Short for interactive gaming, iGaming refers to games played on smartphones, tablets or laptops
By Anton Rublievskyi
As once the call of sports was strong, now it’s gaming that is keeping millions hooked. A combination of lockdowns, speed-of-light advance of technology, innovation and improving connectivity have converted many thousands to the thrills of iGaming.
Short for interactive gaming, iGaming refers to games played on smartphones, tablets or laptops. These would comprise casual and real money (card and casino) games, as well as fantasy sports and Esports.
iGaming has grown from video-parlor and arcade games to those we would play on our consoles or mobile devices, and now to multi-player interactive games. Today, we can lay bets on games on the go.
Read: Metaverse: Sony embraces virtual world, others are not far behind (May 19, 2022)
But, in such a fast-changing landscape, which tech trends are dominating?
Gaming on the Cloud
No more having to periodically download space-hugging updates of your favouite game. Whatever your device of choice, games can now be accessed via remote cloud servers or streams, helping save on money and precious gigabytes on your device.
With 5G and its rapid service already here in some territories (and on the way in others), the cloud-gaming domain is set to grow by leaps and bounds, aided by more and more heavy hitters in video gaming offering their creations (and the latest avatars of their games) through a cloud-centered subscription service.
Virtual reality & augmented reality
Here is a pair of technologies that promises to revolutionize our relationship with the universe of iGaming. Till now, sky-high costs and lack of accessibility have come in the way of the growth of VR and AR, but that scenario won’t hold for much longer.
While AR games overlay a digital setting on a user’s actual environment, VR games, on the other hand, take the user into an alternate world via headsets.
Both are immersive, addictively so, but as the price of headsets becomes more affordable, interest in VR gaming is poised to surge.
Exciting future awaits esports
Swap physical venues and in-the-flesh athletes for virtual stadia and professional gamers, and you have Esports (‘electronic’ sports), as good ‘live’ as the real thing.
Utilization of gaming tech has allowed Esports to become a spectator sport as popular as any played on a field, track or court, and with all the elements of the latter, including competition, live crowds and eye-popping prize money.
Like cloud gaming, the Esports ecosystem has expanded on the back of cutting-edge cellular technology but here too, AR and VR will play a key role in powering it towards an even more lucrative tomorrow. And in 2023, the postponed Asian Games will see the debut of Esports in a global multi-discipline event.
Introducing, the Metaverse
Gamers may exist in the real world but it’s another world they enter when they put their ‘game’ face on. In fact, gaming professionals have stolen a march over us lesser mortals, already boasting experience in a virtual universe.
They thrive in such an environment, pitting their wits against their opponents. One can envisage major players in iGaming, among them developers and franchises, expanding the space for gamers into something much bigger, and more interactive and immersive.
Read: Top Technology Trends Revolutionizing the Gaming Industry (July 30, 2022)
The Metaverse may still be hype but the building blocks are in place—and so are the multiple platforms that await gamers.
These are just some of the trends that can be spotted in the iGaming industry today. But, as 2022 turns into ’23, the ground under gamers’ feet will have moved some more, bringing in another slew of jaw-dropping developments to further transform online gaming.
(Anton Rublievskyi is the CEO, Parimatch International)