3D graphics and special effects, streaming and the rise of AI has taken things up a notch for the video gaming industry, which now has over two billion users worldwide.
Gaming has gone through tremendous changes since the arrival of video games in the late fifties and early sixties, with “MIT’s Spacewar!” said to be among the first games to support video display. From the hugely popular Pac-Man series to the visually stunning Red Dead Redemption, video games have come a long way.
Technological advancement has blurred the line between reality and fantasy, and the gaming industry is continuing to benefit from this tech upgrade. Modern-day video games are on the same level as any Hollywood movie when it comes to production, marketing costs and sales revenue. Just last year, the global gaming industry generated more than $160 billion in revenue, and this figure is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023.
But how did the gaming industry reach these previously unimaginable heights? Let’s find out.
3D Graphics & Special Effects
The invention of 3D technology and special effects is considered a breakthrough in the world of gaming. Today, games are more realistic as compared to the two-dimensional video games produced several decades ago.
The advent of 3D graphics paved the way towards building realistic textures, physical characteristics in addition to enabling in-game interactions between objects. Thanks to all this, gaming has become a highly immersive and personalized experience.
The Rise of Streaming Services
With streaming increasingly becoming the preferred source of entertainment, gaming companies are looking for ways to get on a par with streaming service providers such as Spotify and Netflix (the two most popular audio and video streaming services in the world today).
Streaming services allow users to listen to or watch audio and video without the need of a CD player or a DVD. Replace CD/DVD with video game consoles or PCs and you will see that tech companies share the same goal – and all you (as a user) need is a reliable Wi-Fi connection powered by Charter to enjoy a smooth streaming experience.
By offering video games on subscription, video game development studios will be able to cut down on major expenses in the form of manufacturing, shipping and storage costs. Since subscription is a continuous mode of revenue, it stands to generate solid profits for video game developers throughout the year.
Funding by Tech Companies
The involvement of tech giants such as Google and Apple has injected billions of dollars into the gaming industry, which is already witnessing 9.3 percent year-over-year growth. Due to its tremendous reach (gamers make up 26% of the world’s population), the gaming industry offers tremendous potential for growth.
Tech companies are betting on their video game development divisions by investing billions of dollars into research and development. Microsoft, which through its Xbox console enjoys a loyal following in the global gaming market, introduced Project xCloud last year.
Social networking giant Facebook had announced its collaboration with Unity Technologies in 2016 to create a development framework for people interested in making video games. Another perk of such games is that they are available on multiple platforms such as smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
AR & VR Gaming
Video games powered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) create a lifelike experience for users. AI in video games generates human-like behavior in non-player-characters or NPCs. It makes use of existing techniques such as pathfinding to determine an NPC’s behavior in the game world.
VR games, on the other hand, provides a truly immersive and first-person experience to users via interactive software and hardware. Playable characters in video games can be controlled by the movement of the body through a virtual reality headset.
Multiple Payment Options
Long gone are the days when you had to show paper currency to purchase video games. The advent of paperless transactions including debit/credit card payments and virtual currencies has provided added convenience to both producers and gamers.
The primary benefit of online transactions is that it is safe and can be conducted from anywhere, anytime. Chances of money laundering and fraud are also limited.
What’s amazing about the gaming industry is that it is still growing at an unprecedented rate. As more and more casual users become hardcore gamers, they provide tech companies with more reasons to introduce great character designs, compelling storylines, and an overall interactive gaming experience.