My siblings and I still dive into fits of laughter when we reminisce how we wrestled over the controller about 15 years ago. That sweet jingle of Mario Bros. on YouTube brings back major nostalgia.
If you were to compare the current gaming world with the gaming industry of the past, it would feel like staring at a black and white picture of your great grandparents from 50 years ago.
The tech sphere has grown massively, and nowhere is it more visible than the gaming industry.
For instance, the original Super Mario Bros. had crazy hype in 1985 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Two decades later, the new Super Mario Odyssey is far more engaging. Plus, you can carry it around on Nintendo Switch.
Likewise, technology, in general, has been a real game-changer for the industry. We have brushed past from the 2D figures and excessive pixelation.
Gaming geeks across the globe, are anxious to see what the industry has up its sleeve for the upcoming years. While we all eagerly anticipate the future of gaming, it is essential to dissect the strides made so far.
We scoured a few ways of how technology has changed the gaming world.
Smartphones and Apps Changed the Face of Gaming
Smartphones and apps are taking the gaming industry by storm in an unimaginable way. It all began to change when the first iPhone was released in 2007. It brought ripples in the gaming world. Since then, there has been consistent growth in the gaming industry.
From card games to strategy games, smartphones influenced all genres of games by revolutionizing the industry. So much so that now you can’t place games in one genre.
They often overlap and fit into multiple categories. You may come across a Role-playing game (RPG), which is also a puzzle or strategy-based game.
Endorsing the future expansion of the smartphone gaming industry, Newzoo predicts that it will cross the $100 billion mark in 2021. It will outpace the PC and console market without taking revenue away from it.
High-quality Graphics Raise the Bar
Earlier, games did not have a complex plot, effects, or graphics like we have today. Thanks to the development of HD graphics and compulsive stories, the industry is now generating billions per annum.
With the emergence of 3D graphics, a new chapter appeared in game development. Developers gradually started creating natural characters and settings.
Gaming companies are investing considerable capital in Research and Development (R&D) to come up with more advanced and high-end games to challenge gamers. These games have improved graphic quality and are visually stimulating.
Perhaps the most significant development in the industry is “real-time ray-tracing.” It is a technique that makes the light in video games behave as it does in real life.
It creates authentic reflections and shadows. For instance, when you look down at a puddle in Battlefield 5, ray tracing allows you to see your character’s reflection staring back at you. The infusion of such fine details into a game was unimaginable two decades ago.
Online Games are Connecting People
Those late-night runs to a friend’s house for a quick gaming session are no longer in trend. Now, friends log-in to their favorite title from home and ping their friends. There you are, facing each other while lying comfortably on your couch.
Along with it, the fact that you can connect with people from around the world makes it possible to foster a community of like-minded gamers.
We have witnessed the growth of online games over the last couple of years. Titles like Fortnite and Apex Legend are in great demand.
It is estimated that the revenue from online games will increase from $ 9.1 billion in 2020 to $ 30.7 billion by 2025. It will follow a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.4% during the forecast period.
Games Stimulating Kids to Learn More
Video games were never considered to help kids study. They were always perceived as detrimental to their mental growth and learning. However, with the advancement in gaming, it has changed. Researches have proven that carefully crafted games can help improve learning in children.
The integration of games in the education of kids has gained prominence over the last few years. These educational games have proved highly effective in stimulating the interest of kids to learn more. With engaging gameplay and fun teaching means, they help kids learn faster.
Due to the effectiveness of game-based learning, various online gaming platforms have emerged that feature games to make subjects like Math, Science, and Geography fun for kids. They cater to the needs of kids from all age groups.
An example of such a platform is MiniMe. It features interactive games and animated videos to improve learning skills in kids.
These games belong to multiple genres, like strategy, puzzle, adventure, etc. They are highly effective in teaching kids complex concepts of Math, Chemistry, Physics, and Geography in a light-hearted way.
Learning games have been a revolution of sorts in the gaming industry. The benefits of these games go beyond education and impart various social skills in kids as well.
AR and VR Upgrade the Gaming Experience
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are actively becoming a part of the entertainment world. We already saw how the world went gaga over Pokémon Go – a game with top-notch integration of Augmented Reality.
The success of this game compelled many developers to come up with unique ideas of virtual scavenger hunts, interactive theme park experiences, and virtual events.
VR-based games, on the other hand, transport users to a different environment. A downside to note at this point is that VR has a time-cap. Playing these games for too long can cause nausea. Also, there is an issue of spatial limitations in VR games.
Easier and Safe Payment Options
Games have steadily arrived at a point where developers can vouch for them being safe for children. Some people look for ways to secure online games for their kids. Meanwhile, others worry about a secure money transfer.
As for the latter, App Marketplaces allow for in-app purchasing. It means that the mobile platform handles the entire transaction process. The developer receives the payment, but the banking details of the customer remain disclosed.
The rise of alternative payment methods, including voucher-based systems and digital wallets, are changing the tide. These are convenient, safeguarded, and allow for an instant transfer to the bank account.
Disclaimer: The new payment solutions tag along with some challenges, too. There are strict regulations in the gaming sector, which means that the integration of these methods can be a lengthy process.
Parting thoughts – Sit Tight and Enjoy the Show!
A new era of advancement has emerged in the gaming sector. This era heralds unparalleled freedom and flexibility to play and pay to the gaming freaks.
As for the developers, enormous opportunities for differentiation and competitive edge will be present for those who can keep up with this change.
While none of us can put the finger on what the future holds for the gaming, we all hope for exciting things to come our way. Who knows you might be the one becoming a billionaire with your next hot game design?