Gamers are usually early technology adopters and the technology has paid them back. Today’s gamers have access to games on the go, with the ability to play against competitors from anywhere in the world. As more gamers add mobile options into their console and computer play, the industry is seeing an explosion in revenue, with $91 billion generated worldwide in 2016.
The relationship between games and technology is mutual beneficial – look at a few ways each boosts the other, and how technology is forever changing how people game.
Human-Like Artificial Intelligence
The gaming industry has always been a leader in artificial intelligence, even back in the Pac-Man and Asteroid days. The way a game is played from one step to the next is determined through artificial intelligence responding to the commands a human gives it. AI is taking gaming to new levels, though, as the technology evolves to a more human-like place. The reactions players can take, in everything from dance to war games, are more in tune with typical human behavior – and so is the response from the computer.
Online Multi-Player Gaming
Gaming competitions used to be limited to the people you could fit in your living room but today gamers can compete against anyone, anywhere with internet access and the same game. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games have pushed this genre to the cutting edge, with the most-popular site World of Warcraft earning 8 million monthly subscribers. When you think about those numbers, gaming does have a huge reach that is global.
Gaming has evolved from a single console system played with friends in real time, to websites on computer, to internet-connected consoles, to mobile app play connected through smart devices. Gamers aren’t limited to the games in front of them at the current moment or even to playing them at home. Games can be played on the go, and are – the Entertainment Software Association reports that 74% of all video game-associated revenue comes from digital purchases, driven largely by mobile gaming. Whether learning video poker or battling fictional warlords across the globe, gamers want constant access to their games – and high-quality mobile apps fill that need to the tune of billions in gaming revenue annually on a global scale.
When talking about mobile gaming apps, we’d be remiss not to mention perhaps the biggest gaming success story of the past 5 years: Pokémon Go. This Nintendo-powered app harnessed the power of augmented reality, using real maps and locations in a fictionalized gaming atmosphere, to usher gamers into a new realm of gaming. While the popularity is waning, less than a year since its release, the initial success of Pokémon Go has already spawned other AR games and technology. Expect to see a lot more from the AR department when it comes to gaming in the coming half-decade.
Gaming has pushed technology to new levels, and that tech has boosted gaming potential and revenue in the process. Just imagine what the two can accomplish in the future – and what it means for the state of gaming worldwide.