USA - The online gaming industry has recently gained global significance, growing into a billion-dollar industry within a few years. And while e-sports is currently the most talked-about topic in the industry, changes are expected within the next five years. Industry experts are taking notice of some underlying trends that have the most potential to shape the future of online gaming. These trends encompass the business, consumer, and technology sectors.
It is clear that business incentives are encouraging industry movers to lead the way towards re-shaping the landscape of digital media. Among the business trends seen to usher in changes in the next few years are:
Mobile platforms as a source of leads
Smartphones and tablets have become almost a necessity, and this is something industry leaders understand. For a time, cross-screen gaming was a hot topic in the gaming industry because of the growing popularity of mobile devices.
However, experiments have concluded that although many people use mobile devices for gaming, the number of people who do so isn’t as significant as the number of people who use these devices purely for game content. Industry experts therefore expect gaming operators to tap into the mobile viewing audience to drum up new business and increase customer involvement.
Games as a form of service
Retail distribution of online games has become quite obsolete. Most online games of today are free to start and businesses are now looking at engagement time as the key indicator for potential revenue. Companies now understand that every second spent on their website is important, whether it involves actual gaming or not. This is why online gaming sites are now starting to gear toward service delivery.
Social media has become a huge part of consumers’ lives, and their primary way of consuming digital media and interacting with their favorite brands these days is by way of creating and sharing content. Online gaming industry influencers are therefore taking notice of the following consumer-related trends:
Content creation and customer involvement
Several studies have shown that today’s consumers are no longer satisfied with just having a nice gaming experience. More and more people want to be involved, to create content about the games they play, and to share that content with family and friends. Game developers are expected to offer more opportunities for people to get involved on their platforms and pay closer attention to gamers’ preferences in the near future.
Customers entertaining other customers
Reality shows and live blogs are now dominating consumers’ viewing times. As a result, industry experts are now looking into the possibilities presented by such things as YouTube gaming. They are also considering the idea of opening up online gaming sites to customers, giving them the opportunity to upload their own content on the site for entertainment purposes.
There are a couple technology trends currently on the upswing that are expected to make a significant impact on the industry in the next few years.
- Virtual/Augmented reality - Virtual reality has long been presented in movies and TV shows as a viable technology, and game developers have recently shown that it can definitely be a viable gaming option. Augmented reality takes thing even further by influencing a player’s senses. These technologies are seen to be making waves in online gaming very soon.
- Live streaming - Google believes that the future of gaming lies in a virtual stadium. Towards this end, they have developed a cloud streaming service called Stadia. The premise is for this service to enable consumers to watch video clips of games and then instantly play a game that catches their interest. It is meant to be a cloud-based game console.