Video games have been here for as far as I remember. For decades, they have provided entertainment to children and adults alike. The landscape today is, however, starkly different from the one in earlier days. Cloud gaming, fresh revenue models, and digital distribution are some of the factors driving this transition.
More companies have jumped into the virtual gaming arena. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and they are striving hard for it. According to Variety, the video game market will become a $300 billion industry by 2025. Meanwhile, Statista expects the sector to generate $138 billion by the next year.
Further probing into the numbers reveals an astounding fact – the video game sector is more massive than the music and movie industries combined!
The creation of video games has inevitably become increasingly complex. Earlier, companies never thought to sink millions into development costs. But now, the climate has dramatically shifted. Game development can reach up to ten and hundreds of millions.
The receiving end of the gaming world is just as dynamic as development. Limelight Networks report that an average gamer spends at least 7 hours playing games in a week. And 34% of gamers spend more than seven hours per week playing games.
In light of these numbers, it makes sense to be curious. We can’t stop but wonder what has changed in the gaming world? What ignites the passion of the gaming geeks?
Below, we have listed some ways of how the video gaming industry is taking a 360-degree spin.
Streaming and Tech Companies
Companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google have taken a plunge into the video game sector. The idea is to stream games as quickly as people stream on Netflix and Spotify. Google Stadia and Microsoft’s ProjectxCloud have enabled people to play games on their tablets, televisions, and smartphones.
Video game company like Electronic Arts has revealed early versions of a streaming service that will allow users to play on underpowered gadgets like a smart television. On the other hand, Google has worked to get Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to run on Project Stream.
The ability to stream games without a console or a computer is a sure-fire path to the transition of the industry. A Netflix-patterned video gaming interface will enable users to enjoy a wide variety of games without burning a hole in their pockets. Platforms like Unlimited Gamez Mo are actively demonstrating this possibility.
With this level of accessibility, players do not have to fidget around while the game downloads. Neither do they worry about freeing up space for newer games. Tech giants aim to allow players to stream games in different situations as life becomes increasingly centered around mobile phones. This is one reason why Zion Market Research forecasts the global video-game streaming market to grow by 27% every year between 2018 and 2026.
The Digital Revolution
We are no longer dwelling in the age of physical discs and cartridges. Physical PC and video-game sales have declined from 80% in 2009 to 17% in 2018 (Statista).
Technical innovations like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have disclosed a whole new gaming aspect, increasing the public's appeal. Oculus VR, a Facebook subsidiary, has worked hard to improve the quality of the headsets they release.
The Pokemon Go phenomenon of 2016 underscored the potential of augmented reality, where real-life experiences were enriched with data and graphics. It was a craze that took the public head-on. Everywhere you looked, people were holding their phones trying to catch a Pokemon.
Improving visuals, such as those in slot games, has improved the overall game experiences in the current times.
Digital distribution of games by publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft is another element contributing to the gaming industry's transition. It cuts the middlemen like GameStop and sells games directly to consumers, consequently boosting their profit margins.
Another notable factor in the video gaming sector is the expansion of demographics. People of all age groups and genders are playing games.
According to the Newzoo findings, an estimated 2.3 billion people (over 30% of the world population) play games.
Among these, the majority of the mobile gaming audience is made up of women. MMA Global data reveals that 66% of men and 70% of women play games. Another interesting fact was about women trying out various games while men choose to stick with one or two games.
Furthermore, gaming has become more acceptable in society as an educational tool. The number of gamers under 18 years has surged exponentially. Teachers and parents believe these games to be the catalysts of boosting motivation and concentration in children.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has removed all barriers for aspiring gamers. They can access their favorite titles and polish their skills without spending an arm and a leg.
The video gaming sector is making the most out of the perks they earn through developments.
Nonetheless, there is an increasing likelihood of being caught up in legal troubles. The regulators target tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon as they sprawl into their ecosystem. They take strict notice of privacy failures, anti-competitive practices, confidential data handling, and platform moderation.
Lawmakers are devising ways to crackdown on fishy practices. Critics argue that developers are making it easier for minors to gamble without any adult supervision. Plus, there are constant cases where children have spent hundreds and thousands buying coins or extra lives without their parents knowing.
The Bottom Line
The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar market, with some dominant brands escalating the bar. Entering into this scenario as a developer asks for a definite knack for the dynamics. More people are looking for immersive experiences, and there is limited tolerance in public to bear the flaws. One wrong move may compel them to the rivals. So, make sure you take each step with care and precision.
Let us know how you plan to provide a fulfilling gaming experience to your prospects!
Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blogging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne