$86 billion is the estimated size of the gaming industry in 2014. It is estimated to cross $ 100 billion by 2017 if recent reports by Digi Capital are to be believed. A market of that size, growing at such a pace, would easily be the lure for many new players.
Innovation and disruption have been buzzwords for quite some time. The young are ready to topple the giants with their energy and enthusiasm while the veterans are galvanizing their armors and raising the entry barriers in the industry.
We found one such example of entertainment giant Disney patenting a technology in gaming that changes game preferences automatically by detecting the user’s gender and age. Disney is targeting a large audience by developing games based on demographics.
There are a number of games where characters and some other aspects can be chosen from a range of available options.
A teenage girl may like more constructive and creative themes like click and collect, whereas a 16 year old boy may like to spend his gaming time in modern strategy games where violence and warfare is common.
Another example of the same could be modifying the game objective – a boy would like to eliminate his enemy, whereas a girl would like to sneak past him. Or maybe controlling the length of the game. A small boy of 3-7 years is not able to concentrate for more than, say 5 minutes, whereas kids of higher age may like games of longer lengths. These sorts of aspects maybe tweaked according to the person’s age and gender and that according to a well researched predefined set of data based on different demographics.
How Disney’s Gender and Age Based Gameplay through Face Perception Works
The mechanism talked about in the patent uses a simple inbuilt camera and an image processing algorithm that could recognize the age and gender of the person. The camera captures an image of the player and send that to the facial recognition algorithm to decide the age and gender of the player. This information is then passed to the gaming algorithm which would accordingly adapt to the given demographic.
Such sort of automation could actually affect the industry in a huge way. The same game would be able to cater to the demands of so many demographics. It would save a tremendous amount of resources both in terms of technology and finance.
As Disney is releasing games based on demographics we believe there will be no need to write different games and no need to market them to separate groups. All that money could well be spent on more research and innovation and building more creative and richer content.
How amazing it would be if the person living in a mountain area gets to see mountainous terrain, whereas the person living near sea-shore gets to see a sea area while playing the same game. Till now software companies used to localize the games for languages now they will localize it based on who you are or where you live.
That is why companies like Disney remain what they were a few decades ago – market leaders. Disruption is indeed the keyword here and who says Goliath cannot disrupt?