Tennis for Two
Do these words ring a bell?
Yes, these are some of the most popular and earliest video games that acted as the foundation of the gaming industry. The kids growing up in the 1970s and 80s (who have their own kids now!) could hardly imagine how the gaming industry would flourish. As these children competed for a higher Pac-Man score, somewhere grew the gaming industry. No one could realise that the simple video games they grew up playing led to the beginning of a gaming culture which soon transformed into a multi-billion industry.
Gaming became relevant as a leisure activity since the beginning of the 21st century. It’s been around for a long time now. While people begin with gaming as a fun activity, a few choose to take it to the next level. Today, we have full-time gamers who earn their bread and butter from this industry. So is the influence of gaming!
Technology: The springboard for growth of gaming
Technology has grown at a trailblazing speed during the past 10 years. As technology makes way into every aspect of our lives, gaming cannot be insulated. In the recent past, technology has changed the landscape of the gaming industry like how. The evolution of video games from 2D models to immersive experiences and virtual reality (VR) has been phenomenal. The barriers between the real world and fantasy world are slowly disappearing. All this can be attributed to widespread innovation and unprecedented technological advancement. In addition, the ever-increasing quality of interactive content drives this sector. Visual stimuli and attractive gaming ‘consoles’ are doing their bit to provide the much-needed adrenaline rush to gamers.
Pandemic: Blessing in disguise for avid gamers
During the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, individuals constantly looked to innovative ways to entertain themselves. As people worldwide were instructed to stay at home, they sought solace in gaming. Isolation and need for social interaction made people look for new avenues to achieve this. Gaming not only provided relaxation to people, but also was a source of happiness in times of gloom. People began socialising and making friends with fellow gamers. Thanks to social media, it not only added to the popularity of mobile games but also led to the formation of gaming communities which continued to stay.
Future of gaming: Does it belong to technology?
With an approximate net worth of US$ 300 billion, the gaming industry is already a clear winner. It is striding ahead of its counterparts, the movie and entertainment industry. Sometime back two friends talking to each other would ask, “What should I binge watch this weekend?” Now, the question has changed to, “Should I watch something or is there a game you suggest I should play?”
The number of people who use consoles, smartphones, tablets, and PCs to play games is projected to reach ~3.32 billion by 2024. Such projections make people think if technology is all set to take over the gaming world. Let us examine a few trends in the light of this statement.
Gaming goes mobile!
At present, there are more than 2.2 billion active mobile gamers. Mobile phones are no longer gadgets, but a means to stay connected to the rest of the world in today’s times. During the last couple of years, especially post pandemic, the interest of mobile phone companies in the gaming industry has multiplied like never before. This is because people worldwide find it more convenient to play games on the move with mobile phones in their hands. You never know if easy-to-play and popular games like Monster Strike, Candy Crush and Coin Master compete with games available in consoles or PCs in the times to come. Who’d rather purchase a play station when a variety of games are already available on our Smartphones? E-sports, gaming wearables and cross-platform gaming are some of the things that the mobile gaming industry is looking forward to in the near future.
Cloudy days ahead
With companies across industries ‘moving to the cloud’, gaming cannot be left behind. Stadia (Google) and GeForce Now (Nvidia) already help gamers indulge in a seamless gaming experience without forcing them to invest in hardware. Just like remote working, a user can access game files on any device from anywhere. All that is needed is Internet access and of course a device! Therefore, gaming enthusiasts need not save money all year round to gift themselves a PlayStation on their birthday. People interested in gaming can opt for the subscription of a platform they like and play their heart out without worrying about constant system upgrades. This has made gaming much more accessible than before.
AR & VR at the forefront
Artificial Reality (AR) and VR help gamers discover the ‘joy in solitude’ that we often seek. Nothing works better for a gamer than wearing a headset to enter a new world. This is what they call spending ‘quality time’ with yourself or the cliched ‘me time’ we look forward to all our lives. Just put on your VR headset and you are practically a part of the game. VR not only provides an immersive experience, but also enhances the emotions and brings the much-needed excitement to the table. Combining it with AR helps people control not only their characters and action, but also the surroundings they want to be part of. As companies continue to get busy to increase the comfort of VR headsets, gamers surely would not mind such an exciting ‘head butt’.
The user base of every gaming platform is different from the other. Therefore, the never-ending debate of which platform is best and why is here to continue. However, the pace at which the gaming community continues to expand, cross-platform gaming is likely to be the next big thing. This means that in a group of four playing one game, all the four could be accessing the game from a different platform. It does not matter if you are playing the game on a tablet, Smartphone, console, or PC. After all, you are playing the same game!
G for ‘5G’ in Gaming
5G, the technology that is all set to create a fully connected world, would also have a significant impact on the gaming industry. With benefits like ultra low latency, higher bandwidth and enhanced speed, gamers are assured that 5G would clear all their roadblocks. This leads to improved connectivity and provides a seamless experience. 5G would prove to be a boon for the eSports industry as Smartphone gamers would not rely on 4G and utilise the experience.
We love to play games, no matter what!
The meteoric rise of the gaming industry has just begun. It is all set to grow and grow. There’s no stopping it. With a modest beginning, the gaming segment is slowly turning into one of the most innovative industries in today’s times. What separates gaming from the rest is the flexibility it offers. Play alone if you enjoy it or play it with people you connect with. You can play it on a mobile phone or go for the immersive VR experience. After all, every human enjoys one game or the other! The pace at which technological advancements are proliferating the gaming space already indicates what the future would be like.