Gaming has now become one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world, with an estimated market size in 2021 close to US $200 billion. It is expected to grow a further 70% by the end of 2027.
In fact, the first recognised example of a game machine dates back to 1940, but although the technology evolved along with the market, for many years people were constrained in the games they could play to those they could download to their desktops or mobile phones, or they might need special consoles on which to play them.
That could make gaming an expensive pastime for some, because of the hardware involved. Some of the more complex games, such as the Xbox and Wii, use powerful CPUs, graphic cards, large storage drives and more, in order to ensure the smooth running of popular titles like Call of Duty and GTA (Grand Theft Auto).
As important as hardware is the software used in the development process. The vast majority of online games are created using C++ or Python Programming language (meaning incidentally that there is huge demand for software engineers skilled in these languages).
What has helped the industry grow is the advent of online games. These can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, without the need of players to download additional files on their mobiles or desktops, which can consume valuable memory or battery life.
One of the hardest challenges in online gaming is connectivity – how to keep large numbers of gamers connected with each other wherever they are in the physical world. This is not just an issue for the many popular multiplayer games, such as Minecraft, Rocket League, or League of Legends, but also within the online casino industry (one of the true winners of the global pandemic).
Those who take part in live casino games – casino 888 is one example of a leading operator – will not appreciate the technology behind it.
This includes a sophisticated network of streaming software which ensures that all gaming takes place in real time, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) allowing the software to read the cards and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.
Encryption software, known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is used for real money online games to ensure that deposits and jackpots are sufficiently protected. This is the same technology as is used by the major banks and other financial institutions.
And then there are RNGs (Random Number Generators) a mathematical concept that is used for the generation of a number – or string of numbers – that can only be produced by sheer chance.
RNGs are employed for computer simulations, cryptography, the generations of statistics, and many other purposes, and are not only used for gambling but in any program that needs to generate random values almost instantaneously.
Whenever somebody plays an online game, the engine behind it runs the RNG software, in order to create a plausible – but still random event – in the virtual world.
They are used in shooter games, for example, to determine the most likely damage caused by one character, and also to create the reward system known various as “loot boxes” or “loot drops” – an in-game item a player earns are completing a certain level.