In the past ten years, many industries related to the technology sector have met radical changes which have helped improve many of its services. While concepts such as free games, cloud gaming or immersive experiences seemed a distant reality at the beginning of the century, in recent they have become common practices.
As a result, the gaming industry has become a vital partner in the development of new technologies related to animation, design, rendering, and game programming. However, some of the biggest changes in gaming in the past decade have focused on how business models operate.
With faster and more reliable internet connections, game developers were presented with countless new business opportunities. Players could not only play some of their favourite titles on consoles, tablets or smartphones, but they could log in to their accounts and retrieve all data related to their profiles.
This was a vital improvement to conventional gaming but also to the iGaming industry. Online casinos and gambling platforms could expand their business and adapt some of their most popular titles to different formats. This gave users the possibility to swiftly change their playing devices without losing their progress or having to start a new gaming session. In addition, these platforms have even created special bonuses for users accessing games using mobile devices. There are also detailed guides on the best casinos operating across different devices.
While this could be considered a purely technological advancement, for developers this was a crucial business decision since it would affect all sorts of revenue. For instance, in-game assets, which can be bought online to improve and customize game experiences, were liberated so they could be used across different platforms and devices, allowing users to only pay for them once.
At first glance, eSports may seem just like the natural progression of an increasingly competitive and professional industry, however, the financial motivations behind these virtual sports were far more important to its development. Electronic sports have not only created a new wave of spectators, professional players/teams, and sponsors, but they have also generated revenues close to $1.2 billion in 2021 alone.
In fact, eSports is more than just professional gaming competitions, but also signals the creation and development of a new segment of spectators and paying audiences. It is essentially the expansion of gaming as an entertainment form directed at active players, to a new reality in which gaming involves a massified spectatorship.
Conglomerates and Acquisitions
Much like in the tv and film industry, in the past ten years, video game and console developers have begun to merge to enter new market segments and consolidate their operations. For instance, the biggest acquisition in the history of the gaming industry, Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard for a stunning $70 billion, is the perfect example of how one of the biggest console manufacturers is actively interested in developing their own games and further expanding their business model to increasingly rely on game developing.
Other high-profile deals and conglomerate consolations also include Rockstar Game’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, acquiring Zynga, one of the biggest mobile phone game developers or Tencent, owner of Riot Games, buying Supercell, responsible for titles such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.