What Does the Future Have In Store for Online Gaming?

A guy playing an online game on his PC with a headset on

The internet has made its presence felt in just about every aspect of our lives over the past decade, bringing faster speeds and methods of connecting people throughout the world. At the same time, digital technology has continued to bring science fiction to reality with progressive and futuristic technologies that could change the way that we interact with devices and appliances.

Many industries like music and movies have tried to occupy the spot where technology and online connectivity meet. Companies like Netflix and Spotify are examples of this. In truth, the industry that is occupying this meeting point (and will continue to do so) is the online gaming industry. In the UK, for example, the gaming industry is worth more than the movie and music industry combined.

The online gaming industry has the potential to integrate the latest technologies to create experiences that either mirror reality or are otherworldly yet tangibly sensory. The past year has seen million dollar gaming platform launches from Google (Google Stadia), Apple (Apple Arcade) and Microsoft (xCloud). There’s no doubt that the industry will continue to grow, especially as the latest technologies are refined.

So what does the future have in store for online gaming? For a start, it promises to be entertaining. Here are a few technologies that could shape the future of online gaming. 

Mobile

Mobile technologies might not seem cutting edge in comparison to artificial intelligence and augmented reality, but don’t underestimate how much of a profound impact mobile technology has had on the online gaming industry.

Anyone with a smartphone has the ability to be online anywhere where there is a network signal. This has been a fundamental shift in connectivity for society. Through this connectivity we can communicate with more people, transfer data, map locations and make online transactions. This birthed the age of social media adoption and ecommerce. 

With ecommerce came the possibility to buy and play games from your phone. It also meant that in-game, or in-app, purchases were possible with your phone, which in turn opened so many possibilities for online games. Those who play online casino games or online sports betting will know the importance of in-app purchases when they load their credit or coins. 

Looking towards the future, the mobile phone is still the online device we keep with us for most of the day. While Google Glass and Apple Watch have tried to function as an alternative, for the foreseeable future your mobile phone is going to be your primary mobile device to connect online.

It’s for this reason that a lot of the latest technologies, like augmented reality, are launched through mobile games. Pokemon Go is a prime example of this. Virtual reality experiments have also been launched on mobile devices. Samsung, among others, have several VR headsets for mobile phones.

Aside from the high-tech developments, mobile gaming is bigger than ever. From puzzle games to Fortnite, many users tire of browsing social media and news sites and enjoy playing a game. 

The ability to play on the move has also been enhanced thanks to the developments of cross-platform gaming. This allows players to play a game on TV, pause and continue it on their mobile.

Mobile phones’ connectivity and daily usage make them the ideal device for new technologies and games to be tested on. This guarantees their future in online gaming. 

Streaming online games

 An illustration of a girl with an online streaming setup playing a game

One particular type of online gaming has grown so popular that there is serious consideration of including it as an Olympic event. eSports has legitimised online gaming as a competitive sport, and attracted millions of viewers worldwide. This past year, esports has generated more than an estimated 750 million Pounds in revenue. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube have made esports a career for some, and a source of entertainment for others.

In many countries, esports betting is legal through online sports betting websites. As with any type of sports betting, an underground market opens up possibilities of match fixing and rigging. With time and further regulation, you can be sure to find esports events on all popular online sports betting sites.

eSports competitions and leagues look to be here to stay, and in the future you can be sure that eSports players could become household names. The fact that so many of us play the same games that feature in the tournaments makes esports a relatable sport. The ability to share and stream all types of gaming experiences means that esports are only getting started. 

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain

Cryptocurrency, and the blockchain technology that supports it, has just about disrupted the financial industry. The ability to buy, sell and trade with a currency has never been as easy and empowering. While there is still a way to go before cryptocurrency achieves mainstream adoption and day-to-day commercial use, it has already left a mark in the online gaming industry.

Games like CryptoKitties and CoinDogs showed the potential of blockchain-based games. In these games the add-ons could be bought with cryptocurrency and the battles between players were regulated through the blockchain. It was a fun way to play a game that could earn you more of a cryptocurrency. 

Looking towards the future, cryptocurrencies could become an online gamer’s currency of choice. The reason for this is that cryptocurrencies have the potential to become a global gaming currency in a way that fiat currencies, like the pound or the dollar, can’t. Cryptocurrencies are not designated to any country in particular, and function as global currencies.

You could see online casinos and esport players using cryptocurrency to play international tournaments. It could also help players from countries with weak fiat currencies to achieve economic success. With many casinos and sports betting sites accepting cryptocurrency already, the future could be closer than we realise. 

Cloud gaming and subscription models

Close up of World of Warcraft play button on battle.net application

The launch of Google Stadia has brought cloud gaming into the spotlight. In relation to advancements in the music and movie industry, cloud gaming platforms appear to be the next big development.

In truth, cloud gaming is more complex than music and movie streaming in that a gamer is making choices and sending data back to the cloud server when they make decisions during their play. With music and movies it’s a one-way street. The ability for cloud servers to handle this back-and-forth while streaming the latest game graphics is proving to be challenging.

Stadia reviews often center around lagging and data use. Cloud gaming will only take off globally when these issues are solved (there is enough money being invested to ensure that they are).

A cloud gaming platform that focuses on smaller games could perform better. An online casino could benefit from cloud servers, and those who play online games wouldn’t need to download any software. With Stadia and Apple Arcade already offering subscription model cloud gaming platforms and with Microsoft and Sony also investing in the cloud, you can be sure that a cloud-based subscription model will be part of online gaming’s future.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting technologies for gaming. It can be used to create believable characters or players who react to your decisions, whether it is a character in a game or a player at your online poker table. Artificial intelligence can also be used to create a hyper-realistic game world. It’s already helping game developers map out landscapes as well as helping light reflect accurately through ray tracing. Gaming is the one space today where we can interact directly with AI.

In the future, AI could be used to help blind players know how other players are responding to a hand. It could be used to help you know whether a sports bet is a good call. AI offers many possibilities for helping physically challenged gamers enjoy the world of online gaming.

For esports and gambling, AI could play online casino games better than human counterparts. If we can breed and race dogs in CoinDogs, we could create the ultimate poker player.

Virtual reality and Augmented reality

Virtual reality has promised to break into the mainstream for over a decade. While mobile headsets brought it close to mainstream adoption, there is still a way to go. One thing is for sure, the graphics in virtual reality continue to impress, and once VR equipment becomes more affordable, you can be sure that gamers will be rushing to the online stores on their mobiles.

Augmented reality has seen greater success thanks to Pokemon Go. The game was a worldwide hit, and in 2019, sits as the top-grossing mobile game. Pokemon Go showed that Augmented Reality could be the perfect mixture of artificial intelligence and mobile technology. There’s no doubt that it will play a part in the future of online gaming.Someone holding a phone whilst playing Pokemon Go by the sea

AR can be used to dissect sports tactics and plays, highlighting key players and tracking their movements. This combined with an online sports betting app could create the ultimate sports betting experience for sports enthusiasts.

AR could also be used in an online casino, especially with those who offer live games. It’s not too difficult to imagine a live roulette game, where the other players alongside you are generated by AR. They could even talk to you and react to the wins and losses in the game. In this way, the live roulette experience would be identical to the land-based experience, but from the comfort of your own home.

Live casino games are a great showcase of the possibilities of online gaming. You can stream in, with other players from different locations and win and lose real money. Register with Grosvenor for the best live casino experience.

 

We’re here to help you keep it fun – remember to set your deposit limit. Click here for more details on the safer gambling tools available including reality checks and the ability to take a break from your gaming.

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