infoTECH Feature

April 21, 2020

How Live Streaming Technology and Platforms Are Changing Gaming

This year the emergence of video conferencing and live streaming services has been huge, with even your gran now probably knowing how to use the likes of Zoom, Skype (News - Alert) or even HouseParty. However, there are some niches of industries where online streaming has been a mainstay long before 2020. One of these is online gaming, where no matter if you’re a Call of Duty nut or a table game aficionado you will have come across at least a couple of streaming platforms.

Here’s how live streaming technology changed the gaming industry and how it will launch it to even greater heights in the future.

Streaming Has Launched a New Type of Entertainment Star

Owned by tech goliath Amazon, Twitch was the first popular streaming platform to go online way back in 2011. The site allowed anyone with a computer to begin streaming themselves for as long as they liked.

However, before streaming there was the likes of KSI, who recorded himself playing video games from his bedroom and rapidly built the sort of online following many celebrities would be envious of. His initial content was put out on YouTube (News - Alert), where mere clips of him playing his favorite games would go viral in minutes.

Things have become far more sophisticated since then, with KSI’s format of short video segments gradually being phased out by day-long streaming casts, with multiple platforms now vying to draw players and viewers alike. The aforementioned Twitch still leads the way in this regard and has launched its very own brand of entertainment star – that of the professional gamer.

Whereas KSI was a personality who just happened to dabble in gaming, these new Twitch stars, like Ninja or Shroud, are full-blown professional gamers who wouldn’t look out of place on the roster of a professional Esports team.

Just as the YouTube stars of old make their money from the platform itself and advertising, Twitch streamers do the same but also offer subscription packages to their followers, allowing their fans to buy into the brand they’re building. Indeed, streaming platforms have now started poaching big stars from their rivals, with Ninja recently moving from Twitch to Mixer.

Streaming has brought a limitless audience to the world of online gaming and Esports

Gamers Aren’t the Only People Streaming Live

Of course, gamers aren’t the only people regularly setting up streams for people to follow with everyone from news channels to bookshops now using said technology in order to reach customers.

One of the early advocates of such technology were online casinos who realized part of the reason people played classic table games like roulette and blackjack was because of the interactions they could have with dealers and fellow players. Many online casinos even now offer great bonuses so you can take your place at the live streamed game of your choice.

Companies have set up such live dealer streaming hubs all around the world, with NetEnt having theirs on the Mediterranean island of Malta and others basing themselves in Eastern Europe or the UK. That means that if you were ever to play you could practice some of your foreign language skills.

Casinos were some of the first businesses to cotton on to how engaging live streams could be

Esports Are Taking Streaming to a Whole New Level

We have already mentioned Esports, but it’s really worth hammering home just how those at the head of Esports are driving the future of live streaming content.

The proof is in the pudding with the 2019 League of Legends World Championships, run by games developer Riot Games, attracting a peak audience of 3.9 million and boasting an opening ceremony that would rival any Super Bowl halftime show.

The genius of these enterprises is that they have worked out how to synergize the popularity of online personalities, tie them to the games developers want them to play and then promote Esport leagues to those newly converted fans. It’s a potent tactic that is set to flourish further this decade and beyond.


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