The online gaming industry is a massive one that is growing steadily. That is partly because online gaming doesn’t require a massive initial outlay like the purchase of a console or a special gaming rig.
As in all digital industries, constant development and innovation are essential to remaining popular and profitable. The online gaming industry is no different. If online gaming wants to remain competitive against PC, console and mobile games, it will need to keep adapting and ensure it stays relevant.
Here are the five areas where we think you can expect changes in the online gaming industry in the coming year.
New reward systems
After all the discussion surrounding loot crates and whether or not they are unethical, game developers have been working to find other ways to reward and incentivize players. In the next few years, we will likely see these new reward systems introduced. They could draw inspiration from online casinos, which have created a wide range of bonuses.
Alongside the Netherlands, Finland was one of the first countries to investigate if loot crates should be considered gambling. This focus on careful legislation around gaming has contributed to the trustworthiness of Finnish online casinos. The bonuses at Finnish casinos are a great way of rewarding players and could influence game developers in other industries.
Increased augmented and virtual reality
No longer the dream of sci-fi fans and miles ahead of the clunky headsets that were previously found at arcades, modern virtual and augmented reality technology has rapidly become accessible. The advances made in the area of virtual reality in particular have been much faster than most people expected.
Online gaming should expect to incorporate more virtual and augmented reality elements. As the Metaverse comes closer to being a reality, being able to provide a virtual experience will become an essential selling point for games across all systems and types.
Growth of the indie industry
Over the last decade, indie gaming has developed into a major component of the online gaming industry. There is so much creativity and talent among indie developers that it can be really exciting to see what they’re going to release next.
Sites such as Roblox, that allow all users to create their own content, have contributed to this growth in recent years. Roblox has given plenty of scope to artistic scam artists, but it has also introduced many young creators to the world of game development.
The indie game market is one of the strongest aspects of online gaming. Its continued growth is a major positive for the industry.
As the range of people who enjoy playing video games becomes more diverse, it makes sense that developers would respond to this and create more diverse characters in their games. There has been some pushback against this — usually from white male gamers who don’t understand what it’s like to be unable to find media with characters that look like them.
Representation, whether it’s in online gaming, television and movies, books, positions of authority or anywhere else, has a positive effect on society. It encourages people to expand their horizons and preconceived notions.
Being able to fully customize an avatar is a very important part of this process. Of course, sometimes you might want to play as an anthropomorphic cow wizard, but there is something very special — especially for younger players — about being able to create an avatar that looks like you.
In online gaming, it is a great way to reach out to audiences that have previously felt excluded from the community. It seems highly likely that this is a trend that will continue in the coming years.
Growth of cloud gaming
Everything is on the cloud these days, and gaming is no exception. Unlike the other items on this list which will impact gameplay or how the games look, cloud gaming has an effect on the other side of the equation. Cloud gaming is a new way to play and save games.
Instead of having to purchase and download games, with cloud gaming, the player just needs to access the game in the cloud. It is also known as “gaming on demand” or “gaming-as-a-service” and the streaming model helps to explain it. Just as you can stream movies without having to buy a disc, cloud gaming removes the need for a physical copy of the game.
Cloud gaming is going to grow because it is more convenient and more environmentally friendly since there isn’t all that plastic packaging and waste every time someone buys a new game.