The gaming industry is bigger and better than it’s ever been, we all know that. If you’re a gamer of any merit, the number of options available in today’s market is extensive. For us, the most interesting aspect of the industry at the start of 2018 is how diverse its become. Far from being a place where consoles reign supreme, mediums and games of all shapes and sizes are now big business.
According to the 2017 Year in Review Report by SuperData, mobile gaming is the biggest player in the market. Generating $59.2 billion, smartphone and tablet gaming has now become the default medium for gaming. Indeed, as Statista’s data shows, there is now, on average, 2.8 billion people playing mobile games each month. Ease of access is certainly the main reason for the rise of mobile gaming, but improvements in quality and quantity are also contributing factors. We only have to look towards a title such as Pokémon Go from Nintendo to see mobile games are killing it.
From Mobile to Reality
In fact, the rise of Pokémon Go uncovers another shift in the gaming market: alternative realities. Between virtual and augmented reality, we’ve now got a whole new subgenre of games coming to life. For mobile users, Pokémon Go was the big hit, but across the industry as a whole there are plenty of alternative realities. Although opinions will differ, Ready at Dawn’s adventure game Lone Echo is a perfect example of how modern technology is changing the gaming industry for the better. By thrusting you into space, a place you wouldn’t normally get access to, the game literally takes your experience into a new dimension.
Why is virtual reality a big deal? Well, because it offers a more realistic gaming experience. Sure, the images and animations might not be lifelike, but the movements and the all-encompassing environment are. This push for greater authenticity was inspired, in part, by the casino gaming sector. Another area into which the industry as a whole has diversified, casino sites now provide players with more immersive experiences through something known as live dealer tables. For example, at Mr Green, the in-house development team works alongside software providers such as Evolution Gaming and NetEnt to offer a selection of live-action tables. From blackjack and roulette to Wheel of Fortune inspired games, players can interact with real dealers via HD webcams.
Games Become More than Games
This use of HD webcams brings us onto the final area in which the gaming industry has branched into: video content. As per SuperData’s study, the gaming video content sector is now worth $3.2 billion. In decades past, gaming was often a solitary affair. Gradually, however, as games went online and people started to compete against each other, things became more social. This dynamic has since given rise to video streams whereby players play in front of millions of fans. Commonly seen on Twitch but also on other platforms such as Steam, YouTube and Facebook, these broadcasts are almost like mini TV shows. In fact, if there’s any sign that gaming is more diverse than ever, this is at.
Today, games aren’t just for playing, they’re for watching. This is a big shift and symptomatic of how the industry has evolved. By embracing new ideas and technology, big brands and developers have created a market that literally has something for everyone. Whether it’s traditional console products, VR, casino games or mobile offerings, there’s no doubt the gaming industry is bigger and better than it’s ever been.