In the last 10 years, we’ve been in the midst of a revolution. But, because it’s been occurring in the world of entertainment, we seem to brush it off as just that, ‘entertainment’. Little has the wider public known, that actually this is what the future is going to look like. You must pay attention to how entertainment has flourished throughout the world and in what ways does it affect us. Hollywood lost its grip on the public’s attention a long time ago, more than a decade. You wouldn’t know it because the latest box office numbers of the multi-blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe film series suggests otherwise. Many of the films have earned over £1 billion worldwide. Yet, that’s just small potatoes compared to a blockbuster video game title like GTA V which has earned £6 billion worldwide. In pursuit of more profits, customers and impact all around the world, entertainment has gone fully interactive. Why would you want to just watch a story of epic proportions play out in front of you, when you can be in it?
The Olympics has been in a bit of a troubling time lately. Some foundational sports like Greco-Roman wrestling have been given the boot, only to be met with huge protest at the decision. While, other sports like football and tennis have been made into Olympic sports. The trouble is, these other sports already have their own amazing world championships or an event that tests sportsmen and women to their utmost. This has caused a large debate to erupt as to what can be described accurately as a sport? It seems like the video gaming world is taking this challenge on, like no other subculture. Esports have suddenly exploded and major sponsors are not wasting time getting involved.
Esports is where competitive gaming is taken to the highest level it can go. Extremely talented players of different games and genres all take to the stage to compete against each other. Whether you’re playing fighting games like Tekken or Street Fighter, whether it’s a racing simulation like Gran Turismo or rFactor, or perhaps first-person shooters like Counter-Strike or Call of Duty, there is a major competitive scene out there for you. The most incredible revolution has come from Fortnite, which has seen literally millions and millions of players worldwide become part of the playerbase. Large scale tournaments have been held where hundreds of pounds are on the line and sometimes multimillion sponsorship contracts. There is already talk of an Olympic-like games to be held for all Esports.
You knew it was coming, the death of television is pretty much guaranteed. Well, at least how we have come to know. What we will have in the future is interactive television or rather ‘interactive viewing’. Crucially, in order for the interactive aspect of watching programs to mean something or engage the audience, it must be connected to social media. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are the leading subscription-based services that have the opportunity to do this. We’re already seeing this as Netflix wants customers to make ‘clips’ of their shows and post them to social media.
In the not so distant future, if you’re watching a show you’ll be able to share little snippets of it. Of course this will need to be controlled to some degree so users are not allowed to upload entire shows in small clips. Yet, it opens up a world of social media for viewers. Maybe they missed something hidden in a shot, but when they went online to see the reactions of other viewers, they found an interesting clip showing them what it was. This is particularly important to the younger generation of Gen Z. They are growing up in an age where social media is flourishing and being able to interact with people who are interested in the same things, is normal.
Sports is one of the most popular genres in the world. It’s especially important to young men and boys. However for the most part, sports networks have unfortunately been behind the curve. Rather than utilize modern technology that have continued on with their pay-per-view system. This has worked for a long time, but these days nobody wants to sit down and watch sports events when they could be viewing it on their smartphones while on the move. They might not want to pay a high price to view a sporting event either. The problem with pay-per-view is that high prices have to be charged because it’s a one-off event. Anything that is sold in single units, has to be expensive else it’s not financially worth the trouble.
Hence why DAZN is making sports a subscription-based service. They are primarily doing this for box office combat sports such as Boxing and MMA. Fans of boxing can now pay a low monthly fee to get all the classic pay-per-view events in the year. Pay-per-view as we have come to know it, is therefore nearly dead in the water. Why would you pay £24.99 for one event such as a heavyweight championship boxing bout, when you can pay £99 for all the shows in the year? Whether they are heavyweight championship fights or middleweight fights, title or no title, you can watch all the fights you want. Crucially, you can watch anywhere at anytime live or catch-up.
Ever since the concept of virtual reality was born, there has been a continual stream of disappointments of examples. We have become almost bored of the idea in society, that we can wear some hardware and be transported to a whole new world. The implementation has been rather lackluster for a long time. The simple reason for this is, we haven’t got the technology right just yet. But the concept is still alive and well, it’s just been lurking in the background for a while until it can line up all the ducks and stars. Fortunately, the video gaming industry has once again come to the rescue. Virtual reality from the get-go was supposed to be about interacting with fully fictional worlds, being able to do absolutely anything you have ever wanted to do. Whether it’s flying in the sky like a bird, wanting to know what it was like being a soldier in World War Two, or racing a Formula One car, you can do all these things now.
Check out the Best VR games on the market right now to get a sense of what is currently available. One of them is Arizona Sunshine, a first-person zombie shooter. It works on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Valve Index. It also has a user rating of 9 out of 10. Then there’s a futurist/fantasy sword fighting game called Swords of Gargantua. It too has a rating of 9, and only works on HTC Vive and Pro. For a more elevated VR gaming experience, play Eagle Flight which turns you into an eagle and you engage in aerial battles with other birds of prey. All this occurs over the skies of Paris, France. There are many games that the virtual reality genre is releasing and thankfully the functionality and options are greater than ever.
Entertainment as we know it, is going to be old news in just a decade or less. Esports is right up there with the torch in hand, taking centre stage in the new world of entertainment in the form of competitive gaming. Subscription-based services are the future, for dramas, documentaries and live sporting events.