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Gaming for social engagement has been a part of the hobby since it began, including things like multiplayer gaming and game streaming. Both are ways of sharing the experience with others. At a panel at GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 called “New ways to experience games on the big screen,” several panelists spoke about the importance of big screens to gaming as a social activity.
The panelists clarified that “big screens” can mean a large TV in a room or a massive screen in a larger social setting. Chris Early, SVP of strategic partnerships & business development at Ubisoft, pointed out that they (Ubisoft) both made games for the former and held large social engagements with the latter. “We’ve done the ‘big screen’ with Just Dance, and had 1,000 people dancing in a city, and we’ve also done the 10-foot experience for many years.”
Andrea Cutright, head of global marketing for Prime Gaming and game growth at Amazon Games, clarified that it’s more of a concept of “The Big Screen.” She added, “I think big screens are getting more and more into social engagement that can happen outside your own living room.”
Mike Lucero, Samsung’s director of product management for gaming, said that a big screen exposes one’s gaming to public observance. “When you play on a big screen (vs a little screen where you’re less exposed) — the fact there’s public exposure does have a big impact on how you play and your interaction with the game.
Games on all screens
All three panelists also spoke about using screens as ways of getting games to users faster. All three companies have streaming or streaming-friendly services: Prime Gaming, Ubisoft+ and Samsung’s Gaming Hub.
Early said that getting games onto more screens helps expose users to as many games as possible. “Making that access easy helps expand the number of people who can play games.” Lucero added, “All of us touch game streaming, and the difference in player patterns when you don’t have to download? That changes how you think about games.”
Cutright added that thinking about “screens” was more about thinking about the players using them and how to improve their experiences. “The more we can unlock that — really put the player at the center — that content, that experience, that controller, that device. How much freer can we make all of those things? If we can just think beyond the experiences we’ve had the last five, ten years, the more the environment’s going to open up.”
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