For the past 50 years, countless millions have found an immense amount of fun through video games. From the early days of Magnavox Odyssey and Atari Home, generations of gamers have been born. While some enjoyed games from home, others found excitement via local arcade games. This all began to change substantially in the 1990s.

With the dawn of the internet, gaming began to migrate from the isolated, predominately single-player environment it had once inhabited into a much bigger ecosystem. Online gaming particularly began to explode around the new millennium, with a plethora of single-player, multi-player and massively-multiplayer games emerging over the past 20 years.

But what exactly makes online gaming so popular – popular enough to lead players to spend approximately £150 billion each year? Keep reading to find out!

Affordable Options

Many traditional video game formats come with expensive commitments. The cost for a single video game for PC or console can easily be upwards of £50 – that’s a pricey proposition for a single offline game with limited replay value!

With online gaming, however, there are many affordable options for players of all commitment levels and interests. From games that can be purchased for £1 and enjoyed on mobile devices to MMORPGs that include no upfront costs and work on subscription-based models, affordable options exist for everybody.

Given that online games generally have expansive social communities and dynamic play settings that add long-term replay value, the popularity of them among people from all demographic groups shouldn’t be shocking.

The Social Factor

While certain traditional video games can be enjoyable experiences in single-player campaigns and gameplay, one of the biggest driving factors behind online gaming is the multi-player experience. Most games – including conventional games that predate video games and computers – are simply more fun when enjoyed with friends. Why would it be any different with video games?

Expansive social networks for gamers exist that revolve around in-game communities and independent platforms where people can meet up online but outside of the game. Even conventional meetings and events are not uncommon for select online games. Take EVE Online as one example: twice per year, the developers host conventions in Iceland and the United States that are attended by thousands of players from all over the world.

By giving players at home the ability to connect with other living, breathing players without leaving the house, online gaming has built strong bonds and friendships both inside and outside of online games.

Potential for Rewards

While increased replay value and strong bonds of friendship might seem like enough in terms of rewards, some online gaming experiences actually offer tangible rewards. There are plenty of examples of tangible rewards being available to players who enjoy online gaming – some perfectly acceptable by the game developers, some not so much.

Online multiplayer games as of late have been experimenting with RNG variables and loot boxes, which provide a random chance to earn specific in-game items that are deemed highly valuable. These elements are often either discovered in-game, purchased via in-game currency or purchased via real-life currency. Some have compared these in-game options to gambling, but many disagree with that assessment.

Speaking of gambling, another example of online gaming where real rewards can be earned is via online casinos. Many people playing the new online slots UK casinos are offering have won huge rewards; a catalogue of other online casino games also exists. To get an idea of the true availability, browse a selection on this site. Online Casinos offers guides and reviews of games and casinos. They even make it easy to find the best sign-up deals and new online slots UK casinos are currently providing. 

Sheer Choice of Options

Once upon a time, video games were relatively sparse and limited. You could choose from a small range of possibilities: racing games, fighting games and shooting games were among some of the most common. However, and with the internet now fuelling billions of players from all over the world, the sheer taste and range of gaming options available is simply unprecedented.

Regardless of the type(s) of games you enjoy, there is almost certainly at least a couple of viable options that feature online gameplay as the primary or secondary form of play. With tens of thousands of games available that feature online play, it’s easy to find a community of players who share the very same interests in gaming that you do.

Ultimately, many game developers have shifted away from offline gameplay being their primary format. Instead, building games that provide rich, multiplayer online experiences means that even many of the hottest titles from franchises that were once single-player in nature have evolved to embrace online play.

Playable from Anywhere

Another major benefit of online gaming that is not available for many standard console games – nor was available during the early stages of video games – is the portability and mobility of the enterprise. Online gaming is now popular in large part because people can play games from anywhere that an internet or cellular connection exists.

Mobile apps can easily be enjoyed from any room in the home, at the office or while away from home; users can stream content and game sessions via Wi-Fi or cellular data without problems. Likewise, more traditional forms of online gaming through consoles or computers can be enjoyed from a static location with higher resolutions and more advanced forms of gameplay.

Some online gaming experiences even allow for the transition from stationary gaming to mobile gaming. Take Nintendo Switch Online as one example. Through this service, players can enjoy their games via standard Switch peripherals, transfer their gaming experiences to their smartphone app, and even enjoy a variety of retro Nintendo game from PC, mobile or Switch alike. Likewise, the Switch itself can be docked for traditional gameplay through a computer screen or television and then seamlessly taken on-the-go for mobile online gaming.

Online gaming is a massive enterprise – and for good reason. With mobility in the gaming experience, a critical social component, massive selection of titles, potential for tangible rewards and affordable titles, the only thing that’s surprising is that more people haven’t embrace this online fun!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login »