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3 of the Latest Trends in Gaming

Virtual Reality, Digital Collectibles, and Live Streaming

The gaming industry is quickly becoming a major component of the modern economy.

According to a report from market researcher SuperData Research, Games generated $91 billion worldwide in 2016. And that number is only moving upwards.

The mobile game segment was the largest at $41 billion (up 18 percent), followed by $26 billion for retail games and $19 billion for free-to-play online games. New categories such as virtual reality, esports, and gaming video content were small in size, but they are growing fast and holding promise for 2017, SuperData said.

I read through many of the global gaming industry overviews and abstracted some of the biggest trends.

At a high level, technology is enabling game creators and publishers to interact with and provide for users at level more intimate than the industry had ever thought possible. We are getting closer and closer to a world, where developers have the resources they need to directly build their ideas, just as they see them in their heads. We are no longer limited by our tools, but rather by our own imaginations.

Though the industry is constantly evolving, there are a few key themes that keep popping up as trending parts of the future gaming world.

Here are three trends I am really excited to see in Gaming

1. Virtual Reality

Though people have been talking about it for years now, it is now inevitable that virtual reality will become a major cornerstone piece of the gaming industry. By 2020, players will spend $4.5B on immersive gaming — more than 20 times what they do today. The reason? It is 20x more enjoyable and convenient than traditional alternatives.

And as the technology improves, and gaming rigs/consoles become cheaper, we can only expect to see more players building in this space. Companies like BigScreenVR and AltspaceVR are two of the leaders in this industry today, accelerating a virtual future perhaps faster than many expect.

While there are many unanswered questions for the future of virtual reality…one thing is certain: the technology, if not already, will be ready for the masses sometime soon. The troubling question will be how long it will take for society to accept it?

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2. Digital Assets

More and game publishers are including digital currencies and collectibles in game worlds. Consumers love being able to rank up, unlocking achievements and enhancing their characters

The problem is that digital assets, in today’s splintered gaming ecosystem, are largely illiquid (meaning they cannot easily be converted to cash). And although there is extreme demand for rare collectibles, no platform has been able to create a comprehensive, secure marketplace for the buying, selling, and trading of digital items.

Sadly, the only real options currently available to consumers are a mix of random Reddit forums that host buying/selling auctions.

Brooklyn based startup, Quidd, recently closed a seed round that lets users collect virtual stickers, cards and toys from their favorite shows, such as “Arrested Development,” “Star Trek,” “Rick & Morty,” “Buffy,” “Family Guy” and many more. Some items are free, while other cost coins (Quidd’s virtual currency). There are also blockchain-based startups, like Gameflip, who are “tokenizing” digital assets and developing a decentralized ecosystem for managing transactions. In this secure and traceable environment, publishers will receive a direct commission for sales of their digital items.

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3. Streaming

The competitive video game industry has taken off in the last few years.

In its latest eSports market report, market researcher Newzoo thinks eSports at large will make $696 million in revenue in 2017, with its total audience — be it hardcore fans or those who just watch the bigger game championships — reaching 385 million. By 2020, Newzoo projects, those will reach $1.48 billion and 589 million, respectively. (That revenue figure doesn’t include money made from eSports-related gambling, either.) — Business Insider

And with the rise in e-sports, has come a massive opportunity for streaming and televising live video gameplay.

Whether it’s to watch gaming tournaments, tutorials or trailers, 665M people around the world tune in to sites like Twitch and YouTube for content about their favorite games. — Superdata

There are a lot of unanswered questions in streaming.

How will creators be compensated? Which platform is best? Who will win long term?

There are also many massive opportunities to enhance the live viewing experience. Just like “professional sports” as we know them today, e-sports will cultivate a vibrant and thriving community of loyal fans and subscribers.

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Thanks for reading!

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