The online gaming industry is incredibly popular and lucrative. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and due to the advancements of technology and global adoption, we can expect this industry to flourish and grow. It is a fast-moving industry, and it can be difficult to keep track of current trends and what’s new. To help, we have listed five online gaming trends currently taking the industry by storm! 

Cloud-based gaming (no more CDs!)

A major change we are already seeing is the move away from physical game storage and a push towards cloud-based gaming. Most games for platforms such as the Xbox, PlayStation and desktop computers are now available as digital downloads.

Indeed, many games are not available as CDs any longer. This is being reflected in other industries too, such as the music industry, where streaming and digital downloads of songs and albums are the preferred method.

Cloud-based gaming is certainly the future. This is due to the vastly improved infrastructure of the internet and the availability of cloud storage. It is much easier and cost-effective for game developers to do away with the production of CDs and instead offer their products as download-only. 

NFTs, the blockchain and NFT-based games

Another type of technology that is breaking into the world of online gaming is NFTs and blockchain technology. NFTs are non-fungible tokens, which are essentially digital assets that people can own.

A common use for NTFs is as collectable items. Indeed, there are some immensely popular NFT series, such as CryptoPunks, NBA Top Shot and The Bored Ape Yacht Club, that sell for thousands of dollars.

Many NFT developers are also creating games based on the underlying NFTs and blockchain technology. You can buy the NFTs and use them in different ways within games. Axie Infinity, for example, is an NFT game that is similar to Pokémon. You can buy Axie pets and then breed and train them, and fight in PvP battles.

The evolution of esports

Until recently, esports were not really taken seriously. However, it is now a huge industry. There are hundreds of esports leagues and competitions worldwide. Popular esports games include Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft 2 and CS:GO.

Esports has also spawned an entire gambling industry. Many sportsbooks such as Betway, for example, now have dedicated esports betting sections on their platforms. You can place bets on your favorite esports teams and follow their games live.

There are also many esports teams that are sponsored by global corporations and play online games as their day job. Competitors can earn thousands in prize money, and many have YouTube channels or use streaming platforms like Twitch as additional sources of income. You can even find dedicated podcasts on platforms like Spotify that are purely related to esports!

The amount of money involved in the esports industry now is staggering and it is a trend that looks set to continue. 

Virtual reality and augmented reality gaming

Games incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality technology have also exploded in popularity. This is mainly due to advances in the hardware and the availability of games.

You can now buy incredible virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift. These typically come with hand controllers. The experience is totally immersive and offers an online gaming adventure like nothing else. The games are also pushing boundaries and taking virtual reality gaming to the next level.

Augmented reality has also improved in leaps and bounds and is implemented in many different ways via smartphones. A prime example is the hugely popular AR game, Pokémon GO. Players can walk around in the real world and use their smartphones to catch Pokémon that appear on their screen via AR technology.

New levels of immersion and persistence

The next major trend we can expect is the development of persistent, immersive worlds. A prime example of this is the metaverse that Facebook aims to create. The metaverse aims to be a virtual reality social platform where you can meet with your friends, play games and do who knows what else. If you have watched the film Ready Player One, you will understand when we say that we think it essentially aims to be something like the OASIS, which would be pretty awesome!

We hope you have found this article interesting. As you can see, we live in exciting times for the online gaming industry. As technologies develop, our gaming experience can only improve and become more exciting, immersive and accessible.


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