Sounding good: Boosting Canada’s gaming prospects
Canada may be most famous for things like ice hockey, Niagara Falls and maple syrup, but figures suggest that its flourishing gaming industry is making a name for itself too. In 2017, the country boasted $17.3 billion in revenue, according to CDC Gaming Reports, which was a 4.9% increase compared to years past. This is also due to the range of highly entertaining games available, not to mention a flourishing mobile industry that increases the demand and supply of titles to make smartphones a good source of fun when a distraction from everyday life is called for. PC and console technologies are evolving at just as great a speed.
It is true that the present and future of online gaming are in the digital hands of World of Warcraft and League of Legends. Why? For the excitement and engaging virtual environment, one vital contributing factor of which is auditory stimulation. Would online games be the same without music and effects? Judging by relevant features and advancements in technology, developers know as well as us that the answer is no.
Audio gaming technology
NetEnt, a leading developer, recognised the importance of sound effects and in 2016 announced its efforts in creating a new 3D experience for its games, but which would be usable on any system, whether in your pocket or on your desk. Such technology, which will surely reach as far as the eSports scene, will make the already thrilling audio of current online games that much more vivid and immersive. Being able to fully enjoy gaming wherever you are, alone or in a social environment, is another step up that the Canadian gaming industry would do well not to miss out on.
The hilariously strange adventure, Jazzpunk (2014), is as much about the jazzy trombone and drum roll sounds and tunes, not to mention characters’ robotic voices, as its unique comical design and plot. Worms W.M.D (2016), the latest addition in a long series, exists for many entertaining reasons, of which the adorable little voices of the battle-crazed worms play an important part. Last but not least, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (2010) is the revival of a beloved adventure known for its Caribbean-themed music, alongside a humorously rich story and dialogue. So good audio is important to gaming – it’s a quality that can make a Canadian title shine.
Let us also not forget that there are titles entirely dedicated to music, like Guitar Hero: Metallica (2009) and Michael Jackson: The Experience (2010). Whole websites are created to honour different types of music. Virtual Piano is one such online platform, established in 2006, where visitors, 19 million a year and counting, can spend time playing piano via their computer keyboards and even join the Virtual Piano World Championship. There is also Karafun, an online resource for every karaoke need, which would not be worth its salt without quality sound to please its melodious fans. Canada has gifted the world with many music stars, whose stamp deserves to be placed on a well-made video game.
Entertainment is achieved best when our senses are combined. Trends are affected by gaming technologies’ continual enhancement, to the increasing delight of players, with audio being an invaluable investment.
The editorial unit