For decades since their inception, video games were built around the simple idea of just players and a game. Human versus the machine, or humans versus others directly, this idea formed the cornerstone of how early video games would evolve. Decades later, however, and the interpersonal aspect of interactive entertainment media has significantly changed the way players engage. Looking at the recent explosion of live casino gaming as an example, we want to examine why live gaming integration has become such an important part of this equation, and how it affects so much of the gaming ecosystem.
The Landscape of Live Casino Gaming
This new form of interactive entertainment as illustrated by the Paddy Power live casino has only really reached the front lines in the last five years. Combining live video hosts with the convenience of at-home play, this new system creates a best of both worlds approach over a wide range of titles. From roulette to blackjack, poker, baccarat, and much more, the live casino market has expanded rapidly in just a few years, with no signs yet of slowing down.
It might seem like a little thing, in a landscape where games tend to be the foremost focus. The success of this subset of gambling systems has proven live games anything but small, however, due to the simple inclusion of the human element. It’s a change that has massively reshaped the online casino environment, and this is only one market to experience this development.
Into Video Games
Whether looking at comic games, established FPS series, RTS titles, or anything else in the contemporary gaming world, there’s no denying the effect of streaming culture. Starting from a small website in 2011, Twitch rose from obscurity to become one of the most important aspects of how modern games are advertised and played. Today, larger games like GTA 5 boast hundreds of thousands of simultaneous viewers on Twitch, with an overall audience still on the rise.
Like with live casino games, this change has had a profound effect on the popularity of some titles, even raising some games from smaller titles to become major international best-sellers. Among Us, for example, drew in a small audience for over a year, as noted by Steamcharts. After streamers started to get invested around June of 2020, though, player numbers would grow by over 132,000%, turning the title into a major gaming touchstone.
As with live casino gaming, it was the increasing involvement of the human aspect which made the largest and most unpredictable change. While both video games and online casino games have included multiplayer over the internet for decades, they traditionally didn’t rely on the direct video capture of the people involved. Though this development illustrated just a small change on the outside, the appeal it had for the social nature of humans was enormous, driving what is now major industry shifts.
While there is a natural limit to how viable live experiences can be in any form of interactive media, there’s no doubt that we’re only just beginning to explore the depths of what is possible. From live roulette to watching players struggle to bring down bosses in Dark Souls, this move towards a more humanistic type of play has been a game-changing one. Add to this the growing potential and lowering cost of VR and AR devices, and there’s no telling how far these changes to interactive media could go. Whatever the case, make no mistake, real human faces in interactive entertainment are only going to become more common.