Internet of Things opens new ways for many industries. We have already discussed the changes it makes in automotive, retailing and agriculture businesses. But what about entertainment? Let’s talk about opportunities of using IoT in gaming industry.
Throughout the last years, the video game industry has grown vastly and keeps moving forward with great speed. In 2018, the gaming industry generated almost $135 billion and is expected to reach $180.1 billion in 2021.
Right now the gaming industry is not only about making money but also about bringing people together and even can be called a sort of a cult (in terms of mass culture, of course). If you kept an eye on the largest gaming expo of the year E3 2019, then you probably know what type of customer involvement we are talking about. Hollywood level celebrities working on the big budget titles (yes, even Keanu Reeves could not resist), Elon Musk casually discussing his admiration for video games, trailers that hit millions of views in a couple of minutes.
This list can go on and on, but the main point is that the gaming community is very enthusiastic and ready to get a higher score in terms of everything. That means using new technologies to get exciting experience as well. And this is where IoT joins the game.
In the time of the 4th industrial revolution, nothing can stay the same. So what are the ways to use IoT in gaming industry?
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IoT in mobile gaming
All the biggest games right now are made for powerful consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch are the most popular among them) and personal computers. But what is the most widespread gaming platform that almost everyone has and that takes almost half of the global market? The answer is a mobile phone, and if it surprises you, let us explain why it should not be overlooked.
Mobile gaming industry, just as the Internet of Things, has incredible growth during the last years. According to recent research, it takes a significant 47% of the global gaming market. Mobile gaming business is estimated to be worth $63.2 billion and will continue to grow as in 2019 2.4 billion people will be playing mobile games. With such a high pace of evolution, mobile gaming requires new technological approaches, and IoT suits perfectly. So how can you use IoT in mobile games?
One of the best (and the most successful one for sure) examples of the last years is Pokémon GO. By combining both AR and IoT technology Nintendo’s game made the whole world go around looking for magical creatures to catch. The game launched in June 2016 and achieved a record $207 million in its first month. During the early stages, there were 45 million daily players worldwide, which made it one of the most popular mobile games of all times.
The reason for such success of Pokémon GO is in the experience the player gets because of the mix of augmented reality and IoT. We have already looked into the theme of AR and VR gaming if you want to learn more about the theme (also check out the second part of the article to know even more). Every person takes the role of a trainer whose goal is to catch as many Pokemons as possible. By walking around in the real life, interacting with other players and objects, the player gets more involved in the game, as it becomes a part of the real world. This is one of the most important things IoT can bring into the mobile gaming industry — the game becomes broader than the smartphone screen and involves player into the real-life experience. By connecting other objects to the game new gaming experience emerges and this is the thing the industry needs today.
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IoT in mobile casino
Many of the most popular online mobile games are gambling ones. The casino industry tends to use modern technologies to engage new customers by shifting the playing platform from the real table into the web. By doing so, every person can play from the mobile device wherever they want and therefore be a part of the game more often.
What IoT technologies can bring into the online casino business is the experience of physical gaming. As gambling companies cannot assure the comfort of play of everyone online, with the use of IoT devices every aspect of the game can be tracked and improved in the future. What were the facial expressions during the game? What was the temperature like? What about the quality of Internet connection? Online casinos could give away such IoT devices to their audience to keep an eye on the game process and to make it better. The comfort of the customer is one of the most essential sides in the gambling business and it still holds its ground in the online world.
IoT and physical gaming sensors
What could enhance the gaming experience even more than VR and let the players really feel dragged into the game? Real life interaction with the game’s world. If it sounded like a dream a decade ago now comes into reality thanks to IoT.
The gaming industry developers call it a Tangible User Interface (TUI), and it is a true game changer. The principal of its work lies in a very simple idea: why should players use a not always comfortable controller for the play, if they can use physical game objects instead? The gaming experience would be much smoother, if using appropriate tools and can really change the way games are perceived. In the past, some of the games (Guitar Hero and Wii Sport) used similar technology, but with wired-connected controllers. With IoT things can be easier and make a real revolution in the gaming industry.
Another great example of connecting the real-life experience with the virtual world is the gaming sensor costumes. If the IoT controllers change the way players interact with the game, the sensor suit lets the players feel the game on themselves. Every hit, every shot, and every free fall from the skyscraper — players experience everything that their character does. Right now there are already attempts to bring such a tempting idea into life, and there will be many more in the upcoming years.
IoT promises great benefits for many businesses and gaming industry is definitely one of them. Growing every year in a high tempo, the industry causes the companies to search for new solutions to stand out. By implementing IoT in video games, the whole market can be changed once and for all.