The gaming industry is booming in the United States, from online games played on a smart phone to the competitive, professional world of eSports. Over 164 million adults in the United States play video games, and three-quarters of all Americans have at least one gamer in their household, according to the Entertainment Software Association.
Perhaps nothing has revolutionized the world of video games – from how gamers play to how they access those games – more than the evolution of high speed broadband such as provided by cable, the leading broadband provider in Texas and the nation. Andcable is working on an initiative – 10G – which some believe is key to the future success of the gaming industry.
If you’re old enough to remember the early video games such as Pong or Space Invaders, the high-definition graphics and interactivity of today’s games are astonishing. It’s today’s blazing fast internet that has made the biggest impact on gaming and fueled its tremendous growth.
For example, no longer do players of a game have to be in the same room; broadband allows gamers to play online with multiple friends or even strangers across the globe. Andmany gamers are playing on mobile devices: In 2017, 192.2 million gamers reported playing on mobile phones, and another 126.2 million were on tablets. Both numbers are expected to increase by about 10 percent by 2020.
High-speed broadband is necessary to the continued rapid rise of the gaming industry: The video game market is expected to be worth over $90 billion by 2020, up from nearly 78.61 billion in 2017.
More than a third of gamers download their games directly from an online store. Digital distribution is growing in popularity among both gamers and the game production industry itself, which is shifting away from producing physical media. The large and frequent downloads needed to play the latest high-resolution games can be completed in moments with a fast internet connection. In fact, a Deloitte survey released in June found that, for the first time, more American millennials now subscribe to a video game service than to a traditional paid television service.
Increased game consumption comes as more people fill their spare time playing on mobile devices instead of reading and other activities, according to Kevin Westcott, who leads Deloitte’s U.S. telecom, media and entertainment practice.
With more people playing video games, the demand on the internet also has grown. Internet gaming traffic is predicted to grow nine-fold from 2017 to 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 55%. Gaming is expected to make up 7% of all internet traffic by 2022, up from 1% in 2017. In the U.S., gaming traffic accounted for 0.679 petabytes (PB) of U.S. internet traffic per month in 2017 (1 PB = 1 million GB) and is estimated to explode to a whopping 7.2 PB monthly by 2022.
“That massive volume of data is one reason why the 10G platform is necessary – the future of gaming depends on it. The high-capacity, low-latency networks made possible by 10G will allow gamers to instantly and seamlessly play without having to worry about lag or pings.”
Earlier this year, the cable industry announced its commitment to build 10 gigabit networks (10G) that will deliver internet speeds 10 times faster than exist today. To learn more about the 10G Platform, check out www.10gplatform.com.
This broadband network of the future not only will drive further innovation in gaming –it’s necessary for the success of the Internet of Things (IoT) and to support a huge growth in devices that rely on broadband by providing a network that is reliable, secure and super-fast.
To illustrate how essential the development of 10G is to the growth of gaming, NCTA for the first time in June sponsored the annual E3 conferencefor computer and video games and related products. NCTA took over nearly 100,000 square feet on the Los Angeles Convention Center floor with the “10G Gaming Lifestyle Pavilion.” The Pavilion showcased how video games contribute to art, fashion and music. In addition, players from the Atlanta Reign, in the eSports Overwatch League, stopped in for a Q&A where they discussed the importance of super-fast internet to their own gaming and signed autographs.
According to a recap on the conference, “Hundreds of gamers stopped by the 10G Gaming Lifestyle Pavilion to express their interest and excitement for what they could do with 10G internet speeds.”
If you’re among the growing number of gamers – of all ages – know that the cable industry is behind your pastime both today and moving forward.