New research has revealed that gaming is fast becoming one of the biggest money spinners in the UK technology industry, constituting a healthy slice of the overall profit pie.
Interxion surveyed 500 UK adult gamers, digital media and IT professionals and found that almost a third (31 per cent) believe that the industry will deliver between 16 – 30 per cent revenue to the wider UK technology ecosystem by 2020.
Another fifteen per cent are even more hopeful still, believing that the games industry could make up more than half of our already flourishing tech sector.
It's no secret that gaming is no longer considered a pastime for children. With sprawling cinematic titles and artistic indie games, gaming has become a more adult and sophisticated business.
The proliferation of mobile and tablet devices has also made mobile gaming a widespread hobby, filling up long commutes and turning even businessmen into "gamers." According to eMarketer there are currently 20 million mobile gamers in the UK alone.
The research also found that virtual reality is set to be the biggest industry gamechanger, with 28 per cent of respondents saying virtual reality would be the development to watch, closely followed by speed requirements (27 per cent) being demanded by players.
Meanwhile, UK gamers expect to see the cloud play a more prominent role in the future; two thirds of UK adults believe this will be a drastic area of change when it comes to the future of gaming innovation. Consoles and hard copy discs are expected to become obsolete for 41 per cent of those interviewed, while 25 per cent believe there will be a larger move towards a Netflix subscription-based model in terms of purchasing games.
Regardless, this brave new world cannot come to fruition without the right infrastructure in place. A seamless gaming experience requires a service free of glitches, regardless of the end-user's location. Without this, the industry's revenue streams will be seriously curtailed.
"The revenue opportunity won't be realised without acknowledging the importance of a good user experience for today's gamers," said Julian Wheeler, Strategy and Marketing Director at Interxion.
"Looking at our research, it's clearly speed and connectivity that will make or break this. From the initial download of a game to the very last battle, consumers expect to be able to seamlessly move from level to level without a hiccup. By harnessing the best infrastructure and data centre technologies, gaming providers can ensure they both meet consumer demand and provide an experience that will make gamers persist with that tough level rather than deleting a slow, unresponsive game in frustration."