The online gaming industry has experienced some explosive growth in recent times and is currently worth over $78.6 billion, with that value set to hit $90 billion in 2020. These are mind-blowing numbers considering that this is a relatively new industry.
Incredibly, the industry is set for even bigger things in the future. Every single forecast points to more games, better gaming technology, more significant investment in the industry, and ultimately, increased game availability.
Let’s take a look at some of these predictions to see what the industry might look like a few years from now.
Gaming as a spectator sport
One thing that online gaming is lacking at the moment is the ability for fans to watch expert gamers take each other on. Some of these fans don’t have the gaming skills necessary to compete themselves, and there are those who play regularly but lack the hand-eye coordination required to become experts in the field.
Therefore, these people may take great pleasure in watching the pros take each other on head-to-head. However, up to now, game developers are yet to make this feature a reality. Fortunately, however, this could change very soon.
As the gap
between real sports and virtual gaming closes, more and more developers are
looking for ways to accommodate
spectators. It’s likely that within the next decade, we will see
developers creating a feature that allows fans to watch “contests” – either
online or in real-time.
Virtual online casinos
Up till recently, if you wanted to play at a London casino, you had to book a flight and travel to London in person. This is not only inconvenient for the user but it also costs online gaming developers a lot of money in potential missed revenue.
Therefore, there has been a lot of progress made in the development of online gaming. This means that you can simply go online, sign up, and play London Casino adult games without even leaving the cosy confines of your home.
The next logical step in this trend, according to experts, are virtual online casinos that allow you to play like you were at the actual casino house – in a three-dimensional environment, with the ability to interact with that environment while playing! Keep an eye out for this one in the not too distant future!
Hyper-immersive gaming with VR and photorealistic graphics
You’ve likely heard a lot of good things about Virtual Reality (VR) and how it will impact gaming in the future. In fact, several games are already VR compatible and can be played using any of the VR headsets available from Sony, Microsoft, or Google.
Unfortunately, the quality of the video is still not very good, which negatively impacts the overall experience. Experts predict that photorealistic graphics will be the next step in helping to improve video quality.
With photorealistic technology, VR headsets deliver 3D graphics that are almost indistinguishable from real life. Even better, computer developers are working tirelessly to iron out hardware challenges that currently make hyper-immersive gameplay impossible. Combine these two developments, and future games could be truly astonishing!
Better, improved Augmented Reality (AR) games
Like VR, Augmented Reality is a technology that has been around for some time. However, owing to multiple challenges, including hardware and the long list of devices, it remains just a dream. Fortunately, this could change going into the next decade.
Having seen the success of Pokémon Go, the first AR-powered game to get global acceptance, game developers everywhere are burning the midnight oil to make the next breakthrough in this field.
There will be many other games like this coming onto the market soon. Some will be available as apps, others on VR headsets, and the rest on future consoles and wearable devices.
Secondary screens and devices for gaming
Every gamer understands the thrill that comes with being able to play across multiple screens and devices. The experience is a lot more fun if you can extend a game you’re playing on a mobile device to your PC screen.
All the leading gaming companies such as Sony, Nintendo, and Xbox know this and are currently working on strategies to support cross-device and cross-screenplay.
Sony recently integrated their handheld PS Vita device with their PS3 console so the players can use the cross-play feature. Nintendo’s Wii U gamepad, meanwhile, features a touch screen that augments with the primary display. And, Xbox has developed an app that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets for cross-play.
Open-source game development
The game development world is currently dominated by AAA developers and established developer companies. While that set up is okay as it is, it can severely limit creativity. Essentially, you can only successfully develop and distribute a game if you belong to these established companies.
This trend could soon change. There are many lone wolves out there who would like to develop and release their games without the current restrictions. Aside from that, even ordinary players have shown that they are capable of making extensive modifications to existing games.
In the future, open-source development platforms might be created to allow these people to make changes to their favourite games without too many restrictions.
Finally, the gaming industry also looks set to jump on the cloud-computing bandwagon very soon.
Some of the top advantages of cloud computing are: cost reduction, 24/7 availability, flexibility in capacity, security, and automated software updates. All these things are some of the challenges that the gaming industry currently faces. If cloud computing can help solve them, then it’s likely that developers will consider using the cloud sooner rather than later.
Should this happen, players will be able to play any game on any internet-enabled device just like we stream music. Repetitive tasks such as downloading updates will also be a thing of the past.
Gamers should brace themselves for a flurry of innovations in the next decade. Not only will we see better games, powered by cutting edge technologies such as AR and VR; things like speed, availability, and memory capacity could become issues of the past. Above all, you might even be able to modify and personalise your favorite games for greater enjoyment!