The global gaming software industry is valued at over $50 billion, global video games revenues stand at more than twice that figure, whilst the US entertainment and media market as a whole is reckoned to be worth a cool $630 billion (figures from statista.com). Electronic entertainment is a serious business, but one that changes constantly, so keeping track of its newest trends is far from easy.
The iGaming sector is perhaps the arena that best exemplifies this. iGaming refers to online gaming with a financial stake involved and it is now at the cutting edge of online tech. With so much potential revenue up for grabs the incentive to develop is obvious.
Leaving hardware behind
Within the iGaming sector the move from hardware devices to mobile platforms is being undertaken at a rapid rate. Statista.com has calculated that the amount of time the average American will spend gaming on the move will have increased fourfold between 2010 and 2017.
And that shift to mobile gaming goes hand in hand with the development of ever-slicker gaming apps. For example, the easy-access gaming opportunities provided by bingo games at award-winning site https://www.bgo.com/bingo are tailor-made for a pick-up-and-put-down mode of play. In the case of BGO (pronounced ‘be go’) – as with competitors such as Lucky Ladies Bingo and meccabingo.com – games are designed to be completed quickly and with a minimum number of interruptions. Mirroring developments seen in online poker, the concept of speed bingo games is a perfect fit for time-restricted users. Also, it is possible to play for free as well as for as much or as little as a player chooses. The net result is the development of games and gaming environments that continue to win new converts: industry specialists igamingbusiness.com predict that the trend towards mobile gaming will see as much as 40% of iGaming taking place on handheld devices by 2020. State-of-the-art security such as industry pacesetter BGO’s use of 256 AE encryption underpins that impressive growth as it reassures mobile users that their money is safe when they play on the go.
The next step
What the next evolution in iGaming may be is, inevitably, not so easy to predict, although the success currently being enjoyed by Pokemon Go suggests that augmented reality – where the line between what happens on and offline may be blurred even more than it already is – may be the way ahead. The chat rooms that are often presented alongside many sites’ core iGaming functions represent a step in a similar direction – mediating real-time personal interaction independently of any gaming activity. The separation between gaming and social media is another distinction that appears to be breaking down.
The one certainty is that the current level of commercial success enjoyed by entertainment providers – when they get it right – will continue to encourage investment, experimentation and development in the digital gaming sector. And that means there is plenty more to look forward to – iGaming’s evolution shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.