With all the hype around esports lately, it should not come as a surprise that pro-gaming is taking over conventional media like video games. Well, for better or worse, esports is here to stay. Naturally, it is crucial to explore the trends that are propelling this new media to fame. More importantly, it is the interaction between the technology, business, and consumer patterns that will determine the future of our gaming and media industry, thus making this a valuable discussion point.
Patterns in the business aspect
It makes perfect business sense for stakeholders in the gaming and media industry to ensure gaming modes remain in the domain of digital media. This gives them the autonomy to continue leading the industry. As a result, the following trend appeared.
Gaming and its transformation into a service
Nowadays, new popular game releases are rarely physically dispensed through game shops for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the program powering our high standard games these days are so intricate that burning them on a disc that is free of bugs is nearly out of the question. The second, more potent reason is how media companies and frameworks for businesses are rapidly developing and becoming more unrecognizable. For one, consumers can start games for free because businesses know that it is how long users eventually spend on their franchise that makes a game successful and profitable. A noteworthy point here is that engagement time is not exclusively the time spent on the game itself. In fact, organizations that are aware of this and direct their resources to it, are now leaders in the field of pro-gaming. In particular, an increasing number of people are becoming huge fans of online gambling, like https://www.beatthefish.com/us-poker-sites/ for instance, that provide them with a much-needed respite from reality as well.
Gaming across multiple devices
Ever since smartphones and iPads became a common thing among consumers, these devices have conveniently become gaming screens as well. Furthermore, Newzoo’s 2012 four-screen segmentation model solidified gaming as a cross-screen activity. That said, a franchise that is made compatible with multiple screens did not prove to be all that effective for business according to multiple studies. Businesses then knew that drawing on their resources to do so would be futile. Instead, what they found was that gamers only use one device to play and the rest to view gaming-related content. Thus, videos are still a big part of the gaming industry, making it a real multi-device entertainment. On top of that, a new group of non-player consumers emerged. This then becomes a new platform for businesses to capitalize on by engaging consumers in intriguing game ideas.
Patterns in the technology aspect
User-friendly technological platforms that are able to disseminate information to the masses via a multitude of ways are only a sign of trouble.
Live broadcasting platforms and content creator
This might come as a surprise to some but for years now, the popularity of game-related videos has exceeded all other types of content except for music on the famous media platform, YouTube. In fact, the number of views garnered by videos about Minecraft on the famed platform has surpassed the number of internet users across the world! If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is! Given the widespread consumption of open source capturing, broadcasting platforms, and live gaming content ready to be viewed right at your fingertips, it is no wonder that consumers are spending an overwhelming amount of time on their screens for these gaming content. Consumers especially enjoy games that involve some form of competition and the need for creative thinking to produce strategies.
Accounts and communities for videos
We have reached the age where content from the masses can be shared with just the click of a button. On both social networking sites and other upcoming platforms, live-streaming and recorded videos have made it entirely possible for anyone to form groups that share similar franchise preferences. Although smartphones and tablets are crowd favorites for enjoying game-related content, the ability to connect with community content is being further enhanced by the television. As a result, television channels that used to broadcast conventional programs that give many a sense of nostalgia are increasingly being occupied by a new wave of entertainment: video gaming.
Patterns in the consumer aspect
Youngsters are increasingly willing to spend the majority of their time watching video content that is produced by fellow consumers. In fact, they love it! This makes the ability to make and share content extremely important to many young consumers’ experiences with their favorite franchise and media of choice.
Engagement and forming content
Current consumers are expecting more than ever. On top of enjoying the game, consumers demand their favorite games to include features that let them design things that their fellow gamers and anyone who’s interested can see. Not only are celebrities these days considered to be the most well-liked creators, but more and more children dream to be such creators for a living. Esports lovers are given more opportunities to contribute and show their passion for the franchise and gamers they admire. Consumers’ opinions and preferences are increasingly considered in the production of games even among the most powerful game creators, who are taking a role at the sidelines.
Consumers are becoming the creators for fellow consumers
It used to be that televisions broadcast reality shows while computerized platforms consist of other consumers’ exploits, thoughts on certain products, and “top 10 epic fails” that anyone can watch at the click of a button. Since then, the rise of live-streaming platforms like YouNow and Periscope opened up the doors to greater prospects. Predominated by the content of live gaming, this will end up becoming an ordinary occurrence. Eventually, channels will be owned by popular creators or other unnamed consumers that stream live content like music and sports for viewers to enjoy. There will likely be a limitless amount of live commentary videos that these consumers can choose from as well.
Through this article, the future of the gaming and media industry is laid out plainly. The path that we as consumers and the related industries are heading on is clear when we look at the trends that are emerging from the business sense and how it interacts with consumers and technology scene. What is not clear is how this future will impact our lives as gaming becomes a greater part of many individuals’ lives. Where do we then head to from there?