The online gaming market enjoyed a hugely successful year in 2020. Indeed, the gaming market worldwide was valued at 162.32 billion in 2020.
A significant part of this worth can be attributed to online gaming. With almost 60 per cent of the world’s population classed as active internet users, there is a huge scope for the industry.
Online gaming is a recent internet success story. As we shall see, it looks set to continue.
Online play in 2020
Online gaming increased during 2020 with people tuning in to the social aspect of playing against friends online.
A big part of this is the increasing sophistication of online mobile devices. The majority of the world’s internet users log onto games and sites via smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Cloud computing and mobile play
Cloud computing is another important part of this growth in online gaming. Advanced online games can use the cloud server to complete the majority of visual rendering and video streaming.
This aspect takes a significant amount of the computing process away from the device and makes it possible to play complex games via mobile.
2020 also saw a rise in popularity in Esports. The contests between professional video game players attract huge audience figures watching online.
The competitions themselves are now commonly known as sports, and discussions have taken place about whether they can be part of the Olympic Games.
The industry is another example of how online activity is so deeply embedded in the new public consciousness as part of mass entertainment.
Online gaming in 2021
The online gaming industry continued to develop in 2021.
Many games companies have recorded a profitable start to 2021. Online casino companies have seen a significant increase in account holders and players.
Much of this can be put down to the sense of community that gamers enjoy when connecting with others through a game or competition.
Players taking part in online casino games and contests can experience the world of the casino virtually. While taking in the computer game style of realistic visuals and video, a player can communicate with fellow competitors.
This is seen across the board in online gaming activity. Sharing aspects of social media and technology such as Zoom and Skype, online gaming offers players a chance to connect to a world beyond the screen.
Gaming companies have taken note of the huge crossover appeal of online games. The industry has changed markedly in recent years. Gamers are no longer exclusively tech specialists and computer experts.
Online gamers these days enjoy blurred boundaries where games are just another form of entertainment. Online games are now part of the same equation as sports, online movies and other escapist art forms.
With a strong emphasis on the personal social space, the most successful online games are the ones that bring out this community in full.
A big recent hit of the online gaming world that demonstrates this is the multi-player mobile spy game Among Us.
The game requires players to either work together or deceive each other to discover the clues in a murder mystery. Over 100 million people have downloaded the game.
It has also been called the most popular game ever in terms of active users.
Socialising is also vital to the popularity of the Virtual Reality gaming market. VR and Augmented Reality (AR) is what many people expect to have a huge effect on gaming and entertainment.
VR systems in gaming allow players to experience a richly developed world. The games involve taking control of a player’s senses – particularly sight and hearing – to offer immersive gameplay.
As the technology continues to develop, touch, smell and taste could also follow suit in sophistication. Cloud computing is also expected to play a part in how the tech of VR and AR interacts with users on a practical level.
By keeping the costs down and making the logistics as accessible as possible, extended reality (VR, AR and mixed reality) experiences will be largely mobile.
As the required equipment of headsets becomes ever more affordable and reliable for home use, more people will play. The key to this is an understanding that convenience and portability have to be present.
Developers have realized this and have focused attention on stand-alone headsets operating with smartphones and mobile devices. There is a belief that extended reality will be one of the most transformative tech trends of the next five years.
The extended reality market is expected by industry experts to grow significantly through 2021 and beyond.
The future certainly looks bright for online gaming. As the world continues to log on and enjoy all of the possibilities offered by the internet, games will develop still further.
Mobile use is sure to have a significant impact on this. The majority of people have access to a mobile device with internet capacity. As more people play games online, they will continue to share, stream and communicate.
Socialising online and ever more involving experiences will also play significant parts in the ongoing success story of online gaming.