a medium of exchange, store of value, and carrier of the price signal in systems of voluntary exchange. Anyone who has investments or retirement accounts is responsible for this trend in business (pressure to grow, as if getting fat is healthy). But there is a ghost in the machine. If government money was sound and stable (based on uninflatable commodities such as gold), people would be able to save fungible, exchangable wealth without having to resort so much to the equities markets, which pressure businesses to pander to least common denominator growth models. At least that was Enron's excuse.
The growth of the equity markets parallels government induced inflation (debased currency, monetized government debt) quite closely. People think it's great that their houses are rising in value, but the truth is the value of their money is being diluted at the source. Counterfeiting ought to be illegal for everyone (equality under the law), but we are WAY past that point.
The best that can happen for the sport is some popular race activities and celebrity associated with them that can be used to pander to mass marketing. This has happened in cycling, where people buy very light, uncomfortable, low durable, specialized bikes inappropriate to 90% of consumer's actual uses, but they want to ride Lance's bike. Great for us enthusiasts, as corrected for inflation racing bikes are now practically disposable commodites.
Competition leads to innovation. Adventure racing is where the leading edge of product development will most likely reside. What we in this enthusiast's niche are really competing for is the attention of vicarious consumers. Which sort of leads me back to my video game comment.