The popularity of online gaming has never been better with technological developments enabling players to indulge in their favourite pastime almost anywhere on the planet via a variety of devices, it is almost impossible not to play the latest game. But where is the industry heading? What can possibly be the next step in online gaming? In July 2017 in Brighton UK, the conference “Develop” was held, which purpose was to highlight current trends influencing the online gaming world.
The conference was dominated by one subject, VR (virtual reality), although many other topics were actively discussed. We will take a look at some of the topics that were buzzing around the discussion forums and the hot tips for the future.
A major criticism of virtual reality is that it isolates the player, but many top manufactures, like Sony kept dismissing this idea. They were making the point that the future of VR is a social one, and the beauty of this medium is that friends can enter a virtual world together and join in amazing experiences.
Pokemon Go demonstrated to the world that is was possible to have an augmented-reality type game. It also showed that the masses were ready for more trivial and less logical games. Funomena has a new game that is imminent for release, “World” is marketed as a handheld alternative reality experience, that enables the player to place virtual objects in their physical location”. This game will be available using Google’s new AR platform “Tango”.
Games consoles have developed into something more akin to multimedia devices than pure gaming machines. It points to manufacturers of mobile phones and tablets wanting to muscle in on what is perceived as a very lucrative market. There were even voices in the “Develop” conference hinting that it would not be too long before mobile devices in some way could interface with TV’s. In the US over 70% of smartphone owners played online games, and this has decreased the popularity of purchasing an extra games TV.
The Gaming Spectator Sport
For whatever the reason, perhaps bad coordination, laziness or just plain following of the proverbial “bandwagon” the growth of the gaming spectator is rising. These fans just love computer games, and if they can’t play them then they love to watch their heroes playing them. The best online gamers are now “superstars” in their world, and the growth of gaming competitions across the globe means a good living can be made from playing games. In fact, the gap between actual sports and online games is getting narrower, spectators are flocking by the thousand to watch these computer wizards at play, and indicators are that this trend will continue.
The future of online gaming is anything but certain, there are many directions it can and possibly will go, but trying to predict what the industry actually develops into would take a brave guess from even the most educated in the industry. What you can guarantee is that it is bound to be something extraordinary.