Entertainment Software is Set for a Purple Patch in 2016

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Xbox One Controller” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  mastermaq 

The entertainment industry has always been one of the most profitable. The movie and music industry often tend to steal all of the headlines, but 2016 looks set to be the year for entertainment software and gaming.

In 2015, the US gaming industry generated $23.5 billion in revenue and, with what’s in store for 2016, this looks certain to continue to grow as there are some exciting developments in the pipeline.

This trend doesn’t just apply to console and PC gaming, either, with online gambling and igaming growing in Europe, notably in Spain. It appears that entertainment software is on the rise and will not be slowing down in the upcoming year.

2016 is the year virtual reality hits the market

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Oculus RIft Crystal Cove prototype” (CC BY 2.0) by  pestoverde 

Virtual reality is the entertainment tech that is on the tip of everyone’s tongues. The much hyped Oculus Rift is due to launch in this first quarter of the year, which is set to bring a new element of interactivity to gaming and entertainment.

VR is still very much a niche product at the moment, but with high-profile devices like the Rift hitting the market, the idea and concept of VR could soon spread to the mainstream. In fact, Samsung used VR extensively at their S7 mobile phone launch, which even included an appearance from Mark Zuckerberg, who touted the merits of VR.

The technology has excited enthusiastic gamers. The price point of premium VR tech, such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, is to be hundreds of pounds, with the Vive clocking in at £554, which possibly puts the tech out of range of the casual consumer. But if the devices sell well, it could turn out to be very lucrative for Oculus and HTC.

Casual gaming will continue to be important – especially on mobile

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Doodle Jump” (CC BY 2.0) by  Johan Larsson 

Games are the most frequently purchased applications amongst mobile app stores, and this doesn’t look likely to change.

App studios have long known the merits of giving their wares away for free, only to hook people with micro transactions. Even if a cost is attached to downloading the app, these are priced so that developers can cash in on voluminous downloads.

Outside of physical apps, many online sites have realised the potential for mobile entertainment software, producing responsive games which can run on mobile, desktop or tablet.

For example, many digital casinos have offerings that will run on browsers across all of these platforms, giving players access to a  over any device. This is important as it allows these companies to provide the best service, whilst also capturing the biggest audience. Providers have hundreds of games playable across all devices. This gives a company a huge scope – no matter what a gamer’s choice or their playing device. The chances are they will be available to find what they are looking for on the site.

This allows people to game whenever, and wherever they are, which is a big theme within the entertainment industry at present – and could well be part of the reason why igaming continues to grow at such an impressive rate.

There’s vast amounts of money within igaming, both for the gaming companies and players alike. In fact, 2015 saw one of the biggest wins in online gaming history, with one lucky player scooping over £13 million from just a 25p stake, according to The Independent.

Another nod to the ‘anytime, anyplace’ aesthetic that is becoming more prevalent within gaming is the addition of Xbox One streaming in Windows 10. This is another example of the poly device nature of gaming, with content being playable across multiple popular devices, including laptop, desktop and console.

It’s clear that gaming will continue to be a very lucrative niche throughout 2016, as will the entertainment software sector as a whole. With some much laundered tech hitting the shelves this year, including everything from the latest generation of flagship mobiles to VR headsets, it will be interesting to see which direction the industry takes.

One thing is for sure, 2016 is set to be a great year for all those involved in the industry.

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