07 August 2019

A World Cup of gaming? It’s just the beginning but low latency performance will be required to reach a truly global audience.

A World Cup of gaming? It’s just the beginning but low latency performance will be required to reach a truly global audience.

The Fortnite World Cup took the gaming world by storm, offering unprecedented prizes to players from all around the globe. Expect more competitions to emerge and for global gaming to take off – but for mobile access to dominate. How do you deliver the real-time interactive experience gamers need?

July brought a wealth of sporting events for our enjoyment – the Women’s Football World Cup, the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the Men’s Cricket World Cup are just a few examples. While these captured the predictable headlines, one entirely new event almost managed to upstage these established competitions.

In case you missed it, Fortnite, a globally popular interactive game, held its own first World Cup. Staggeringly, more than 40 million players, from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Oceania, applied for the opportunity to compete for a prize fund of $30 million. The eventual winner collected a cool $3 million. That’s more than was won by any of the Wimbledon champions – and more than was available through other competitions in the same period. See Figure 1, below, from research agency, Statista.

Fortnight beats other sports in prize money

Perhaps even more staggering is the fact that the tournament was only announced in 2018. So, a brand new competition has, in the space of a year, eclipsed more seasoned and well-known events. What’s more, it also attracted a live audience – according to reports, more than 1 million viewers watched live games via streaming channels. Gaming appears to have come of age – but there are challenges ahead.

The evolution of gaming from a closed to a collaborative experience has been a rapid process. Now, the $140 billion gaming industry is set for a further transformation, as it shifts from consoles to the cloud, a transition that will enable any device that can access the internet to connect to gaming platforms, according to the Economist [1]. In other words, the vast majority of users will soon be using mobile devices to access their favourite games. Now, it’s becoming a richly-rewarded competitive opportunity.

How can mobile network operators and content providers exploit this? The shift to mobile explodes their market, bringing gaming to a vastly expanded audience. But, to succeed and to capitalise on this opportunity, they need to be able to deliver an experience that allows users to participate effectively.

Just as young boys once dreamt of emulating Pele or Maradona and hoisting the Football World Cup, so too will players of all ages and genders dream of winning in their chosen field. Fortnite is just the start – other platforms and providers will likely seek to emulate this event. Gamers everywhere will be encouraged to compete. To encourage these dreams, they must be able to access content easily and with the optimum performance levels.

To achieve this, gaming providers and mobile network operators must be able to optimise network performance to ensure the best experience. Perhaps the most significant obstacle to this – apart from coverage per se – is the latency delivered by the network. Since collaborative games are typically real-time, players expect response times that ensure they can compete effectively. Providers need to be able to control latency to match these expectations.

That’s where we come in. Tambora’s solutions enable the control of latency for real-time mobile gaming, for LTE networks and for future 5G networks. This enables mobile network operators and content / gaming providers to delivers services that really match expectations – creating an experience to encourage participation. It helps level the field, so that gamers anywhere can dream of, one day, competing with the best in the world cups to come.

So, with our solution, mobile network operators and content / gaming providers can deliver a high-quality experience to all users, irrespective of their connection, helping them to bring gaming to more users, and creating more monetisation opportunities. The Fortnite World Cup is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s much more to come. Find out how Tambora can help you to deliver the best experience to gamers on existing and future networks.

[1] The Economist “Unconsoled – video games move to the cloud”

A 16-year-old just won $3M playing in the Fortnite World Cup

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