Video game live streaming has seen an incredible rise in popularity since the start of the last year. Today, it occupies a place in the entertainment industry that was hard to foresee just a few years ago, it even threatens to overcome TV. There are also encouraging developments in the industry, with new forms and applications of streaming technology emerging as you read.
But can the future of live streaming in gaming actually be predicted?
Video Game Streaming
A great illustration of the success of video game streaming is the status some streamers have in society. They not only sign contracts worth millions of dollars, but streamers like Ninja have a huge following base and high status among the young population, which is comparable to superstars in the movie and music industries.
However, platforms that can be used for the development of a successful career in streaming are still very limited in numbers. We are mainly speaking only about the big three: Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.
Twitch is by far the biggest platform of the three, it covers 90% of the market. However, all three companies benefited enormously from the Covid-19 pandemic, as their views skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021. The success is so enormous, that gaming executives such as EA’s David Tinson can state with full confidence something like this: “We’re now thinking as much about what the viewing experience would be as the gameplay.”
Game streaming is about to become synonymous not only with watching popular streamers play games but also with being able to play video games yourself, without the need to download them. Streaming services such as Playstation Now are offering insanely big libraries of games that you can stream and play on your console. On the other hand, Xbox Game Pass is promising an endless stream of titles if you sign up for their services, without even the need to buy digital copies.
If game streaming services can enable you to play games without downloading them to your console, Cloud-based gaming is going a step further. With this type of streaming, you don’t even need a console, you can play the games on any device you have, laptop, desktop, or smartphone.
With such a service you would be using remote hardware to play games. This means you can play literally the most advanced and demanding games on your ordinary smartphone. The only catch is that you will need a very strong internet connection. But with the spread of 5G internet connectivity, this will quickly become a reality.
The two most well-known services that offer this kind of streaming are Nvidia GeForce and Google Stadia.
Like with video games, the way streaming is impacting the iGaming industry is twofold.
On the one hand, we are again witnessing the rise of streamer stars on YouTube and Twitch who are playing casino games for their audiences. Streamers such as Roshtein, Casino Daddy, and Classy Beef are today legitimate stars of the iGaming sector of the streaming entertainment industry with thousands and thousands of devoted followers.
On the other hand, online casinos are themselves implementing streaming technology in their daily business. Such casinos today offer live gambling sessions, in which gamblers can interact with real people and have a feeling similar to gambling inside a brick-and-mortar casino. Live-streaming has especially become popular for playing classic casino games, such as blackjack or roulette, and you can find all of them at the website of one of the better providers, SkyCity online casino who offers this type of playing. This mode of playing surely connects the old and the new, traditional brick-and-mortar and digital casinos.
In a way, these two aspects of how streaming is influencing online gambling are very compatible. Gamblers learn about new games, and how to play them from their favorite streamers, and then they implement this knowledge by playing in online casinos. It’s kind of a win-win situation.
The Future of eSports
Streaming also has a huge influence on the eSports industry. In fact, a new study called “eSports & Games Streaming: Emerging Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2025” predicts that by the year 2025 there will be over a billion eSports and games viewers.
Two key regions for the industry will be Asia Pacific (which will account for more than half of those viewers) and Latin America, a region set for huge growth over the next four years (there will be over 130 million eSports and games streaming viewers in the region by 2025).
As we can see, game streaming is not just “watching someone else play”. Although watching someone else play is also a very legitimate form of entertainment (no different from watching football for example), streaming technology today encompasses many different forms, some of which are still forming and searching for their place in the market.
But from all that we can see, we can conclude that the future of gaming is very bright and connected to at least one, but more probably to a few more forms of streaming.