Worldwide interest in gaming has increased during the pandemic, according to a report by Forbes. Lockdown measures around the world forced people to stay at home, spurring interest in gaming. Since no one could go out or watch sports, they gave gaming a try–and the market has grown ever since. In fact, mobile gaming accounted for $77.2 billion in revenue in 2020, with a total of 2.5 billion players globally–growing 12% from 2019.
With more gamers online, social channels, eSports avenues, and mass adoption through digital distribution went on the rise. The emergence of cloud streaming, thanks to IoT, allowed publishers and developers to connect players, without the need for any specific devices.
There are other ways that IoT is leveraged to enhance the gaming experience. In this article, we’ll discuss use cases for IoT in gaming, and what’s next for the gaming industry.
A fully immersive experience
Mobile games, IoT, and the inclusion of virtual reality have given gamers a more immersive gaming experience. Instead of actually playing just a hero, they actually become the hero of the game.
Gamers from before had to be tied to a specific console through a network of wires and cables. Controllers can now be connected through Bluetooth, and many popular games now sync across platforms.
Microsoft’s Azure, a cloud platform for dev solutions, also helped to scale the needs of games through real-time analytics that built responsive in-game experiences. According to Michael Yum, development chief of Playgroundz, “Developers can now take data from people playing games and in real-time render them back out to other gamers to create a live experience even when they are not playing together.” As a result, Xbox games such as Halo and Forza are leveraging IoT to enhance gameplay, thanks to the feel of connectivity.
The emergence of eSports
Another important use case is in casinos and mobile casino games. These venues are enticing players to physically go back into actual casinos, rewarding them with free mobile games that offer prizes, coupons, and other promos. Online casinos are also utilizing tech to create virtual gaming platforms that connect players to the physical casino.
What’s next for IoT and gaming
Yum explains that the future is bright for IoT in gaming. “IoT will give developers the necessary resources to reach and connect directly with the gamers without the need of platforms like iOS, Android, PlayStation and Xbox,” he said. In fact, he cited Fortnite as the first game to skip the Google Play Store for distribution for Android devices. He also stated that IoT will greatly benefit developers, who want more control and freedom over the games they produce.
IoT in the gaming space holds so much potential and possibilities for both developers and players alike. We can expect to see greater growth in revenues, and more windows of opportunity to explore and utilize IoT to its full potential.