Each other is no longer one of the main competitors in the game industry. Instead, the industry needs to look at the social media and e-commerce giants that have made gaming a top priority for their business plans instead. People worldwide play games, even if they don’t think of themselves as “gamers.” This is why Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are making big bets on gaming.
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Gaming is a good business for Amazon, Google, and Facebook because they can get a piece of the market when games are played in the cloud. At The Drum’s Can Do festival, a panel called “Bedroom Hobby to Boardroom Priority” talked about why mobile-based esports could be the next big thing and which games kept them busy during the lockdown.
Insight onto cloud gaming
Cloud gaming is essential because it lets you play games from anywhere.
As Draper told The Drum’s John McCarthy during the discussion, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer doesn’t see Sony as a big rival. He indeed sees Amazon and Google as his main rivals.
Look at what a particular social media site has bought in Spain. He referred to Facebook’s purchase of cloud-gaming company Play Giga in 2019, which he said was made in Spain. “There’s a good chance their fans are playing these games and want to keep up with them.”
Cloud-based gaming, according to Draper, will help non-gaming platforms that already have a lot of people because it allows them to be more interactive. Even though casual games are often played on mobile, he thinks that new technology will make these games more sophisticated and less about the “pick-up and drop” mechanics that have made mobile gaming so well known.
Move: Esports is moving to mobile platforms.
Glen Calvert, the chief operating officer of the sports team Fnatic and the creator of the media company Affectv, thinks that esports, especially in Asia, will change the way people play games on their phones.
During the last 15 years, “esports was born out of PC gaming, and PC gaming has been the lion’s share of it,” said the man. There has been a lot of growth and scaling of mobile esports in India and Southeast Asia in the last two to three years.
While many people in those places want to play esports competitively but don’t have the money to buy a gaming PC, Riot Games’ League of Legends is getting a lot of attention on mobile devices to help.
Derek Wise, the chief product officer at Oracle Data Cloud, says that another part of gaming that is changing a lot right now is virtual reality. McCarthy wanted to know if VR would ever reach the home gaming market. Covid-19 led to a spike in at-home VR because gamers were worried about hygiene.
At least for the studios he works with, Covid-19 has been a big push for VR, he said. At the moment, they can’t make the kits quickly enough. Many people want to keep their VR equipment at home because of the pandemic. When it comes to virtual reality, “environmental variables” make people change.
Draper has spent many nights playing Football Manager. Charlotte Cook, the company’s senior vice president of gaming, has also been playing the first half of The Last of Us with him (the highly anticipated sequel released in June to become the fastest-selling first-party PlayStation 4 exclusive ever).
Will Kassoy, who used to work for Activision Blizzard, was reflective. He is now the president of an online crowdfunding site called Omaze. Then, he said: “Games have really changed from being just for boys in their rooms.” At some point in the early 1990s, I remember that “Nintendo and Sega were for kids.”Consoles have become a legitimate form of entertainment, along with music, TV, and movies. Getting in on this growing market would be a mistake for businesses today.