New Technologies - Widening Horizons for Gaming Industry

Published on 23 Aug, 2021

The online gaming industry has developed considerably since inception. Equipped with special features and interesting elements, this industry is much more advanced today. However, this business is highly competitive and constant innovation is necessary to retain customers. Every company in this sector faces pressure to constantly offer new, more entertaining products to survive. New-age technologies help the gaming industry move ahead and create enhanced experience for gamers.

Online gaming was introduced as early as the 1970s. However, it truly evolved and gained wide-scale adoption after the internet and LAN networks were discovered. Today, the industry enjoys immense popularity and is a major revenue generator in the digital media market. In 2020, the global online gaming market recorded revenue of approximately USD 21.1 billion and historical 21.9% growth compared with that in the previous year. Currently, there are around 1 billion online gamers, with South Korea, Japan, and China having the highest numbers. This number is projected to surpass 1.3 billion by 2025.

The main driver of growth in online gaming is continuous research and development. Gamers are on the constant lookout for exciting new games that offer a more enjoyable experience. The following technologies help the industry innovate and offer better features, increased interaction, and other facilities to users:

  • Facial and voice recognition – With technologies such as 3D scanning and facial recognition, players can now create their virtual likeness in the gaming world. Some gaming companies use 3D cameras to create games that monitor and change as per gamers’ emotions. For example, if a gamer is grimacing, the system will interpret this as the game being too difficult and reduce its complexity. Voice-controlled gaming is also catching up and gamers can now turn the console on or off using voice commands. The popular game Botcolony is voice-controlled, and players need to only issue a voice command to robots in the game. Another example of the usage of this technology is Nevermind. The Windows and Mac versions of the game apply the biofeedback technology and track players’ feelings of excitement or anxiety through their voice. The game is designed to dynamically respond to those feelings and make changes accordingly.
  • AR & VR technologies – The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies have completely changed the gaming experience. The VR technology offers a completely immersive experience to users and makes it more enjoyable. The game Star Wars: Battlefront VR Mission uses the VR technology to create a realistic experience for players. Minecraft also plans to release its game in the VR format.

    The AR technology improves the online gaming experience by providing a complete 360-degree view to engage users. A phenomenally successful AR-based game is Pokemon Go, which has a fan base across the world.

  • Cloud gaming – When gaming had just emerged, it was limited by the memory of a disk or console. However, with the launch of Gaming-as-a-Service (GaaS), also known as cloud gaming, a massive server size is now available. It allows games to stream HD images through the internet. Examples of cloud gaming platforms include PlayStation Now, Google Stadia, and Project xCloud.
  • Wearables – Gaming has now become portable through wearables. Whether it is smartwatches or glasses, the wearable technology allows users to access their favourite games on the move. Betting sites and casinos have also integrated wearable devices to help players enjoy games on the go. With these new gadgets, players do not require smartphones to access games and can play anytime and anywhere.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI has entered the gaming world and is being implemented to generate responsive or adaptive behaviours in non-player characters (NPCs). Further research in AI will lead to development tools that will automate the generation of sophisticated games. Developers can design in-game characters to evolve as players have increased interaction with them. Games such as AlphaGo and IBM Watson have successfully leveraged the AI technology.
  • Online payment options – Technology has created many new payment options for online gamers who prefer casinos or card games. For instance, blockchain has now enabled payments to be made via cryptocurrency. Other online wallets such as PayPal and Neteller are also available. These options are user-friendly, secure, and have lightning speed.

Technologies such as high-tech devices and smartphones has simplified and transformed our lives. Although the gaming industry has benefitted from new-age technologies to offer an exciting, immersive, and engaging experience to users, the transformation is not yet complete. The demand for games offering more interaction and new platforms continues and gaming companies must capitalize on it. As new technologies continue to develop and are integrated in online games, player experience will change drastically. In the near future, a new generation of massive multiplayer games will be launched, thus changing the face of the gaming industry.