Smashing Down Borders: How the Gaming Industry has Converged
19 Feb 2018
The walls of the gaming industry have come tumbling down in the last decade. Where PCs, consoles and everything else between were all neatly compartmentalised, the boundaries have been well and truly blurred. Before we get into the why, it’s worth running through the how. The most obvious example of the industry’s convergence started in the mid-nineties when PC and console games started to merge.
When consoles such as the PlayStation went on general release in 1995, developers had better hardware at their disposal. PCs had long offered better processing speeds and graphical capabilities, but the first PlayStation started to level the playing field. With that being the case, complex games could be designed and released on both platforms. From this fairly basic example, we’ve since moved into a situation where different disciplines have started to merge.
How Online Casinos Embraced Video Games
Thanks to removal of the line separating PCs and consoles, software companies have been able to get creative. A great example of this is the recent links between casino and video gaming companies. Reading through a Betway casino review, we not only learn that this betting platform has 400+ slots, but that some of the them are based on video games. Standing as the best example is Tomb Raider. Developed by Microgaming and one of Betway’s top slots, the game is an extension of the Tomb Raider franchise. Featuring all the images and animations that made their debut in Eidos Interactive’s 1996 game, this slot is just one of dozens of casino/video game crossovers.
Beyond the merging of games, we’ve also seen hardware evolve in recent years. Nintendo Switch is the obvious innovation. Launched in March 2017, the gaming system allows you play in three different ways. In practice, the system can be a console, a tablet or a table-top gaming platform. Largely inspired by the recent boom in mobile gaming, the hybrid hardware not only looks to be the future for serious gaming, but it’s another example of how the industry has converged. In fact, the release of the Nintendo Switch seems to offer a clue as to why this has happened. As we’ve noted, the desire to create a system that switches between static (console) and portable (mobile) gaming is a sign of the times.
Developing Hybrid Systems for a Better All-Round Gaming Experience
In 2016, Newzoo researchers calculated that there were more than 19 million gamers in Canada helping to generate US$900 million/CA$1.1 billion in console revenue and US$500 million/CA$625 million in mobile revenue. Broadening this out, Statista’s data shows that the number of mobile gamers was just short of 2.1 billion in 2017 and will reach 2.5 billion by 2020. With more players reaching for their mobiles, the obvious move for developers is to embrace the medium.
However, with console companies such as Nintendo not wanting to lose their stake in the market, some sort of evolution had to take place. Although it would take a while for consoles to be wiped out by mobiles, there is that possibility. For that reason, the likes of Nintendo have been forced to innovate. This, in turn, has helped to break down the walls between different areas of the gaming sector.
Indeed, when you look at the crossovers with games such as Tomb Raider, the franchise was given a new lease of life thanks to the casino industry. While that doesn’t mean casino products were going to wipe out video games, it does show that some form of cooperation was necessary in order to satisfy changing tastes. As online casinos became popular, video gaming companies were able to jump on the bandwagon by licensing their products to software developers and vice versa. The end result is an industry that’s now working together in a myriad of ways to create a complete gaming experience for players of all persuasions.