When it comes to many of the digital developments that are affecting our lives, the $90 billion global video game business is often one of the first locations where many people see them in action. Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), blockchain, and, in particular, today’s biggest term – the metaverse – are all examples of this.
Today’s gamers are used to exploring realistic 3D landscapes and engaging with hundreds or thousands of other players in real-time, far from the crude and blocky sprites that many of us adored as children. The infrastructure put in place by game makers to accomplish this is based on cutting-edge technology, ranging from super-fast 5G and cloud networking to super-powerful processors. Whether you are placing a bet on the most recent Kentucky Derby odds or gaming all of these trends could affect you.
Since the 1970s, when home video gaming first became popular, gamers have accepted the necessity to upgrade to a new console or computer every five years or so in order to keep up with the newest and greatest titles. That paradigm, though, might be coming to an end very soon.
Almost all of the major video game companies, including Microsoft, Sony, Google, Nvidia, Tencent, and Amazon, now sell their games via cloud-based subscription services. Under this approach, gamers don’t need to constantly buy and upgrade pricey and power-hungry gear like consoles or PC GPUs and keep them in their homes, all they need are smart TV’s or their favorite streaming devices that are compatible.
Everything happens in a cloud data center, and the result is sent to households through streaming video. Furthermore, as super-fast networks like as 5G continue to develop, this new manner of providing games will become more widely available than ever before. Overall, although it’s not a given certainty that dedicated home gaming systems will be phased out of our life, 2022 is a year in which industry leaders will commit more resources to their vision of a streaming, cloud-based future.
Blockchain and NFTs
Several of the major game developers (such as Square Enix and Ubisoft) have revealed plans to include non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into their games as a mechanism for players to win, acquire, and trade unique in-game things. We’ll probably start to see some of these ambitions come to reality around the middle of 2022.
The concept isn’t popular with all players, especially since many consider these tokens to be a waste of energy. This is owing to the significant processing power required to run the blockchain algorithms required to make them work. However, with game publishers proclaiming that the convergence of gaming and NFTs has a bright future ahead of it and a demonstrated readiness to invest money to make it a reality, it’s likely to become a reality.
Another emerging trend is the proliferation of “play-to-earn” games, which reward players with cryptocurrencies in exchange for participating in daily play. There are over a million daily active users on Axie Infinity, with some earning up to $250 a day. In some of the underdeveloped nations where the game is popular, this is a good living.
Esports is a term that describes the expansion of video games to incorporate elements that are more often associated with professional sports, such as live audiences, tournaments, leagues, sponsorships, and compensated players. Esports will make its maiden appearance as an official event at the 2022 Asian Games, marking its first appearance in a major international multi-sport event.
Esports skyrocketed in popularity during the Covid-19 epidemic, producing over $1 billion in income for the first time in 2021, with the bulk of the money coming from media rights and sponsorship, and is expected to climb to over $2 billion in 2022. In addition, 73 million people tuned in to see the League of Legends World Championship final in 2021, a 60 percent increase over 2020, and that record is likely to be broken again in 2022.
This proves that gaming has actually transformed into a spectator sport, and we can anticipate both the number of professional players and the number of prize pools to continue to grow in the next year.