Yes, we’ve seen lots of tech inventions in the last couple of years, but in terms of success and mainstream applications, the most recent major phenomenon in technological and social landscapes is certainly livestreaming. On Facebook Live, users can upload videos from wherever they are and let people watch along in real time. Online casinos now include livestreaming games which connect players with real-world casino tables. Platforms like Twitch allow gamers to watch and play games live as well. With livestreaming becoming more prevalent, what could this mean for the future of gaming?
In this modern culture of instant gratification and wanting everything available online immediately, livestreaming was inevitable. Stats from November 2015 showed that there were 8 billion video views on Facebook daily, so Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to make live videos a reality was tailored to a video hungry audience. Due to the popularity of the social networking site, it has become a platform for new trends, and those that didn’t know about livestreaming before probably do by now.
Online casinos have been at it for a while. The most popular games continue to be virtual slot machines, and users can play now to explore the vast selections of games online, from Fortune Panda to Dragon King. But the online operators have realised that some players like to get the realistic casino experience by interacting with humans via a live stream. For these people, the option of (remotely) sitting at live tables to play blackjack or roulette is a popular choice, rather than playing virtual games that rely on random number generators to decide the outcome. Users can see the croupier dealing the cards, and at some sites even chat with them and tip them.
Gaming online has been a popular pastime for a while, but until recently you would have been hard pushed to find places to watch other gamers playing live. On sites like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, you can observe other players playing hundreds of games in real time from Call of Duty Infinite Warfare to Final Fantasy XV with live commentary. Just click on the game you want to watch and select a live stream. You can then comment on the videos with advice, or simply watch and learn before taking on complex levels yourself. Gamers even have their own live channels (see video above) that they can make money from if they have enough subscribers.
With virtual and augmented reality devices poised to take off in 2017, there’s already thought on the part of some developers to have them incorporate livestreaming to create even more immersive experiences. Take VR Roulette by Microgaming as an example. At present, players can put on the VR headset and enter a computerised room that has a roulette wheel and a robot croupier. Users who tested it at the ICE Expedition in 2016 said it was captivating and felt like they were in another world. If somehow Microgaming can cross over livestreaming to real roulette tables with the VR room, then people would effectively be able to teleport to the casino from the comfort of their homes using livestreaming tech.
Online multiplayer games like GTA V and Battlefield 1 already take advantage of live streams and advanced internet connections. Perhaps, though with VR players will soon be able to have multiple screens where they not only play the games themselves, but watch others at the same time. Livestreaming can only mean good things for the future of gaming.