Gaming enterprises are embarking on the quest to secure a definitive advantage in a rapidly evolving landscape. As the gaming industry surges towards a staggering market value of USD 546.99 billion by 2030 [1], businesses are undergoing a profound transformation, propelled by a multitude of cutting-edge advancements. Yet, 3 gaming technologies have emerged as pioneers, including Cloud gaming, VR, and NFTs. 

The new wave of Cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is a revolutionary gaming service that utilizes cloud computing technology to enable users to stream and play video games directly over the internet. Poised to experience an exceptional surge from USD 244 million in 2020 to USD 21,954 million by 2030 [2], cloud gaming brings forth a multitude of benefits for game enthusiasts:

  • Convenience - The underlying mechanism of cloud gaming revolves around storing the game itself in the cloud, eliminating the necessity of downloading it onto individual machines. This paradigm shift allows users to leverage their gaming experience without high-performance server infrastructure, such as powerful CPUs and GPUs. Consequently, cloud gaming attains unprecedented accessibility, offering enthusiasts a gateway to exhilarating gameplay without the barriers of traditional installations and hardware constraints. 
  • Enhanced Performance and Graphics - One of the key advantages of cloud gaming is its ability to leverage robust cloud infrastructure. Cloud gaming providers maintain data centers equipped with high-performance servers and graphics processing units (GPUs) that can handle computational demands. Furthermore, players can revel in low latency and reduced lag, eliminating frustrating delays that disrupt the flow of gameplay. By analyzing previous inputs and predicting the likely next input, predictive input algorithms ensure a seamless gaming experience. Moreover, cloud gaming platforms deploy multiple data centers across different regions, enabling them to optimize network latency by routing users' connections to the closest server. To further enhance performance, cloud gaming providers employ a range of network optimization techniques to prioritize game data packets, allocate bandwidth efficiently, and streamline the flow of data.
  • Seamless Multiplayer Experience - Cloud gaming revolutionizes the multiplayer experience, offering seamless connectivity and fostering a social atmosphere. This ensures that actions and responses occur in real time, heightening the intensity of multiplayer encounters. Moreover, cloud gaming promotes cross-platform compatibility, enabling gamers to connect and compete effortlessly across different devices and operating systems. The rising participation of gamers in multiplayer games further highlights the growing importance of the social dimension within gaming. In fact, a notable 77% of gamers in 2021 enjoyed sharing their gaming experiences with others, whether in-person or through online platforms [3].

Virtual Reality - A golden opportunity awaits to be unlocked

Virtual Reality (VR) in the gaming industry offers unparalleled immersion, transporting players into lifelike virtual worlds. With the market projection to seize USD 53.44 billion in 2028 [4], VR is expected to bring users other great benefits. Thanks to VR headsets and controllers, gamers can physically interact with their surroundings and manipulate objects in the game world, enhancing the sense of presence and making the gaming experience more engaging and realistic. 

The VR sector has experienced significant investments from technology-based companies. As predicted by Statista, global investment in AR and VR technology is expected to reach USD 17.6 billion in 2024 [5]. Furthermore, the advent of VR technology has led to a burgeoning growth in the number of startups in the industry. Within a year, the virtual reality startup ecosystem witnessed a remarkable growth of 14% [6]. This growth is further exemplified by the presence of approximately 951 VR startups in the United States alone [7]. In addition, entrepreneurs and innovators are striving to capitalize on the potential of VR. Epic Games, the developer of the popular game Fortnite, has set its sights on creating a metaverse through virtual reality. Beyond its core shooting game, the company has ventured into immersive experiences by hosting virtual concerts and even premiering a clip from the latest Star Wars movie within the expansive Fortnite world. With these innovative endeavours, Epic Games aims to transcend players to an interconnected virtual universe.

Along with the gaming corporations, users are expected to increasingly gravitate towards this transformative medium in the years to come. The growing significance of VR and metaverse is evident, as the proportion of gamers expressing interest in these technologies to enhance their gaming experiences has surged from 8% to 22% [8]. However, one of the main drawbacks associated with VR is its cost and accessibility, with 65% of people regarded cost as the reason for not owning a VR device [9]. Hence, it is crucial for businesses to devise pricing strategies and models that foster greater accessibility to VR technology. To penetrate the market and expand its consumer base, Google, LLC. launched the cardboard headset, an affordable Head-Mounted Display (HMD) that can be used with a smartphone to provide users with an immersive gaming experience. Moreover, the availability of rental or subscription services offers an enticing opportunity for users to explore the world of VR without incurring a significant upfront cost. Considering the current low adoption rate, with only 29% of gamers planning to purchase a VR/AR headset [10], it becomes imperative for enterprises to implement measures that attract a broader base of gaming enthusiasts.

NFTs – Fostering a greater sense of community  

The concept of NFTs is no longer unfamiliar to the masses. Originating in the art and collectibles industry, NFTs have spread to multiple domains, including the gaming industry. Indeed, the global market for blockchain in gaming demonstrated significant value, reaching USD 4.83 billion in 2022, and is anticipated to witness remarkable growth at a CAGR of 68.3% from 2023 to 2030 [11]. In contrast to traditional gaming assets that are typically owned and controlled by game developers, NFTs offer players a unique opportunity to have genuine ownership of their virtual possessions, providing a verified and transparent record of their authenticity. As pointed out by research, 56% of gamers who are aware of NFTs favor earning them in games [12]. NFTs also promote social exchange among players as they participate in buying, selling, and exchanging virtual items within the inclusive gaming ecosystem.

However, instances of unscrupulous practices have become prevalent. In a concerning report, OpenSea, one of the largest online NFT marketplaces, recently disclosed that a staggering 80% of NFTs minted through its free creation tool are spam, scams, or otherwise fraudulent [13]. Furthermore, research indicates that over USD 100 million worth of non-fungible tokens were pilfered in the year leading up to July 2022, with criminals averaging approximately $300,000 per scam [14]. Hence, to combat this, gaming corporations must conduct comprehensive audits of smart contracts associated with NFTs. This entails conducting thorough reviews of the code and functionality of smart contracts to ensure their integrity and security. Furthermore, fostering a transparent and trustworthy ecosystem requires establishing industry-wide standards and regulations. Gaming companies can also establish partnerships with reputable NFT platforms prioritizing security, authenticity, and user protection. For gamers, it is crucial to exercise caution and only engage with verified gamers and reputable NFT traders. By identifying and addressing potential security loopholes that fraudsters could exploit, gaming companies can safeguard their platforms and protect their users from fraudulent activities.

Technology Wins the Game

The gaming world has provided players exciting opportunities to embrace and leverage various gaming technologies. Despite downsides and challenges associated with gaming technologies, the future holds great potential for their continued growth and improvement.

Author Tuan Minh Tran