For those not in the know, it can be difficult to keep up with the entertainment juggernaut. As industry sectors go, live streaming and gaming is one of the most fast-moving and transient on the planet and, to that end, what’s “in” changes almost weekly. As a society, we seem to very much enjoy living in the moment. This, coupled with our newfound appetite for instant gratification has led to the rising popularity of live gaming, from the hugely popular wave of Twitch streamers, to the equally popular casino gaming and gambling industry. This can take the form of actually playing a game yourself, in live casino rooms where you join players from across the globe and professional croupiers, or simply broadcasting your gaming for the world to see. Or, often people settle for watching someone else lose their rag over their last unexplainable death.
Either way, the live gaming sector is showing no signs of slowing down. But just what is behind this recent explosion in popularity?
Twitch and the Live Gaming Itch
Whether you’re into the latest trend such as Fortnite or enjoy a classic like World of Warcraft, you’re bound to find someone playing your favourite game on Twitch. As of last year, the site had over 100 million monthly users and with new titles being released on an almost weekly basis, this figure is likely to increase rapidly.
Amongst the classics, there’s also been a huge influx in popularity for poker and blackjack tournament streaming. Twitch is a great avenue to experience the high-tension game vicariously through professionals (and amateurs), whilst also screaming at your laptop when the make a bet you wouldn’t have, or play the wrong hand.
The interaction between the streamer and the viewer in the chat box is also a big part of the appeal. The ability to watch your favourite gaming personality play your favourite game whilst directly chatting with them has helped bridge the gap from the celebrity world to gaming laymen and gives fans a true taste of what they want.
In terms of actual live gaming, online casino consistently ranks as one of the most immersive experiences on the internet. iGaming (an umbrella term for all online casino, poker, betting and bingo games) does this by recreating the tension associated with playing in a brick and mortar establishment. Many casino platforms offer users the chance to play their favourite games in real time through the use of HD quality webcams and real-time streams. In addition to this, games such as live blackjack and roulette utilise a live chat feature, in which players can interact with real dealers and their fellow players to add that extra bit of realism to the overall experience.
Major Gamers Are on Board Whether it’s YouTube, Google or ESPN, global companies are now taking note of the power of live gaming. YouTube have launched their own live streaming service (YouTube Live), Google battled hard to acquire Twitch before losing out to Amazon and ESPN continues to broadcast the latest eSports events which are now filling stadiums worldwide. With major players now smelling the coffee, and waking up to the power of video game streaming and casino tournament popularity, this leads to more exposure, which, in turn leads to more advertising revenue. Backed by some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, there’s no telling of the heights which live gaming can reach.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Live gaming, both for video and casino games, are still in their infancy. With that in mind, it’s difficult to assess what’s next for the phenomenon. With live streaming service Netflix already overtaking satellite TV subscriptions, who’s to say that live gaming couldn’t do the same thing in years to come within the entertainment sphere?