Whether it’s playing real money pokeror online multiplayer video games, the online gaming industry has consistently grown over the last three decades. In 2020, the online gaming industry generated around $21.1 billion in revenue, translating to a 21.9 growth compared to 2019. The boost was mainly due to the global lockdown after the Covid outbreak, which forced lots of people to remain indoors and turn to digital media for entertainment.
Currently, there are around 1 billion online players worldwide, with China, Japan, and South Korea having the biggest population of gamers. This online gaming audience is expected to keep growing and it’s projected to exceed 1.3 billion by 2025.
Despite the recent growth in prominence, the online gaming markethas been evolving for the past decade. From new generation console gaming to the classic PC games, online gaming genres like competitive first-person shooters and massively multiplayer games have seen a huge boost since the early 2010s.
As smartphone ownership and mobile connectivity increased over the years, online gaming became possible for a wide range of new gamers who can’t afford expensive consoles and PCs to play. The market for traditional online titles is also shrinking, with cross-platform titles focusing on smartphones pushing the genre forward.
Some of the most popular titles in the market right now include Player Unknown BattleGrounds, Battle Royale, Apex Legends, and Fortnite Battle Royale. These games attracted the attention of millions of players in just a few months of their release, with the most recent entry in this genre being Call of Duty Warzone. The game reached 100 million players globally in just 13 months of its release.
Just as players at each level push boundaries with the games they play, developers are also continually leveraging emerging technologies and new techniques to push the gaming experience and make games challenging more than ever. Some of these technologies pushing the industry forward include:
AR and VR are taking gaming from the physically constrained world to a virtually controlled environment that is more immersive. Virtual reality applications have previously required headsets for gamers to enjoy the titles and these wearables can be uncomfortable and heavy for players. However, with the new wearables poised to hit the market like wrist devices and gloves will allow developers to develop touchable elements. That gives online games a whole new dimension, with the masses getting access to more realistic games.
While the average player might not realize it, AR has become part of digital entertainment for some time. The technology was first rolled out in the mainstream through an application in the 90s, but now it has become part of gaming as seen in titles like Pokemon Go.
The widespread cloud gaming access and adoption have changed the way mobile and video games are created, offered, and played. Players can now access new gaming titles from anywhere with an internet connection. That reduces the amount of time required for a player to acquire gamers, add-ons, and extension packs.
As revealed by Samsung, multiplayer online games are the most popular gaming genre in the world, but most gamers suffer from the issue of game lags. That means the delay time between when you execute an action and when the game server reacts.
5G wireless network offers multiple benefits for multiplayer gaming communities online by improving the cloud streaming experience. According to Samsung, 5G latency is lower than with 4G networks and that helps to reduce jitter and packet loss, making the games’ performance better.
5G networks also support a significantly large number of connected devices. According to tech experts, 5G has the capability to support up to 1 million devices per every 0.38 square miles. That’s a significant improvement to the number of players that access online games, considering that 4G technology supports up to 2000 devices. That explains why 5G networks have been growing worldwide as game developers can deliver unprecedented enhancements.
Many online gamers have reported positive experiences when playing, with the most common being helping other players and making friends. Most of these gamers cited Minecraft and World of Warcraft as the titles with the most positive social experience. However, online harassment when gaming online was equally as common, ranging from trolling to offensive name-calling and physical threats.
The impact of players behaving badly is severe, as gamers who have experienced harassment online felt upset and less social. Some have even had their personal relationships disrupted or work performance impacted. That shows that interactions with players can make or break their online gaming enjoyment and in digital environments anonymity comes with its risks.