Live streaming has been around for quite some time, with the internet long having been a place where people could find live streams of major sporting events. In gaming, however, the development of popular live-streaming platforms has been the catalyst for a new competitive industry, eSports.
In regards to gaming, live streaming is revolutionary as it is, with the proof being in $1 billion global revenues, per Forbes. However, while streaming has connected gamers like never before, the question has to be: how much further can live streaming evolve in gaming?
Forging and legitimizing a new sport
Competitive gaming has been around since the days of the arcades, with competitive online gaming being an ever-present in computer gaming. However, it took until 2011 for a platform to truly explore just how popular watching people play games could be, with Twitch firmly establishing itself as a place to watch gaming.
Of course, the thinking at the time was staunchly against this idea, as why would anyone want to watch a game when they can just play themselves? Over the years, Twitch proved to be more and more appealing to gamers, growing into the hub for a new spectator sport growing on the internet.
What Twitch achieved by offering live streams of gaming was much more than create a new form of entertainment; it proved a point. Garnering hundreds of millions of viewers, it presents the indisputable fact that eSports is popular, and thus, must be taken seriously as an industry – which it now is by third parties.
The technology and its implementation have proven to be revolutionary, creating a new sector under the gaming umbrella that was effectively forged by popular demand. Live streaming is now a normal part of the gaming conversation for spectators and content creators, so what’s next for this symbiosis?
What’s next for streaming in gaming?
In other spaces of gaming, live streaming is already being showcased to a more interactive degree. Rather than just being a tool for viewing, the live casino games at Leovegas.com also see the player play the game that’s being shown in real-time, while the human croupier performs the motions of games like Crazy Time, Craps, and Monopoly.
The next step in video gaming circles looks to be very similar to this leap made in casino gaming, offering the chance for viewers to become a part of the action. However, while lauded for years, the technology is still in its infancy, and being developed for a presently unpopular platform.
When Google announced and heavily lauded its upcoming Stadia game streaming platform in 2019, the key feature that so many saw as being a potential game-changer was “Crowd Play.” The innovative option was said to enable people watching a live stream of a game to then join the streamer in the contest via Stadia. So, viewers would become competitors or teammates.
Of course, Stadia landed with as few of its promises fulfilled as it had launch titles. However, in July this year, per Businessinsider, the colossal tech company finally announced that it had started testing its Crowd Play feature. If the platform survives for long enough to receive an operational version of Crowd Play, and get some big-name streamers on board, it could further revolutionize the gaming-streaming relationship.
Live streaming is the core reason why eSports has been able to surge into the mainstream, and soon, it may make online gaming even more captivating.