Online Gaming Industry: Redefining Entertainment01 August, 2022
When taking physical education classes, have you ever felt excluded and wondered whether there are any activities that would be appropriate for you? Have you ever been bullied for not knowing how to play a particular sport and it left you feeling that you are not cut out for any form of sports? This is where online gaming comes in. The beauty of this industry is such that there is something for everyone and there is absolutely no judgement. My grandmother recently requested me to download some new games since she was becoming tired of the old ones. Clearly, video games are no longer restricted to a certain age group. We now live in a gaming realm that is mood and day dependent. It is constantly developing with a rapidly-growing market.
In the world of gaming, the terms ‘online gaming’ and ‘esports’ are often used interchangeably. But they are, in fact, not the same thing. Esports is just one segment within the enormous online gaming ecosystem. It alludes to competitive or professional electronic gaming. Online Gaming on the other hand, encompasses all parties involved, including game developers, game publishers, retailers, distributors, hardware developers, gaming arenas and esports.
In the 19th century, people for the first time realized that games which were enjoyed in leisure could be monetized. Your favourite board game Monopoly was finally born! Simple card games took on a digital form with the introduction of computers. Do you recall sneaking away from your parents to play the addicting 'Snake' games on their old Nokia brick phone? With the continued expansion of this market, we have progressed from card games to fantasy leagues and so on. Fantasy sports has become a huge crowd-puller and despite the fact that sporting events had got cancelled in 2020, it still increased by a massive 24% as per the FICCI-EY report titled ‘The era of consumer A.R.T. – Acquisition Retention and Transaction’.
Thanks to smartphones and accessible internet, gaming is now available at our fingertips. Mobile gaming is developing at an astonishing rate. Interestingly, in a survey of 12,327 mobile app users aged between 18-65 across the US, UK, Germany, and France, Newzoo (in partnership with Activision Blizzard) found that mobile gaming apps have been the 3rd most popular app style, sitting behind first and second place social media apps and shopping apps(1). Subscriptions, In-App-purchases, Rewards and Social trades have all contributed to mobile gaming’s rapid rise.
The pandemic accelerated the expansion of the online gaming sector, which hasn't experienced a decline since its inception. Games ensured that people remained socially linked, alleviated loneliness and kept their minds occupied. The online gaming industry is expanding dramatically across the globe and is the newest sunrise sector in the market. Gaming firms have now started earning handsome revenues from this sector by generating a huge volume of game downloads, shooting advertisements, and elevating user experience. Currently, gamers' popularity has grown multi-fold, as seen by their large fan followings across a variety of social media platforms, and some have even started live broadcasting their gameplay to entertain their viewers. This was unheard of till a couple of years ago. The creator economy has ensured that creator can earn off it, however, niche, so it isn’t a hobby or past time anymore.
Cloud Gaming, Virtual Reality and Real time personalization are creating a paradigm change in the gaming era. Virtual reality, in particular has been instrumental in blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. They are altering the way consumers interact with technology and video games. The ever-changing technology breakthroughs (for example, mobile geolocation), game formats (in-play sports wagering, daily fantasy sports) and commercial models (virtual currency or social casino) offer enormous opportunities. The biggest challenge though has been the lack of capital investment which is poised to change in the future.
From its humble beginnings as a recreational activity to kill time and relieve stress, video games have evolved into a global industry that generates billions of dollars annually. It has now become a sub-culture that interacts with other forms of art and media. The sector offers enormous job prospects, there is never a shortage of users, and there is always room for progress. With such positives shining by its side, this sector is here to thrive and grow!
(1) Newzoo: Games are the third most-popular mobile app category | GamesIndustry.biz, last visited on 26.09.2022.