One of the most talked about things in the games industry and media businesses are the rise and popularity of Esports and the medium that surround it. It is clear from its impact that esports is the future of gaming and its effects on the gaming industry as well as digital media as a whole is shaping the future of the gaming industry as well as the digital media industry.

In fact, there are 6 key trends that are being impacted and are evolving to facilitate the creation of new mediums as well as paying attention to the needs of consumers. These are:

The business trends

1. Games as a service
The launch and distribution of blockbuster games through retail is becoming redundant for a wide variety of reasons. One reason is that game software has become incredibly complex and as a result, having a bug free version on a disc for widespread distribution becomes practically impossible. Additionally, business models are aligning across all mediums, dramatically changing the way organizations are required to run a successful game.

Games are now being run as a service rather than a product, and the level of engagement they provide has become the key component in generating revenue. Companies have begun placing increased importance on how time spent on their franchises need not have to be by playing the game itself, instead, they are creating platforms that create continuous engagement for the player, like esports.

2. Cross-screen entertainment
Due to the emergence of smartphones and tablets as gaming devices as well as the widespread adoption of the four-screen segmentation model, cross-screen gaming is poised for tremendous growth in the next few years. Although game developers have tried offering a single franchise’s gameplay on all devices, it can be argued that, for the most part, it has not been successful.

The gaming industry is now coming to terms with the ineffectiveness of porting their games onto different devices and is instead focusing on creating experiences suited to particular devices. This is largely due to the fact that most consumers prefer to use one device for gaming; like PC or console, and the others for streaming game content; like smartphones or tablets. As a result, games are now being adapted to become cross-screen entertainment franchises. Accessing this segment of non-playing viewing audiences is poised to create new business opportunities for game developers as well as creating new game concepts that have an increased focus on consumer involvement.

The technology trends

3.Creator and live streaming tools
In the last couple of years, video game content is second, after music, in most viewed content on video platforms like YouTube. Videos that feature popular games, regularly have more views than the number of people accessing the internet worldwide. This popularity in watching video game content is attributed to the arrival of live game streaming, open-source capturing and broadcasting tools. Particularly, games that require creativity or competition and generate unique moments of gameplay that are actively viewed and shared by viewers.

4.Video channels and communities
Presenting millions of viewers with consumer-generated content has never been this easy. The facilitation of live and on-demand video content by social networks and various new platforms have expanded the possibilities for consumers to create communities based on their favorite franchise and content. The use of smartphones and tablets has become the medium of choice for many for viewing game content and is increasingly becoming easy to tap into the same communities on TV screens as well. Video game content is quickly becoming the preferred content to view on TV screens, pushing aside traditional broadcast content.

The consumer trends

5.Creation and involvement
Nowadays, consumers expect more from a game than just a cool experience, they want more engaging experiences. To be able to create content themselves and share it with their friends and the world alike. Some of the most popular video game content creators have become the new celebrities of today and more and more people are considering an online game streaming as a career path. Esports are also promoting involvement and creation as they give players the opportunities to be involved and show their enthusiasm for their preferred brands and players. Gamers, now, have a bigger voice when it comes to the development of games and influential video game content creators are teaming with developers and taking on the role of game publishers.

6.Consumers entertain consumers
While reality shows have gained immense popularity on TV. Digital channels are mostly used to watch adventures, opinions, product reviews, creation and failures of other consumers. This used to be limited to video on demand but with the rise of game streaming platforms, live viewing has opened up several new promising possibilities. In the near future, consumers will have the option to watch their favorite creators by simply switching to their channel or even view live gaming events like for esports.