The online gaming industry is expected to be worth a whopping $2.2 trillion by the end of 2021. And the rate of transformation within the sector is evidence of this statement. Since the advent of Internet-based games, there has been a rapid but steady rise, with the market seeing an immense influx of players from all corners of the globe.
50% of all gamers across the globe are playing on their mobile phones. That means that people are spending increasingly more time on their smartphones playing slot machine gratis, live poker, or GTA Online, than on traditional platforms such as personal computers and consoles.
As gamers at all levels push the limits in their gameplay, it is only appropriate that developers use innovative technologies and creative approaches to enhance the gaming experience.
So, should we assume that this is as far as it goes? Should we anticipate any changes in the future of online games? Or can we expect more of the same?
What the Future Holds For Online Games
If you were to bring a gamer from a few decades ago into the modern world, they would be greatly astonished by the numerous changes visible in the gaming sector. And I’m not only talking about a Las Vegas shark from the 80s. Even a video gamer from the 90s couldn’t refute the changes that elevate the game industry to what it is today.
The growing globalization and constant advances in technology make the world smaller, bringing people closer than ever before. This allows gamers from various continents or different countries to play together via online games. By sharing an Internet connection and a gaming console, you can now engage with players from anywhere in multiplayer battles.
1. Mobile Gaming
The future of online gambling is also going towards the mobile sector as more and more casual gamblers play quick games on the go. Almost every person in the world has a smartphone (even in developing nations). This, combined with the recent surge in Internet usage, is a key advantage for mobile casinos.
Online gambling has been steadily conquering the world. Over 150 countries worldwide have licensed online gambling operators, while 65 million people actively use these services. Thus, providers are expanding their reach into the mobile realm to take advantage of the online gaming community.
Experts forecast the number of mobile gamblers to increase to over 50% in the next 3-5 years. Even now, almost half of the online gambling transactions are done via a mobile device. The traditional desktop casino is becoming obsolete and will be replaced by its more vibrant and dynamic younger sibling – the smartphone/tablet app version that offers better performance and usability
2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
These applications take gaming from the physically controlled world to a partially or fully virtually controlled, more immersive environment. Augmented Reality enhances your real-world experience with virtual objects, whereas Virtual Reality allows you to interact with fully computer-generated worlds. Furthermore, technologies like Microsoft HoloLens are bringing these applications even closer to reality by allowing users to engage with holographic images as if they were real.
VR and AR have been talked about for decades, although their development is still in its infancy stages. The whole purpose is to encourage player engagement with the features of the game. We will be seeing a lot of immersive elements such as wearables like gloves that allow game software developers to create touchable elements.
3. Artificial Intelligence
There is an emerging cloud sweeping over the tech industry spearheaded by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI aims to challenge machines to think like humans, increasing their productivity by learning patterns, making decisions, and problem-solving.
This technology is becoming more sophisticated each year. Many game developers are working on innovations, such as the use of automated bots in online gaming.
4. The Cloud: Replacing the Console
The cloud is changing how video and mobile games are created, delivered and played. Cloud gaming allows for low latency, which is ideal for highly interactive games like combat. This means that you can use your favorite game controller on your PC to play against someone playing the same game on the opposite side of the world without the traditional console. Cloud gaming aims to create an improved streaming experience.
5. 5G Gaming
Unlimited data plans and 5G coverage are becoming more common worldwide, giving mobile gaming a significant boost. Places like the U.S., Canada, South Korea, and China are already providing 5G services – the rest of the world is yet to catch up.
Imagine the speeds that 5G has to offer the multiplayer gamer. You can virtually play a soccer match against players on different continents. You can score goals in each others’ net while concurrently defending your end. It’s almost like being there inside the stadium!
6. Social Gaming
The new kid in town, social gaming, gained precedence after the outbreak of COVID in 2019. It’s a free world where you can play, socialize with other gamers, and win prizes as well. The games can be multiplayer, board games, card games, social network games, or interactive multiplayer video games.
Currently, you cannot use real money in social games. But you earn points and badges through the points. You can use these points to make purchases in physical stores. Just imagine your avatar wearing a suit of clothes that you’ve won in a poker game against virtual players!
7. Enhanced Graphics and Gaming Systems
You can’t compare the graphics today to how they were in the 80s when the first console games were launched. It is now possible to digitize an actual person and mix that with a video game character. This can be done using a green screen and animating the character’s movements in the desired direction.
The old 8-bit NES 10 is now replaced with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. These machines come with 3D graphics and force feedback control systems. As such, we should expect to see games with improved graphics, which can compete over more sophisticated gaming systems.
A powerful gaming system that is expected to hit the market soon is Oculus Rift, a VR (virtual reality) headset that will put players in a virtual 3D environment using true head movements.
The Bottom Line
Predicting the future of online games is an essential part of understanding the upcoming challenges and opportunities. As trends in technology, society and business continue to evolve, so do game developers. If we want to be successful, we must constantly adapt and adopt new forms of games. Apart from that, technical advances will provide players with an enhanced user experience, encouraging them to play more often and for longer periods.