The Future of Online Gaming in Australia – NBN Alternatives, New Technology and More

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Online gaming is becoming mainstream in Australia, but what does the future hold?

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Australia is a huge market for online gaming. Data from IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association) suggests that as many as 91% of Australian households own some kind of gaming device.

But how will future innovation shape its landscape? We take a closer look at some key gaming developments.

1. NBN Alternatives to Play Online

There is no doubt that the NBN has represented a seismic leap for Australia’s internet capabilities – at least for those in areas with good connection speeds.

However, its arrival has also been accompanied by download-hungry developments in gaming: huge day-one patches, higher demands on modern PCs, greater emphasis on always-online, 8K gaming – and of course even faster internet speeds available abroad. .

That’s why some Australian gamers are looking for NBN alternatives. And luckily there are options.

For example, GigaComm is a new independent provider that uses a combination of fiber and wireless technology to create a non-NBN network.

They offer ultra-fast speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps — but just as importantly, they also offer ultra-low latency (2-4 ms on average), which is essential for online gaming.

GigaComm is building its network and is currently available in the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne.

You can see their coverage area on the maps below and you can also check the availability at your address.

With speeds up to 10x faster than the Australian download average and ultra-low latency, GigaComm could be an option to consider to enhance your gaming experience.

And if you sign up before October 31, 2022, you’ll also receive a $20 per month discount on any plan for the first 6 months.

GigaComm's coverage in Sydney

GigaComm's coverage in Melbourne

2. New studios growing the industry

The Australian games industry has made investments worth more than $270 million since the end of 2020. And in July 2022, the Australian government introduced the Digital Games Tax Offset to further boost the industry. Government agencies such as Screen Australia even provide money for game development.

This interest has been fueled by recent hits such as Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight and House Houses Untitled Goose Game. Both earned worldwide fame and huge sales.

So, could Australia be the next big house of game development?

Potential, yes!

There are currently more than 1,300 people working in game development in Australia and new studios are constantly being added.

The biggest challenge for the sector at the moment is attracting experienced talent. COVID-19, closed borders and strict immigration policies have all made things difficult in recent years.

But these are not insurmountable obstacles. Given what the industry has accomplished in indie, there’s no reason to think Australia can’t be a home for triple-A online titles.

3. Future technological innovations that will change the way we play

For all the technical talk, the gameplay hasn’t really changed much since the days of the Magnavox Odyssey. Most of the time we still plop down in front of a screen and then enter commands via keyboard or controller.

That said, things change gradually. Motion Control now spans 3 generations of consoles and it looks like it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

VR has also had a massive revival. It transcends its pseudo-cyberpunk, clunky 90s styles, it’s almost strict feature in new releases.

Many industry eyes are currently focused on the potential of the Metaverse in this area. But whatever the future of Mark Zuckerberg’s experiment, VR still looks set to become an important feature in its own right.

NFTs and blockchain-based features are also generating a lot of buzz. Rare and unique items have long been status markers in the online gaming world – NFTs can take that to their logical endpoint.

With industry heavyweights like Epic Games touting such technology, it seems likely that the coming years will see blockchain-based features in many titles.

Importantly, the best part of this new technology is that it will spawn further innovation – we’re likely to see even more exciting ways to play pop up in the coming years.

4. A bigger – and more regulated – presence in the esports scene

Esports in Australia is experiencing rapid growth, generating $6 million in revenue in 2020. This is estimated to grow to $16 million by 2025.

The next step is to push for formal recognition and regulation. While numerous independent bodies currently exist around the world, they are loosely organized and can have vastly different standards.

With a centralized authority in Australia – similar to NSOs for team sports – it would be considerably easier to establish some clear guidelines on topics such as cheating, anti-doping, financial incentives and future growth of the sport.

It is, of course, a multi-step process. Realistically, it involves collaboration between prominent esports players, publishers, industry associations, and possibly the government.

But at the grassroots level, Australian gamers can appeal to game publishers and local representatives to push for greater awareness.

Since regulation is an almost unavoidable part of any sport seeking mainstream adoption, why not step forward?

Ultimately, more regulation can allow for better standards of play and increase both the reputation and profitability of esports businesses, while also highlighting Australian talent.

5. More inclusive game culture

The last – but by no means least – of the most important developments for the future of gaming is a more inclusive culture.

Social media campaigns like Gamergate tend to emphasize ugly elements of gaming culture. But a closer look at the numbers reveals that they are a fringe (albeit vocal) element.

According to IGEA, 8/10 gamers are calling for more diversity in games, and the industry is making good progress in a number of areas. For example, about 23% of those working in the Australian industry are cis women, and a further 10% identify as non-binary, trans or gender diverse.

These numbers are encouraging signs of a shifting attitude and positive progress in both the industry and among gamers.

Online gaming should be accessible to everyone. So that means we need to proactively advocate on both an individual and collective level to make it a more inclusive space.

It’s one way we can all help build a brighter future for online gaming in Australia.

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