China, Japan and the US are international powerhouses when it comes to gaming technology. China’s Tencent might not be a household name but it’s arguably the biggest player in the game right now. As well as its own online and mobile platforms, Tencent owns Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends. It also has a stake in Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite.
Then, of course, you’ve got Japan’s Sony Interactive Entertainment, Nintendo and Capcom. Cross over to the US and there’s Microsoft’s Xbox, Rockstar Games, Activision Blizzard and EA. Regardless of how you rank these three players, they’re all regarded as leaders in gaming. As well as driving forward software and hardware innovations, these countries have turned gaming into a $159 billion+ industry. Thanks to their products, 2.7 billion people now class gaming as a part of their entertainment routine.
The UK Has Created a Niche
However, for all the ideas and innovations coming out of the US, China and Japan, the UK has taken the lead in another part of the gaming industry. Since the late nineties, online casino gaming has not only become a significant part of “gaming” but a behemoth in its own right. Worth an estimated $50 billion+, it’s much more than a bit-part player. Thanks to a culture of innovation, helped in no small way by British operators, casino gaming has actually influenced its more established counterpart. A great example of this is live casino gaming.
Depending on your playstyle, online casinos have two main types of technology: digital and live. The former uses random number generators (RNGs) and digital animations to create a casino gaming experience. The latter combines RFID technology and live streams to create live gaming environments that online players can control. At Genesis Casino, for example, there are promotions tailored to those who prefer live games, as well as action streaming direct from land-based casinos. This technology has become a standard in the casino world and, in recent times, other parts of gaming.
From Casino Gaming to All Types of Gaming
Virtual reality (VR) companies such as NextVR are currently exploring the possibilities of live and recorded streams to offer things like online concerts. Oculus and MelodyVR are also perfecting live sports streams via their devices. From there, it’s only a small leap to live VR games. Of course, you can also throw augmented reality (AR) into the mix. Games such as The Walking Dead: Our World combine live and digital elements. Then, when you consider the work Microsoft is doing with HoloLens, you can start to see how ideas from the online casino world have filtered into other parts of the gaming industry at large.
The reason online casinos and developers in the UK have flourished is legislation. Under the watch of the Gambling Commission, operators have a clear set of guidelines and, in turn, freedom to innovate. The same can’t be said of other countries. However, by creating conditions that allow businesses to flourish, the UK has become a hotbed of creativity and, moreover, a world leader in casino gaming. From technology to trends, companies based around the world look at what’s happening in the UK as a guide. So, while all eyes often focus elsewhere, it’s important to remember that the UK is just as much of a gaming giant as its international counterparts.