The online gaming sector is a billion dollar industry that has experienced insane growth over the last decade, and it’s expected to get stronger. According to SuperData, the gaming industry generated $108.4 billion in revenue in 2017. Mobile gaming brought in an impressive $59.2 billion, followed by PC and gaming consoles which made $33 billion and $8.3 billion respectively. Technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality together generated $4 billion and Esports made $756 million!
Mobile Gaming is the largest revenue driver for gaming companies and this hot trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The marketplace is absolutely flooded with free-to-play games that make a fortune following a freemium business model. Mobile apps such as Fortnite: Battle Royale, PUBG Mobile and Clash of Clans, all make massive profits by initially offering games for free and then later up sell customers to purchase extra features. People also are spending less time locked away in their rooms playing games on their PC or console, instead they prefer the option of playing on their smartphone. Despite the small screen and poor processing power, the smartphone will only get bigger due to its convenience. Many predict by 2020, mobile gaming will capture 40% of the revenue within the market.
Platforms such as Twitch have played an important role in developing this trend. An increasing number of people prefer to watch others playing live instead of watching highlights on YouTube. New online tools enable gamers to live stream their content at the click of a button. Twitch spotted the rise of live streaming long before everyone else and is now reaping the rewards. The platform now has thousands of gamers entertaining millions of viewers from comfort of their homes.
For years virtual reality has been hyped as the next big technology and only now it is starting to break into the mainstream. VR gaming offers a whole new experience, you can immerse yourself inside a 3-D virtual environment that closely resembles real life. Tech companies are investing heavily into VR to gain a first mover advantage over competitors. Sony in particular, have invested millions into developing a new range of VR games for consoles.
Since 2016, eSports has grown drastically with more and more events being held for professional and amateur gamers to show off their skills. Tournaments like League of Legends World Championship are extremely competitive as the prizes for winning can be in the millions. The most popular type of eSport games played at tournaments include first-person shooter, real-time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena. It’s estimated by 2019, 427 million people globally will be watching eSports due to platforms such as Twitch and YouTube that give massive exposure.
Online casino and sports betting are becoming popular particularly in the UK where the regulation is limited. Statistics reveal online gambling is worth $47.11 billion according to Statista. iGaming companies worldwide are all hoping to profit from its growth but more than likely governments will enact polices to safeguard consumers best interests. While gambling can be fun on a small scale, there are certain people always take things too far and end up going bankrupt.
The rapid rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are impacting the gaming world as they offer users an alternative means of payment. Everyone will no longer have to deal the inconvenience of using their credit or debit card to pay online. It will also be interesting to see how the blockchain can be leveraged to transform online gaming.
The Bottom Line
The online gaming industry continues to change at a rapid pace with new trends emerging every few years. With so many talented developers and programmers working on new gaming technology, gaming will experience innovation never seen before.