Mobile + IoT + Cloud + VR: The Next Gaming Revolution?

Recently, a whole slew of interesting gaming-related exits has boosted the profile of gaming in the venture capital space. Zenimax has been acquired by Microsoft for over US$7.5bn while Unity has made its debut on the NYSE with a US$22+bn market capitalization.

The rapidly growing community of online gamers has found ways to use the technology available via social media and live streaming platforms to attract a large audience. Whereas gamers used to be a specific group of nerds, eSports is evolving to take in literally any person from any background. As technology advances from the spectrum of connectivity, it helps in spreading eSports to traditional communities.

We are seeing a boom in mobile gaming thanks to the power of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and the cloud. IoT has enhanced the growth and development of mobile games in the market. Modern smartphones come with advanced hardware and software capabilities that developers can make use of to make gaming on these devices enjoyable and seamless. Consumers can have easier and better access to the games, and many of them are free. Even the premium games come with less costs and enthusiastic gamers are willing to spend on them. Before the internet, access to mobile games was a bit limited.

Developers did not have any platform to plug their new games, so the gaming industry was a stagnant one. Now, things are different and the rapid increase in the number of individuals playing mobile games all over the world gives a clear picture of how mobile gaming has grown greatly in popularity. This has bridged the gap between developers and consumers, thereby creating more ancillary revenues for the developers and the community alike.

The demand for immersive gaming by eSports enthusiasts is insatiable. Even though virtual reality (VR) will be one of the ways to satisfy this demand, 3D technology will also come in handy. You might be surprised to learn that 3D films have been around for centuries. The only impeding factor that made them not to pick up was the high costs of development and adoption. However, recent times have seen the technology revived in films such as Avatar and also in gaming screens. We can expect that video games will have better quality graphics to the extent that it will be impossible to differentiate them from real-world scenes.

The eSports industry is gradually adopting virtual reality. There are dozens of VR only leagues that are being launched on a yearly basis. Even though most eSports enthusiasts are yet to adopt VR as widely as it would be expected, it is quite interesting to see how far the technology can take eSports.

VR in sports involves a player putting on some headset and holding some kind of controller to play a video game. Since the headset cover the players’ eyes and ears, they are completely removed from the physical world and immersed into the video game world.

The essence of VR is to be immersive so that the player has a deeper connection to the video game. It is every serious developer’s wish to make their games feel more real and have little differences with the real life. By including virtual reality features in their games, the developers are a step ahead in achieving this objective.

The fact that virtual reality has already proven to be useful in other sectors does not imply that its adoption in eSports is smooth. As a matter of fact, the technology feels like a glorified niche among its best athletes. Even some of the leading games are yet to incorporate VR components in their design.

The VR League is one of the most prominent virtual reality eSports leagues and is a part of ESL. Evidently, ESL is of the opinion that technology has a place in eSports, hence the decision to create a product solely dedicated to it. Some of the games that are currently being played in VR include Onward, Echo Arena, Space Junkies, and Echo Combat. Developers will need to continue developing games that the general public enjoys in order for their games to grow beyond their current standing.

We would expect the growth of eSports in a much more immersive ecosystem, where competitors can engage themselves into the virtual environment and have a 3D feel of the entire game. Audience can also expect much better graphics with the power of streaming and better computing power.

If you are a gaming founder or an investor who is looking to tap on this massive opportunity for growth, feel free to drop us an email here.

This article is created based on references to the following articles:
1. IoT Gives the Mobile Gaming Industry a Facelift, 15 June 2020, The Katy News (accessed October 5, 2020). Archived Link: Main | HTML | JPEG
2. Investing in Esports Startup Ventures (research by Gamerforce Ventures), 2nd ed. (23 June 2020).

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