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Future of Gaming & E-Sports 2024

Future-proofing gaming: the UK’s role in advancing transformative technology

Group of multicultural friends gamers with virtual reality glasses playing video games
Group of multicultural friends gamers with virtual reality glasses playing video games

Sue Daley

Director of Tech and Innovation, techUK

Explore the future of gaming with emerging technologies, and learn about the UK’s role in advancing gaming infrastructure and global innovation.

Since the invention of the board game, games have experienced numerous step changes, including video, PC, consoles, mobile, tablet and, more recently, augmented or mixed reality (XR) and AI. As we look to the coming decade, future gaming technologies are set to further transform the sector.

Technologies advancing gaming today

Generative AI will construct complex virtual worlds tailored to the preferences of players. XR technologies, such as headsets and holographic software, will make the user experience increasingly immersive. It will engage senses — such as touch or depth perception — previously unexplored.

Cloud computing is making gaming more ubiquitous as many players can now game anywhere, anytime and on a growing mix of devices. This will improve accessibility as restrictions around location and cost begin to disappear.

Games will increasingly incorporate next-generation internet (Web3) technologies, such as blockchain or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), enabling players to seamlessly and confidently purchase and trade digital in-game assets.

Enhancing UK gaming infrastructure

As an early leader in the development and application of many of the above technologies, the UK has established a dominant position in the global PC gaming market. It has built a pool of highly skilled game developers. Moreover, it has made significant strides towards cultivating a thriving startup and SME ecosystem around gaming, esports, AI and immersive technologies.

However, there is more to do if the UK is to lead on the future of gaming technologies. We must improve the infrastructure upon which the gaming tech sector relies, including local power capacity, regional broadband connectivity, plus skills and talent pipelines. As such, techUK has convened the Government, gaming companies and telecoms stakeholders to engage in dialogue around gaming peaks caused by unscheduled updates or downloads.

Championing the future of gaming

We must champion the gaming tech sector, which can struggle to compete with other creative industries for government attention and support. This involves building a public narrative that gaming is a legitimate profession and a sector with significant, positive spillover effects. Recent techUK events on the gaming sector of the future, immersive gaming technologies and the future of esports have begun to do this.

Finally, the UK should always look to remain one step ahead of the curve. In June, techUK will launch a Web3 and immersive technologies campaign to drive, accelerate and encourage innovation in future gaming technologies alongside many of its 1,100+ member organisations, plus wider technology and innovation stakeholders.

Find out more about techUK and our gaming programme here.

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