The videogame industry has been a lucrative one for generations now, from the very first cabinet arcade titles to the online, multi-platform entries of today. The global gaming industry was valued at more than $170 billion in 2020, and according to a recent industry forecast, it is projected to increase by around 80% by 2026. This projected growth makes the video gaming space one of the most promising for businesses — especially with the various new and improved mechanisms that can deliver titles to consumers.
Here we will examine three areas that democratize access to gaming and push the envelope for new ways of engaging with interactive media.
One of the bigger democratic shifts in gaming came unassumingly, as home PCs became more and more common in US homes. The humble web browser is an indispensable portal to information and resources on the web, but as the average computer’s processing power increased, so too did its capability to run games directly in-browser. One of the major corners of the gaming industry where this can be found is casino gaming, where sites can offer a wide range of online slots, like Go Fish and Tiki Magic, for casual gamers to log in and play without downloads or the need for any additional technology.
With in-browser gaming, barriers to entry for playing games online are removed for those less inclined to engage with specialist hardware or complicated downloads. From the flash games of the early 2000s to sophisticated 3D titles and even legacy titles like Doom and Mario, the possibilities of website-hosted gaming have seen dramatic expansion — and continue to do so.
Advancement in GPUs
The Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU, is a foundational aspect of the technology behind video games, and its continued development in recent years has enabled unprecedented advancement in the graphical possibilities of games across the industry. Achievements once thought impossible, such as ray-tracing are now achievable with new commercial units. This growth of commercially available technology inspires healthy competition among developers, pushing innovation and increasing the quality of games available to consumers — with the knock-on effect of growth in profits.
VR and the Metaverse
The future is especially bright for the gaming industry, as tech giants turn their attention to new technologies and their introduction to the mainstream. VR technology has been of major interest to tech companies, with years of research and development resulting in successful launches of products like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s proprietary PSVR headset. As the capabilities of VR become more fully realized, new platforms for gameplay are being developed. Chief among them is the metaverse, an online virtual world in which users will meet, work, and play. Much like browser gaming before it, the metaverse could be a great leveler for access to video games, as well as a lucrative spur for new development and business opportunity.
Innovation is the cornerstone of the video game industry and the central factor behind the industry’s prospective increase in value over the next half-decade. With advanced technology more and more widely available to consumers around the world, the number of opportunities in the gaming space is ever-expanding.