Streaming is one of the great technological revelations in gaming over the last few years. It’s grown from being a handy method for gamers to solve difficult parts of games to going live and spawning a billion-dollar industry. Streaming and live streaming has become a key part of the gaming experience for many, so much so that live streaming is now dictating the industry.
Not only has live streaming helped gaming become a spectator sport and a method of analysis for industry experts, but it is also becoming more and more embedded in the activity of gaming. Due to this, developers are being encouraged to create games that allow streamers to make entertaining content that can be uploaded and watched by millions around the world.
Streaming is now a metric of a game’s popularity
Live streaming has changed gaming as we know it: not only do gamers use live streaming and video streaming to learn more about the game at hand, but it has also become a form of entertainment. Many will scoff at the idea that people would find more enjoyment in watching someone else play a game as opposed to playing the game themselves, but there are millions of people watching others play video games every single day. Now, the popularity of a game is gauged by the number of viewers it has through platforms like Twitch or YouTube.
It goes further than a form of entertainment, however, as live streaming has enabled the rise of the professional gaming scene of eSports. By live-streaming organized gaming competitions, eSports has become a very popular form of entertainment for fans, a respected sport in the eyes of many, and an ever-growing $1.1 billion industry. Live streaming is the driving force behind this wealth, with $456.7 million coming in via sponsorship with $189.2 million from advertising.
Live streaming becoming more incorporated in gameplay too
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Streaming has been incorporated across many genres and industries outside of traditional video gaming, with online casino being a key example. There are whole categories and channels dedicated to games played at an online casino to win real money on streaming platforms such as Twitch, allowing fans of the genre to see how the very best play while picking up a few handy tips. Many online casinos have brought this live element within the games themselves, offering live games with real dealers, while other fans of the industry are happy to spectate on pros playing slots titles or a variety of table games.
As well as gamers finding streamed videos and live streaming a form of entertainment, the games themselves are becoming more and more entwined with streaming. The regular way to play video games is to purchase a console or computer, install the game, and then play. But now, streaming looks set to change the whole industry.
Google is about to muscle in on the gaming industry by extrapolating the online casino method to video games by creating a gaming platform that entirely functions through streaming. Gamers will be able to access Google Stadia from any device and stream games from online servers to play as opposed to the usual method of purchasing, installing, and playing. A key feature of Stadia will be its integration of live streaming technology with Crowd Play. This innovative feature will allow players to watch live streamers play games and then queue up to join them in-game and play alongside the streamer.
Live streaming, video streams, and streamers combine to forge one of the key driving forces of the gaming industry right now, growing it as a form of entertainment both for viewers and players.