Insights November 26, 2020

The gaming industry is heating up – with cloud streaming, social media and localisation

Living Word
By Living Word

Gaming is continuing to push the boundaries for home entertainment, social networking and technology advancements. All around the world, gamers embrace old favourites and new releases on PC and consoles, as well as mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality, and e-sports. There is a game for everyone.

The future is looking bright for the gaming industry, which is making use of digital technology to offer compelling home entertainment for millions of fans around the world. According to reports by SuperData, gaming is one of the largest industries in the world, with more than $120 billion in revenue last year. And during the pandemic, the global market has thrived even more than expected. It is forecasted that by 2022, the gaming industry will be producing a revenue of $196 billion.

Tom Espiner reported recently in an article about Nintendo for BBC News that the Japanese gaming giant has seen profits triple. You may know that Nintendo is behind some of the most successful consoles globally and numerous influential franchises such as Mario and Pokémon. In particular, Nintendo’s Switch hybrid game console is on fire at the moment, with 68.3 million consoles and 456.5 million copies of software sold to date. Other major players include Electronic Arts (EA), which has just launched FIFA 21, Sony (with Playstation) and Microsoft (with Xbox). However, a number of non-traditional gaming companies are also gaining ground, including Facebook, Apple and Google, with new, innovative digital solutions to challenge gaming conventions.

Gamers will have more impact

But apart from growing profits, what is happening in gaming right now? A new report by OC&C Strategy Consultants and Google outlines 13 trends driving growth of the video gaming industry. For instance, social media is blurring the lines between networking and gaming, especially on mobile. “Consumers want to experience more live gaming events and to share deeper and more meaningful social gaming experiences with others, leading to more games enabling social platform features, whether that be through matchmaking or connecting accounts to social media platforms,” the report states.

Moreover, cloud streaming is a major driver, removing challenges for players such as the cost of buying games and hardware, as well as the need to upgrade every few years. Another interesting trend is the so-called feedback loops. According to the report, developers rely heavily on user data to determine how to increase engagement, the number of sessions and the session lengths, for example. “Understanding which elements are unpopular, where and at what level players lapse, and what features players prefer the most are core to increasing player engagement and therefore revenue,” according to the report.

… and so will service providers

Keywords Studios is an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, recently reporting a growing market share during the pandemic. In an article on Slator.com, Keywords CEO Andrew Day observed demand drivers such as new streaming platforms and upcoming releases of new consoles. He confirms a robust business, saying that “demand for video games content has accelerated during the pandemic which has positively expanded the addressable market for our clients”.

In order to expand its audience, retain players and issue game updates, the booming gaming industry will no doubt require highly skilled support services including localisation, localisation testing and functional testing, dubbing and voiceovers. The range of content in games can certainly provide challenges for language service providers, however: from creative on-screen texts, videos and graphics, to more technical manuals and legal documents, as well as promotional marketing materials and official game websites. But as gaming technology advances – so will gaming localisation.