The gaming industry has changed dramatically over the last few years. New technology, platforms, and ideas are reshaping the future of the gaming industry in ways that will affect everyone who plays games or works in this field. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about the future of the gaming industry, from new companies changing the game to new technologies that will change your experience.
The internet has changed a lot of things, but perhaps one of its biggest effects has been on gaming. The emergence and growing popularity of esports (competitive online gaming) are changing how people around the world interact with their favorite games. Now more than ever, it’s possible to be famous just for being good at a video game—to get paid to play while your adoring fans watch you go head-to-head with other top players. As time goes on, it’s easy to imagine that playing and watching esports will become more popular than traditional offline sports. Indeed, some analysts predict that as many as half a billion people may watch esports by 2020. But why is esports so compelling? To understand what makes these games so special, we need to take a look at where they came from, where they’re going, and who plays them. Let’s get started!
Why are people so excited about esports?
Esports, or competitive gaming, is becoming a global phenomenon. The top players and teams from around the world are making millions through tournament winnings and sponsorship deals. As esports grows in popularity, it’s attracting investors from traditional sports leagues like Major League Baseball (MLB), which recently bought a stake in an esports company. For fans and followers of esports, there are some compelling reasons to get excited about its future—especially if you work for an organization that might want to enter into a sponsorship deal with one of these fast-growing leagues or teams. Take a look at our latest infographic below to learn why so many people are getting excited about esports!
What is professional gaming like?
Professional gaming is like any sport, except it’s a sport where everyone plays video games. Unlike traditional sports, professional gaming isn’t regulated by athletic associations and doesn’t involve sponsorships. But professional gaming (also known as e-sports) is just starting to take off thanks to streaming services like Twitch. Gamers can stream their play sessions directly to fans and make money from ads, subscriptions, donations, and tournaments. And as media companies have begun incorporating streaming into their distribution strategy for TV shows, you can expect them to do much more with e-sports—which means big things for gamers going forward. By 2020, research company Newzoo expects that e-sports will be bigger than major American sports leagues like MLB or NBA in terms of revenue.
How will live streaming change video games?
At Twitch, we see a future where everyone is a broadcaster. As we all know, games have come a long way since Atari 2600 was around and can even be found on your phone or tablet! But despite how far gaming has come, it’s still not accessible to everyone. There are more than 1 billion mobile gamers in the world today and about 85% of them play on their phones for at least an hour per day. A game like Fortnite might be fun to play alone but when you team up with 99 other people from all over the world and create an experience that is bigger than any one person can ever imagine? That’s magic.
Will we have a universal game marketplace?
As much as we’d like to believe that most gamers will pick and choose which system they play a given game on, there are still a ton of factors that make it unlikely that gaming will become 100% cross-platform. One example is with social media; each platform has its own way of accessing its service (Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Live), so even if you were playing games on your PC and wanted to show your friend what you’re doing, logging into those accounts isn’t always easy. On top of that, many games have deals set up directly with Microsoft or Sony; you may have noticed that when playing a multiplayer game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, for example, you get asked to sign in to your PSN or Xbox Live account.
Who are the winners and losers in this new ecosystem?
There’s no doubt that technology is changing our lives. Once, we looked to Tom Hanks in a Woody Allen movie to see what life would be like in 2020. Now we have Google Glass and self-driving cars. There’s also no doubt that technology has helped transform our lives at work. As we begin to transition from an industrial economy where work was broken down into discrete jobs towards an information economy where tasks are designed around knowledge workers, new technology has not only made our jobs easier but more fun as well.
The gaming industry has come a long way in just a few short years, but it’s clear that we are still far from achieving our ultimate potential. The best is yet to come. While some companies may struggle to stay relevant, others will likely go bankrupt. New technologies and ways of doing business are going to emerge faster than ever before — only those who can react quickly enough will be able to thrive over time. Companies that learn from their mistakes and adapt accordingly should fare better than their peers in 2016 and beyond. What do you think is going to happen? What trends have we missed? Do you have any predictions for 2016 or beyond? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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