AR to boost gamification of the real world: Kevin Soltani

At the e4m GameOn summit, Soltani, CEO, GIMA Group, US, shared insights on the growth of the e-sports sector and what the future of the billion-dollar industry looks like

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Mar 14, 2022 8:45 AM  | 3 min read
Kevin Soltani

Metaverse has revolutionised the world of e-sports, and in future, people are going to see more gamification of the real world, said Kevin Soltani, CEO, GIMA Group (USA) at the e4m GameOn 2022- Online Gaming Summit. Soltani shared insights on the topic- ‘World of Esports: A look at an explosive billion-dollar industry’ and outlined the future of the e-sports sector.

Stressing on the fact that e-sports received a boost during Covid-19, he said, “Everybody knows how big the buzzword e-sports is. During the pandemic when everybody was locked in homes, the streamers took their time to become big and famous. And that’s what kept us going – the opportunity to go digital, as gamers had no other option, but to turn online.”

He said the opportunity to convert gaming into a completely digital form is comparable to gaming technology advancement in the 1980s and 90s when everything being played by hand became more PC-based and advanced. “This is a revolutionary moment in gaming history”, he said.  

E-sports, according to Soltani, is a competitive game. “When you cross the line from a casual, traditional home gamer into a professional setting and start to compete on a worldwide stage, then you can be categorized as an e-sports player. The number of such e-sports players and the industry’s revenues have just been climbing. As we go into 2023, we can only imagine that the metaverse is going to take this hyper-growth into an even faster cycle. So we're hoping that this new digital age of gaming experiences will usher in a fully new level of adoption. The player base who were just traditional gamers, are now looking at untraditional gaming such as block-chain and crypto gaming.”

Throwing light at the history of gaming and e-sports, he said that in 1972, a party introduced a very casual form of gaming for bars, pubs and homes. “Then the console version started to come out and later we saw the introductions of PC, mobile, handheld in this arena. And now the metaverse is ushering in the next stage. With technological advancements in mobile, handheld and PCs, it has taken up larger market shares,” he said.   

Transforming the gamers’ experience from the game to the real world is the purpose of the metaverse, and gaming will play a large part in that transformation. In the future, with more availability of AR technologies, people will see more gamification of the real world.

“Now, it is going be gaming-centric, but business-focused. These days, crypto games and the metaverse are allowing companies to bring out NFTs and to use crypto-currencies as a way of payment,” he said. Soltani also predicted that in future the game developers, community managers and designers will be spending more time recreating and innovating the user experience in the metaverse.

“We already have VR and headsets, but AR is going to be very big in the future. And I predict it will be even bigger than VR and more useful. I truly believe that user experience will be more important than the user interface. Of course, we want the interface to be glamorous, immaculate and ever-changing, but it is an experience that's going to win,” he added.

Concluded his session, Soltani shared a quote by Satya Nadella, executive chairman and CEO of Microsoft, “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”   

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