How the Video Game industry is opening doors for Software developers, and why we should exploit the transition.
By: Gabriel Suchov
The shift towards interactivity has pushed technology and our definition of what entertainment could be further for the past century or so. Since the first photographs were taken in the late 19th century, people have been searching for ways to connect with the stories they are told. Films were introduced in the early 20th century, and with the invention of video games in the 1970s began to build the bridge between simply being a spectator in the stories we hear, and becoming a participant.
Video games are becoming the main form of entertainment throughout the globe. In the past 5 years, the US game industry has grown from about 56 million “gamers” in the US to 135 million in 2011. That’s a 259% increase in a matter of 3 years. What’s clear is that the gaming industry is growing, eating up more market share in the entertainment sector year over year. As the technology develops, we are seeing a huge push towards mobile gaming and casual gaming, which are games that users can play with relatively little concentration and still remain engaged. Games like Words with Friends, Angry Birds, and even Sudoku have seen their popularity spike, because of how easy it is to pick up and play. This mindset has opened the market of games to thousands of developers worldwide, and has made traditional gaming take notice and begin to rework their strategy.
As the technology that builds the web around us begins to evolve, we are seeing more interactivity being made a priority in websites. Google is a common example of this, creating a new, interactive “doodle” each day, publicizing certain holidays (the recent international women’s day) and even creating web based games to include in their search pages (a recent Zamboni game to commemorate the life of Frank Zamboni, who created his namesake ice clearing machine. This branching out to include games in web based platforms rather than software, has the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry in terms of hardware, but also in terms of the technology used to create these and future games. HTML 5 is quickly becoming a powerful tool in creating web based content, and with that comes the piece that Talener can use to its advantage.
As games become more focused on all digital platforms and using similar tech to computer developers, the overlap is something that can be taken advantage of. We have a surplus of talent in terms of web and software developers that have skills that previously were not applicable to the gaming industry, but that too is changing rapidly. We have already seen an influx of web developers with strong interests in gaming and a familiarity with some of its tech, and we are increasingly seeing gaming companies relying on traditionally computer and web based development in order to market and develop their content. This means that they are now looking for who we have, and so we should consider the possibilities of putting a stronger emphasis on working with gaming companies, because as the tech merges, so will the skill sets.