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We often hear about groundbreaking technologies poised to transform our world, from robots conducting surgeries remotely to AI systems that can understand and respond to human thoughts. While these ideas might seem like glimpses into a distant future, there's one sector already paving the way toward these advancements: the Media, Entertainment and Gaming (MEG) industry. This industry stands at the forefront, not just embracing futuristic concepts but actively leading the charge into new realms of digital innovation and immersive experiences.

Digital renaissance: Navigating the next wave of digital and immersive experiences

The Media, Entertainment and Gaming (MEG) industry has been a pioneer of immersive experiences by weaving together storytelling, technology and customer engagement into a seamless and entertaining journey. Theme parks create magical and immersive worlds where visitors and viewers feel they are part of the story, interacting with characters and environments in a deeply personal and engaging way. This concept is mirrored through the virtual world in gaming where players can step into the shoes of their favorite character with a richly detailed and interactive view. Similarly, the sports industry has embraced immersive technologies to enhance the fan experience, both in the stadiums and at home, revolutionizing how audiences engage with live sports.

As we look to the second half of 2024 and beyond, this serves as a beacon for the integration of cutting-edge technologies in crafting immersive experiences. A few key emerging and existing technologies are contributing. 

Extended reality (XR) — the use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) — offers a glimpse into how these technologies can bring stories to life in more vivid and interactive ways than ever before. For example, theme parks have begun integrating AR experiences, allowing guests to see animations and characters overlaid on the real world through their smartphones or AR glasses, making the park experience even more magical and personalized. Other use cases include: 

Separately, each of these advanced technologies is powerful in accomplishing a few use cases or overcoming a challenge. But when they all work together, an immersive integration creates seamless digital environments that mirror the physical world, enhance visual perception and extend reality beyond traditional boundaries.

Risks of inaction

Navigating and adopting the next wave of digital and immersive experiences in the media, entertainment and gaming industry is not just an opportunity; it's a necessity for staying competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital world. Failure to do so can lead to: 

  • Loss of market share: Failing to innovate can lead to a significant loss of market share as consumers move toward competitors who offer more engaging, technologically advanced experiences.
  • Brand decline: A lack of innovation may result in a stale brand image and loss of loyalty, reducing appeal particularly among tech-savvy, younger demographics.
  • Revenue loss: The integration of immersive technologies introduces new revenue streams and business models, such as virtual goods, augmented reality advertising and premium interactive experiences. Delaying adoption means missing out on these potential revenue sources at a time when traditional revenue streams may decline.
  • Operational inefficiencies: Technologies like digital twins and computer vision can significantly enhance operational efficiencies, reduce costs and improve decision-making processes. Ignoring these technologies can result in continued operational inefficiencies and higher costs compared to competitors who leverage these tools for optimization.

Steps for immersive experience transformation

  • Identify business outcomes: The first step is to identify the highest-impact business outcomes that your organization wants to achieve. This involves discovering and defining potential new revenue growth opportunities and workstream efficiencies.
  • Stakeholder alignment: Establish a plan to create alignment across stakeholders. This includes bringing the right people to the table to uncover substantial opportunities for optimization, growth and future sustainability.
  • Understand user impact: Build empathy and insight into the effects on users. This will enable the creation of success criteria to inform actionable roadmaps and plans.
  • Current state review: Review the current state of your organization, including challenges, key metrics, partners and technology ecosystem.
  • Describe customer and employee journeys: Describe the journeys and workflows of your customers and employees. This will help in understanding their needs and how to meet them.
  • Set business goals and desired outcomes: Whiteboard your business goals and desired outcomes. This will help in aligning your business and technology priorities.
  • Prioritize focus areas: Prioritize the highest impact focus areas that will support future business and IT initiatives.
  • Develop a roadmap: Based on the insights gathered, develop a unified, high-level roadmap that sets your organization on the right path to digital transformation.
  • Identify gaps and areas of consideration: Your team should gain a better understanding of how your digital successes impact your customers and identify potential gaps, areas of consideration, blind spots or headwinds to your progress.

Measures of success

  • Interaction rates and repeat visits that indicate user engagement.
  • Additional actions taken around purchases or logins.
  • Customer satisfaction through feedback.
  • Frictionless and seamless technology and user experience.
  • Continual innovation through new features or experiences.
  • Evidence of new revenue generation.

AI and data: Charting the course through massive amounts of data

The Media, Entertainment and Gaming industry has been at the forefront of immersive experiences and digital innovation. With leveraging cutting-edge technologies comes a massive amount of data where AI can be applied to redefine how stories are told, games are played and experiences are delivered. This data can provide real outcomes for personalized narratives, predictive analytics and dynamic content to resonate with the audience. 

Automation also plays a key role in leveraging AI and data analytics within the MEG industry, acting as a tool for processing and analyzing the vast amounts of data generated. Organizations will be able to automate mundane tasks and data analysis much quicker to allow them to work on more meaningful and innovative tasks.

AI, automation and data analytics are not merely tools but a creation of innovation in the MEG industry. They enable a deep understanding of consumer behaviors, preferences and trends, driving personalized content recommendations, adaptive gaming environments and targeted marketing strategies. For instance, streaming platforms use AI algorithms to create personalized viewing experiences, while game developers employ data analytics to adapt gameplay based on real-time player actions. It is equally important for the MEG industry to leverage both generative and applied AI.

  • Generative AI: Involves algorithms that can generate new content based on the data they've been trained on. This type of AI can create anything from images, music, stories and even game levels that didn't exist before. Generative AI is transforming creative processes by producing original content, enabling personalized storytelling and generating dynamic game environments. For example, it can create new, personalized narratives in video games or dynamically alter storylines in interactive media based on user choices.
  • Applied AI: Often synonymous with traditional AI, this refers to AI solutions designed to perform specific tasks, such as content recommendation algorithms, chatbots or predictive analytics. Applied AI enhances user experience through personalized content recommendations, improved search functionalities and optimized game performance. For instance, streaming services use applied AI for recommending shows and movies based on past viewing habits, while online games utilize AI to match players of similar skill levels.

Risks of inaction

The Media, Entertainment and Gaming industry has been an early adopter of many technologies like AI, automation and data analytics putting them at the forefront of innovation. In highly dynamic and competitive industries, these organizations must continue to understand and leverage new technologies in this space. Failure to do so can lead to: 

  • Slow innovation: Without leveraging these technologies, organizations will be slower to innovate and modify experiences based on feedback. This could lead to a loss of repeat customers and revenue.
  • Missed personalization opportunities: AI and data analytics will be crucial in creating personalization to target and engage consumers.
  • Operational inefficiencies: Not only is this frustrating for consumers, but employees as well. A seamless and frictionless experience is crucial whether onsite or online.
  • Competitive edge: Not leveraging these technologies will result in falling behind competitors.

Steps for AI and data

  • Understand the journey: Recognize that becoming a more data-driven organization involves many steps. Be aware of the infrastructure components of your platform that enable successful end-to-end data processing.
  • Set up policies and procedures: Know how to set up the right policies and procedures that will dictate how data is handled.
  • Identify hardware and software solutions: Discuss hardware and software solutions for executing data analytics use cases. This includes high-level platform design, data pipeline architecture, data lake creation, data analytics and AI stack build/optimization, and production support and sustainment.
  • Understand the impact of data explosion: Acknowledge that data is exploding at an exponential rate and data sources are becoming increasingly complex due to various factors. Understand the need for analytics and governance for both structured and unstructured data.
  • Develop specific data analytics use cases: Collaborate with experts to develop specific data analytics use cases and evaluate the available solutions, weighing in on their architectural differences and benefits to determine the best approach for your organization.
  • Learn from successful organizations: Gain insights and use cases from organizations that have tackled data analytics challenges successfully.
  • Develop a data governance framework: Work on developing a data governance framework that aligns with your organization's goals and objectives.
  • Evaluate solutions: Gain the ability to evaluate which data analytics and AI solutions will work best for your organization.
  • Understand data maturity stages: Understand the stages that organizations go through in the data maturity process. This includes not consistently collecting or storing key data for analysis, individual teams or offices beginning to collect data, creating data hubs or data lakes with well-defined management and governance, power users having access to expanded data for exploration, the organization being able to rapidly deploy data platforms designed to solve specific problems, and data-driven insights being ingrained in processes and accessible across the organization to inform decision-making.
  • Avoid common pitfalls: Be aware of common pitfalls when getting started with data governance and learn how to avoid them.

Measures of success

  • Interaction rates and repeat visits that indicate user engagement.
  • Additional actions taken around purchases or logins.
  • Customer satisfaction through feedback.
  • Frictionless and seamless technology and user experience.
  • Continual innovation through new features or experiences.
  • Evidence of new revenue generation.
  • Removal or elimination of tasks performed by employees.

Cloud to edge, public to private: Amplifying performance

Due to massive amounts of data, IoT devices and advancements in extended reality, digital twins and 5G, the Media, Entertainment and Gaming industry is revolutionizing the realm of digital experiences. While immersive experience and cloud gaming with headsets are important, there is a crucial need for streamlined backend systems to support these applications and devices effectively. This is where hybrid computing and advanced networking become essential, utilizing technologies like segment routing (SR), P4 programmable networks, and QUIC protocols to deliver a seamless user experience and backstage pass to flawless performance. While the cloud ensures scalability and vastness, edge computing brings immediacy and intimacy, much like the front-row experience at a concert.

This shift towards edge computing — alongside the exploration of multicloud and hybrid systems and advanced concepts like quantum computing and graph analytics — marks a complex yet critical evolution in the industry's infrastructure. This transition, enhanced by low latency enablers like SR, P4 and QUIC, is seen by moving from a centralized broadcasting system to a world where content delivery networks (CDNs) bring high-definition streaming directly to the edge of our personal devices, reducing latency and enhancing quality. For gamers, this means multiplayer experiences without the lag; for film buffs, it's high-definition movies without the buffer. Another example to consider is the live streaming of a sports event.  Cloud servers manage the bulk of data processing, but it's the edge nodes that deliver real-time action to fans, ensuring that the thrill of the game is experienced without delay. 

The adaptation of backend systems, tailored to specific needs such as location, connectivity and budget, ensures the optimal deployment of these technologies. WWT offers several services and platforms to facilitate this transition, including AI Proving Ground, Converged Edge Platform and Edge in a Box, each designed to simplify and enhance edge computing solutions. These offerings demonstrate how the MEG industry can navigate the complexities of digital infrastructure to provide unmatched user experiences. For more detailed information, exploring the services directly on their respective pages would provide comprehensive insights into their applications and benefits in the context of evolving MEG industry demands.

Risk of inaction

  • Reduced competitive edge: Staying solely cloud-dependent may leave companies lagging behind competitors who leverage edge computing for faster, localized data processing and decision-making.
  • Poor user experience: Higher latency and buffering issues in streaming content can frustrate users, leading to decreased satisfaction and engagement.
  • Operational inefficiencies: Missing out on the operational benefits of edge computing, such as reduced bandwidth costs and improved data privacy, can lead to higher operational expenses and complexities.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Over-reliance on centralized cloud services without edge security measures can expose companies to increased cybersecurity risks.
  • Missed innovation opportunities: The inability to process and analyze data in real-time at the edge can hinder the development of innovative, responsive services and features.

Steps for cloud to edge

Systems integrators stand at the forefront of this revolution, tasked with weaving together cloud capabilities and edge technologies to create seamless, high-speed content delivery and experiences. They play a pivotal role in this orchestration, fine-tuning the balance between cloud robustness and edge agility to guarantee low latency, ironclad security, and adaptive resource allocation. This is created by creating holistic solutions that are fully validated, tested and as plug-and-play as possible. 

The solutions not only consist of computing aspects, such as cloud and edge, but also connectivity, devices and applications.

Measures of success

  • Lower latency in streaming and gaming, enhancing user experiences.
  • Ability to effectively scale resources to handle demand surges.
  • Strengthened security at the edge to protect user data.
  • Improved network and data processing efficiency to lower costs.
  • Continuous service with high system availability.
  • Increased satisfaction through better performance and personalization.
  • Savings from optimized data transfer and resource use.


While extended reality, digital twins and computer vision offer immense potential, they also introduce new security risks. As endpoints increase, so does the attack surface that adversaries can exploit. Threat actors are also using these new technologies to launch more sophisticated attacks, making defense even harder. 

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which target the network infrastructure of gaming servers and flood them with traffic that overwhelms the server's resources, are also a real concern for gaming companies. 

The integration of various systems from large and small partners and vendors also poses security challenges, increasing the potential ways for threats to enter the environment. 

For example, virtual reality shows promise for training employees in a controlled, safe environment versus exposing them to real equipment. However, extensive training support may be required for organizations to leverage immersive technologies effectively while mitigating security vulnerabilities.

Privacy is a key concern, especially with technologies like computer vision that collect and analyze more information about individuals.

To mitigate these risks, organizations should adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity management. This includes implementing AI-based network optimization to identify and prohibit fraudulent activities on the network.

Companies should also focus on securing their data by incorporating various zero trust tools and integration points, cloud security and global compliance. It's also crucial to have a mature model to govern sensitive data associated with immersive experiences. 

Regulatory requirements and industry standards around technologies like AI and AR/VR are still developing, and early adopters bear more risk if current oversight is limited. 

Risk of inaction

  • Emerging cybersecurity challenges can lead to severe consequences if not addressed.
  • Cyber attacks are evolving, with adversaries leveraging AI and machine learning to launch large-scale attacks.
  • Data security and risk management have become board-level objectives.
  • Organizations that do not adopt a mature, strategic approach to cybersecurity may risk operational shutdowns lasting hours or even days.
  • The lack of interoperability across various technologies is a fundamental challenge for companies in the gaming, entertainment and media industries.

Steps for cybersecurity

  • Understand your risk tolerance: Every organization has its own appetite and tolerance for risk. Start by focusing on your goals and outcomes and align them with your risk tolerance.
  • Analyze risks: Analyze the risks to determine their likelihood, source and impact. This will help you understand the potential threats to your organization.
  • Prioritize risks: Map your risks and prioritize the most important ones to resolve. This will help you focus your resources on the most critical areas.
  • Develop governance and compliance programs: Develop governance and compliance programs based on the latest policies and standards. This will ensure that your organization is adhering to the necessary regulations and guidelines.
  • Review existing security toolsets: Review your existing security toolsets and recommend where you can reduce costs while adding value. This will help you optimize your security infrastructure.
  • Protect across the organization: With the rapid pace of new technology and innovation, it's important to secure your growing tech stack. Leverage the WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to test the functionality and performance of solutions and validate planned architectures.
  • Rationalize and de-risk technology investments: Use the power of the ATC to rationalize and de-risk your technology investments. This will help you make informed decisions about your security infrastructure.
  • Accelerate implementation: Accelerate the implementation of your security measures by operating more efficiently and effectively. This will help you respond quickly to any potential threats.
  • Integrate multi-vendor architectures: Integrate multi-vendor architectures from a partner ecosystem of leading and emerging vendors. This will provide you with a comprehensive security solution.
  • Leverage security expertise: Utilize the knowledge and expertise of security experts across various cybersecurity disciplines including cloud security, cyber resilience, data protection, endpoint security, identity and access management, and network security.

Check out WWT's Security Maturity Model to learn even more

Measures of success

Success in cybersecurity can be measured by the organization's 

  • Ability to minimize threats before they can exploit internal information systems
  • Ability to authenticate all users, scan for threats and eliminate security breaches before they escalate. 
  • Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Cost of security controls managed.