Future of Gaming

D.I.C.E. Summit, one of the leading business tradeshows, took place in Las Vegas February 11-13. IGN has posted videos of all speaker events online. Sarah Bond, Head of Global Gaming Partnerships and Development at Xbox/Microsoft, presented a compelling picture of the future of gaming fueled by high-speed connectivity, cloud technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning and business model innovation:

  • Today, the global population is 8 billion people, 4 billion of whom are digitally connected, and an estimated 2 billion are gamers
  • By 2030, there will be 9 billion people, 5 billion digitally connected and an estimated 4 billion gamers
  • With its low latency and faster speed, 5G will be to gaming what 4G was for video: when 4G launched in 2009, it enabled people to watch video on mobile; now it’s the highest way video is consumed with more than 50% of all video viewed on mobile devices
  • Cloud is the “canvas for creativity,” allowing developers and consumers access to high-powered technology, and we are in the midst of an era of huge investments in cloud technology, with half a trillion dollars invested into cloud infrastructure (which is more than 3 times the amount invested in putting a human on the moon)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning mean games no longer need to be limited by the device’s minimum specs but can dynamically adapt to the player’s skills, input, device and connectivity
  • Gamers act more like subscribers than buyers: they no longer simply purchase a game, play it and then move on—they are playing longer, spending more and discovering games well after launch. Additionally, games typically take 24 months to achieve 75% of revenues with average revenues much higher than the Xbox 360 days when games hit 75% of revenue in the first two months after launch
  • “Subscription is the amplifier”: in comparing their behaviors before purchasing the Xbox Game Pass subscription, subscribers spend 20% more time playing games, play 30% more games and are 50% more likely to try a new genre or franchise

Bond’s brief presentation on the bright future of gaming, where everyone can game anytime with anyone from any device, begins at 4:45:00 in the IGN video.