The Popularity of Online Gaming 2021
Even before the global pandemic that still grips the world, we were familiar with the benefits of playing video games, apart from the obvious ones, like having fun. However, being stuck in our homes for months on end propelled online gaming to never-before-seen heights of popularity. Even as we are slowly recovering from Covid-19, that popularity in 2021 still isn’t vanning.
History of Online Gaming
Before the rise of the Internet, people used to play multiplayer games via so-called LAN parties, where everyone would bring their PCs to one location, connect them all via LAN cables, and just blast away, often for days. Once the Internet reached sufficient speeds in the late 1990s, LAN parties were slowly abandoned. Today, if you try to explain them to younger generations, you will be met with some astonished faces. In 2003, Steam was launched, and everything changed. A digital gaming shop, completed with users’ reviews, was just what was needed to fuel the popularity of online gaming. Soon, the titles like World of Warcraft and Minecraft were launched, creating armies of loyal fans. Some say this was the golden age of online gaming, but the best was yet to come.
iGaming, or online gambling, is an important part of the online gaming experience. Even though some experts don’t count it as a part of it, iGaming attracts millions of players every day. Whether playing slots or online poker or simply placing a bet on their favorite sports team, people enjoy iGaming and its popularity is on the rise. Accompanied by the sites like Casino Bros Australia, offering detailed accounts and reviews of online casinos, iGaming is growing by leas and bounds, often outperforming online gaming in general. Just like online gaming, it has too benefited from lockdowns and people stranded in their homes and bored out of their minds. The influx of new players has been unprecedented and even though the pandemic is weakening, iGaming isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
When smartphones appeared, they were thought of as an expensive fad. A couple of years later though, everyone had them and a new market for online gaming appeared. The way was paved with Apple announcing in-app purchases, soon to be followed by Android developers. The market was on an upward trajectory for years, but it literally exploded in 2016, when Pokémon Go was released, setting a record for the most revenue grossed by a mobile game in its first month. Half a decade later, and it is still going strong, attracting millions of players.
Gaming consoles have been around since the 1970s but were limited to single-player games just like PCs. Today, the so-called ninth-generation featuring Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X/S is ruling the market, but even here, we see the signs of the future. Stadia, a service launched by Google, is a cloud-based app that lets people play games in their browsers, without even needing an expensive console. It is only a matter of time before other big names like Microsoft and Sony follow suit.
Online Gaming Market
It was estimated that in 2019, the online gaming market was worth $152 billion. Comparing it with the movie industry ($43 billion) or the music industry ($19 billion) will help you realize just how staggering big the industry is. Divided by regions, the United States, China, Asia-Pacific, and Europe have the biggest value. By segments, mobile gaming is worth the most, representing 45% of the whole industry. With the 5G era upon us, mobile will become an even greater segment in the near future.
The Future of Online Gaming
It is difficult to imagine the online gaming industry going anywhere but up. Modern technologies have completely transformed gaming in general and while single-player games represent a significant portion of gaming in total, it is nowhere near the levels of popularity of online multiplayer gaming. This popularity works as a force multiplier, as it attracts new developers, who create new titles, which in turn attracts a new audience. The supply of games is so abundant that everyone can find something to enjoy.