Video games are one of the most popular hobbies in the world. They are a great form of escapism, especially with how immersive and interesting the latest generation of games can be. Gaming has also become a much more social activity in recent years. Gamers can chat or play together in multiplayer games, and communities have even built up around watching other people play games.
One of the most interesting trends in recent years has been the rise of online gaming. Online gaming has risen from a minor player in the industry to become one of the top ways that most people play video games. This is partly due to the increased popularity of mobile games. The convenience, community participation and variety offered by online gaming are also hugely impactful.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important developments in online gaming in recent years and how those changes are impacting players.
One of the most dramatic developments in online gaming is the success of online casinos. When the earliest online poker rooms were launched in the 1990s, they seemed like they would be a fun fad that wouldn’t last very long. How could an online card room ever hope to compete with going to a casino? It’s shocking how wrong most people were.
Online casinos are now one of the most consistently lucrative sectors of the gambling industry and are a huge part of the online gaming world. The convenience they offer, along with the huge variety of games in their libraries, are two of the biggest contributing factors to why they’ve become such a big part of both the gambling and online gaming worlds.
Unsurprisingly, the United Kingdom and the United States have been leading the way with online casinos, since both countries have such a strong gambling culture. Other countries are quickly catching up, though. The options for casino games for real money in NZ have expanded in recent years, and they can compete in the market on an international level. Canada has also recently made progress in expanding the options available to their players.
Cloud gaming is what makes the current state of online gaming possible. Cloud gaming refers to the online storage and hosting of games. Instead of purchasing physical copies of games or digital copies to download, cloud gaming allows players to play games that are hosted on a server. This means that the amount of memory on a device doesn’t factor into whether a player can access a game.
Pioneered by Netflix, the subscription model that has become the norm for streaming entertainment is being imported into the gaming world as well. The creation of subscription services for gaming is part of a development referred to as Games as a Service (GaaS).
The major console companies have already begun launching their own gaming subscription services. PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Nintendo Switch Online combine console gaming with online gaming so that they can remain relevant. Some of the top AAA developers have launched their own services as well. There is now EA Play and Ubisoft Plus.
We’re also seeing tech companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon launching gaming subscription services. Whether or not this is a positive development or if it is simply better business for these companies remains to be seen.
Exclusivity used to be a selling point for video game developers. The console wars of the 1990s and 2000s encouraged players to pick a side and show their loyalty to a single gaming system, even if this meant missing out on some of the hottest games.
There was a lot of pressure on the console companies as well, since as soon as Sony announced that they were working on the next generation console, Microsoft and Sega had to begin production as well to avoid being left behind.
Cross-platform gaming has been growing since the 2010s and has become a key selling feature for many games. This is partly fueled by the popularity of mobile phones and how most people have become used to being able to access their accounts and favorite media on all of their devices.
Online gaming is perfect for a cross-platform world. Both online gaming and cross-platform gaming make gaming more accessible and help to expand the gamer community. People don’t have to limit who they play with or against to those who own the same console system. This is one of the main reasons that online gaming is likely to remain the norm – it opens the gaming world up to everyone.