Streaming has become a staple of entertainment, with everything from our favorite TV shows to the latest sports events being accessed primarily through streaming platforms. This ability to deliver content to any internet-connected device has revolutionized our behavior, and we are now turning to apps and devices instead of TV boxes to watch old and live entertainment.
The technology has even forged a brand new mainstream sport. Competitive gaming was easy to push aside when the meets weren’t being shown by major TV channels, but live streaming allowed the contests to be viewed by millions of people to prove the industry’s validity. Thanks primarily to Twitch, the eSports boom is in full swing. Now, the sports channels want a piece of the action too.
Much of streaming to date has been a passive experience for the user: you turn on the platform, select the stream, and view. There’ll usually be a chat feature, and sometimes those running the stream will chat back, but casino gaming has found a way to create a true two-way application of the technology. Now, live streaming has the capacity to bring the viewer into the game itself.
Live casino taking streaming to the next level
When casino gaming first went online, video casino games were very popular. Being played in the user’s own time, the gameplay was familiar enough, but the sensation of playing at a table was lost. So, innovative game developers turned to live streaming but they needed to adapt it as watching a casino table play through the motions almost certainly doesn’t appeal to the masses.
Accompanying the internet connection and high-definition cameras is the optical character recognition (OCR) software. It’s this that enables the tech to read what’s going on at the table, such as where the ball sits on a roulette wheel or what card has been placed. The information obtained by the OCR is then relayed to the game control unit (GCU).
The GCU encodes the video and relays the data to the interface used by players online and on the other side of the live stream. It also feeds the monitors that the dealers use to oversee the game, follow the timings of each round, see who wins, and partake in the conversation. Through these additions to standard live streaming technology, players can play real on line roulette at RoyalPanda, alongside human players, a human croupier, in real-time, and on a physical game.
Further expansions of streaming technology
Live casino gaming represents the greatest evolution of live streaming technology in mainstream entertainment right now, offering more than just viewership thanks to the technology. However, other companies are looking to expand the interactions available through streaming. One such move that took subscribers by storm was the choice-dependent show Bandersnatch on Netflix, which allowed for players to pick the direction of the story at pivotal moments.
Another bit of tech that not only has the hype but also the money behind its development is Crowd Play. The feature, which recently started its long-awaited beta testing on Stadia, allows people watching a live stream to jump into the game and play alongside the streamer. It could take the level of interaction between game streamers and their audiences to the next level, making tuning-in live to a stream even more important for fans.
The only issue with Crowd Play is that its host technology, Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform, has fallen flat. Having launched in November 2019, riding the hype of features such as Crowd Play, the beta for the innovative tech didn’t launch until December 2020 with six games available. Having already lost a lot of steam, it seems unlikely that Stadia’s potentially game-changing advancement in live streaming tech will hit the mainstream.
Live casino gaming is proving that mainstream audiences are very receptive to more immersive and interactive forms of streaming. All that’s needed is for another tech sector to integrate it into other mediums.