GameStop versus digital downloads. Nintendo versus Twitch. Paid content versus free-to-play titles. The gaming industry is fundamentally different than it was ten to 20 years ago, so much so that you may not recognize it if you’re of a certain age.
Several factors have pushed the sector forward beyond recognition, but none have been as instrumental as live streaming software. The technology is widely accessible and a basic expectation of modern gamers, making it essential to the user experience. The question is, how has the industry evolved as a direct result of the tech’s introduction?
The Impact on Life Expectancy
Considering a gamer’s ‘joystick years’ averages 3844, you may assume a video game’s lifecycle lasted longer. The people who play them are since the right title can add ten years to your life. However, releases often come and go within months and weeks, not years. This puts a huge burden on developers to create the next hottest game unless they utilize live streaming software.
When you look across the gaming spectrum, you will notice that live streaming titles have considerably longer shelf lives than standard video games. Free-to-play releases, also known as eSports such as League of Legends and Fortnite, are powerful examples. Thanks to live streams, legacy events take place yearly, attracting thousands of people in person and millions digitally. Online casinos also highlight the evergreen nature of live streaming solutions, as a live casino online offers a small selection of core products that rarely change, from poker and blackjack to roulette and baccarat. Customers know what’s coming before opening a stream. Still, the novelty of placing wagers from the comfort of your home while a real-life dealer or croupier hosts from a land-based establishment means the services never lose their appeal. And there are plenty of live games to choose from too.
So, don’t be surprised if releases in the future remain in your close circle for longer than normal. If they contain live streaming elements, which most do today, the gameplay will continue to be relevant months later.
Moving from legacy consoles to emerging platforms
The console wars of the 1990s were incredibly entertaining. Everyone had an opinion on PlayStation, Saturn, and Xbox, regardless of whether you cared or enjoyed video games. The manufacturers’ ability to transcend popular culture ensured they are some of the biggest gaming brands to this day.
However, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are less dominant as the years go by, and live streaming has played a significant part in crowning a new king. Regular consoles weren’t adapted to the latest types of games, which is why platforms such as Twitch and YouTube skyrocketed in popularity. People wanted to watch live streams or play whilst streaming, and both formats welcomed gamers with open arms. By 2016, Twitch had racked up about 292 billion total minutes watched and about 2.2 million unique streamers.
In 2021, its viewing figures hit another level as the company recorded 9.5 million active streamers. Its market share of total content watched is 90%, which shows just how integral streaming is to the modern gamer’s user experience.
Gaming isn’t the typical activity that was synonymous with the industry two decades ago. It’s bigger than ever and may reach new heights if the live streaming subcategory continues to grow at this pace.