Online gaming has had a massive year in 2020 and the upward trends seem to be continuing. Many people were introduced to online gaming during that period and may never want to go back to traditional gaming after that.
We’ve seen a massive increase in user spending on engagement from February to April of last year during the height of COVID restrictions, but 2021 is set to be another record year for the industry. Some trends were being discussed before the events that are only starting to manifest now. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest online gaming trends for 2021 and beyond.
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One of the biggest trends to hit the world of online gambling recently is the addition of traditional video gaming elements to online casino games. This is a revolutionary approach to online gambling and it could do a lot to boost its popularity among a new class of players.
Gamification, as it’s often referred to, is when game developers add elements of skill into a casino game. This is most common with slot machines.
Players may alternate between spins and game levels where they can use skill to access special bonuses. This could help attract players who prefer traditional PC gaming. Many will love the idea of being able to use their gaming skills to increase their odds or get better prizes.
Not all online casinos have games like these, however, and trying to find which casinos have the best games can be tough on your own. This is why we would suggest you check out online review sites such as onlinecasinos.co.uk. They test hundreds of online casinos so you won’t have to. You’ll be able to quickly see what type of games a casino offers, the size of their selection, and some of the additional features they may have as well.
Mobile phones and tablets may not be as powerful as your average console, but the gap between them has been closing over the years. We could see a future where people are able to pick up games they started at home wherever they are and from whatever device they want. Hardware advancements will make it possible, but streaming technology and 5G will play a role as well.
Projects like Stadia have already shown that it’s possible and the Nintendo Switch introduced the idea of hybrid gaming. We can expect other manufacturers to follow suit. Sony has already announced that they were thinking of giving handheld devices another go, and we can rest assured that their next console will have at least some cross-platform compatibility.
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A lot of people predicted that augmented reality would become mainstream after the massive success of Pokémon GO, but developers have been slow to follow through. The story is very different when it comes to virtual reality, however.
VR headsets have seen a huge price drop recently and are finally affordable to most households. Nintendo even released a VR headset made of cardboard. Advances in mobile technology will also make the technology more accessible and push more developers to try to release games.
Making a living as an online player is now easier than ever. Players don’t necessarily have to be part of a top eSports team to succeed either. There are so many different games being played competitively at the moment at the local, national, and international level, which offers more opportunities.
There’s also the entertainment aspect. Some players may not be as talented but have vibrant personalities that would allow them to monetise their passion for playing. Any player with a decent amount of talent who knows how to target and market to a niche can find a way to make money from gaming right now.
Another related trend is the rise in eSports betting. eSports saved the day for sportsbooks during the pandemic as so many events had to be cancelled. eSports, however, were able to pick up right where they left off and moved to an online format immediately. In the absence of sports and with shortened seasons, a lot of sports channels have turned to eSports to fill their schedule. This is one of the reasons why eSports betting is so popular right now and will probably be for the next few years.
This is also a movement towards more open-source programming across the board, and that includes gaming. While the Ouya was a massive flop, the concept captured the imagination of many in the field. Small consoles that allow virtually anyone to create top-quality games on a small budget might seem like a dream for programmers everywhere and could become a reality sooner than later.
The Unity game engine already allows programmers to create 2D and 3D games for Windows, Linux, macOS, and even consoles. We can expect to see more of these platforms being released and new gaming companies using them to build a brand for themselves.
People are in great need of a human connection now that social interactions have been heavily curtailed. Gaming has a solution with social gaming. Social gaming is another phenomenon that was gaining traction before the pandemic, but it has seen a sharp increase in popularity recently.
An increasing number of people are turning to games like Fortnite and Roblox not only for the excitement, but because they allow players to interact with each other, build social structures, or comment on the gameplay while they watch. This is also one of the reasons why games like Animal Crossing were such massive hits during the pandemic.
Roblox saw a 101% rise in total hours played during the pandemic and games like Among Us also exploded. The game saw a whopping 5,471% rise in total playing hours during that period partly because of the exposure it has received from Twitch users and Youtubers, but also because of the heavy social engineering aspect.
These are some of the online gaming trends you should keep an eye on for 2021 and beyond. They could completely change the face of gaming as we know it and bring all sorts of new possibilities, so stay tuned.
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