By 2023, the online gaming industry is set to be worth more than $93 billion, almost doubling the value it holds now. How is this growth possible? Thanks to technological innovations, businesses across the world have been able to scale up, improve the services they can offer and expand the reach to a global customer base with people in far reaching corners of the world. While businesses once operated in a local sense, serving only the communities around them, today’s businesses have the freedom to be truly global, operating inside a digital ecosystem of interconnected communications and data systems that expand the horizons of feasible operations.
The online gaming industry has benefited from this digital ecosystem by embracing technological change and adapting their offerings to a digital gaming model, by which gamers now have access to an enhanced gaming experience with more ways to play than ever before. Below, we’ll discuss some of the technologies that have had the most effect on the online gaming industry and how they’ve enabled this sector to grow.
Casting our minds back to around a decade ago, it didn’t matter whether the latest game that came out had enhanced graphics and a better user experience, players were limited by the type of hardware that they were using. Players were limited by the functionality of the device they had and the amount of storage available. If they wanted to have the very best gaming experience, then not only did they have to invest in the latest games, but also the very best gaming pc to go along with it. Not only did this restrict many players gaming experience, the overall gaming experience was neither accessible nor consistent.
Cloud technology changed this. There was no longer the need for players to find enough space on their hard drive to install the game, and no need to purchase the very best hardware in order to be able to cope with the demands of the game. Cloud technology enabled players to access a whole library of games at any time and in any place, without the need for lengthy downloads. This changed the name of the game, in which many of todays’ games are now available through cloud platforms such as Origin and Google Strada.
Browser-based branded games
One area that has particularly benefited from being able to offer in-browser games is the casino industry. While casino games were once limited to brick and mortar venues, today’s leading online casino game providers have created a seamless in-browser experience that allows players to access a range of online casino games from the comfort of their own home.
Players are able to access games from anywhere, whether it be on the daily commute or from the comfort of their own sofa and this has in turn expanded the customer base of the online casino sector. While these games were typically played by an older male audience, since going digital, the sector has appealed to a far larger and more diverse customer base that encompasses the younger generations that typically wouldn’t have engaged with these sorts of games in a physical casino.
The adoption of blockchain technology
The growth of online gaming has subsequently meant that the industry has had to adapt to find a way to securely monetise their offerings, as well as ensuring players are protected. One solution to this is blockchain technology, where digital transactions are duplicated and distributed across a network of computer systems, making them safer and less vulnerable to cyber attack. This method of handling payments has revolutions the gaming sector and has brought significant benefits to both gaming providers and players.
For players, blockchain technology has introduced a payment method that utilises crypto currencies, not only making it easer for players to pay but also a lot more secure. When utilising a gaming platform that offers crypto-currency payment, players no longer have the need to go through third part providers, making the experience more seamless, as well as anonymous.
In terms of benefits to gaming providers, blockchain technology enables gaming developers to create their offerings in a secure area that does not rely on the typical server. Through the use of a ‘Proof of Work’ network, gaming providers are less susceptible to network attacks such as a DoS attack which floods a host site with more traffic than it can cope with, causing the network to crash. While no longer having to worry about this, gaming developers are free to focus on enhancing the overall gaming experience, instead of investing countless resources into preventing a cyber attack.
What does the future hold for the online gaming sector?
As technology continues to advance, it’s releasing more opportunities for the online gaming sector that as we can see, it is allowing it to grow at an unprecedented rate. With the like of VR technology bridging the gap between the physical and online worlds, and app based gaming that allow player sot access their favourite games even more remotely than in-browser games, the online gaming sector are now able to offer an unparalleled experience.
While it’s clear that the digital ecosystem has broadened the horizons of the online gaming sector, it’s also created an incredible amount of competition in which it will be interesting to see who can keep up.