6 Ways That Gaming Has Changed In The Last Ten Years

What was once a niche hobby, is now a billion-dollar industry. I look at 6 ways that gaming has changed and where this influx has come from.

Group of diverse friends playing game on mobile phone
Group of diverse friends playing game on mobile phone

The video game industry has seen continuous growth throughout the last ten years, and there is a game console in almost every home across the country. What was once seen as a niche hobby for computer enthusiasts is now a billion-dollar production that appeals to every generation. So, where did this sudden influx of popularity come from? We look at 6 ways that gaming has changed in the last ten years.

As with most technological advancements, the biggest changes to video games came in the last ten years. But what were these changes, and why did they bestow video games with the mass appeal that they are experiencing today?

6 Ways That Gaming Has Changed In The Last Ten Years

Online Gaming

Online gaming is not a new concept. Neverwinter Nights was the first-ever online multiplayer game that was released in 1991. Set in a fantasy landscape, this retro experience did not capture the eyes of the mainstream, and there were several kinks to work out in this new online format.

However, as computer technology became more mainstream, video game developers began to see the potential of gaming in the online space. In 2004, Halo 2 became one of the first mainstream video games to open live game servers for players to join and battle other players from around the world. The developers already had a track record of success with the first Halo game, so this meant that they had an audience to test out this new online feature. It took off quite successfully, which meant that the next slew of games down the pipeline was all focused on capturing this success. Therefore, almost all video games began to include an online multiplayer mode, a concept that has only gone from strength to strength in the last ten years. This has made gaming more of a social hobby, which is one reason why it is now so popular.

Mobile Gaming

With the launch of the Apple smartphone in 2007, the applications for computer technology greatly increased. Your phone was no longer just a means of communication. You could now use it to access new music, browse the web, and, of course, play video games.

The first iPhone was a revelation, and soon other companies began developing their own brand of smartphones. This means the concept evolved rapidly, allowing for almost everyone to own one of the devices by the time the next decade rolled around. The video game industry now had a new platform in which to reach its audience and, since the smartphone was so popular, the general public was now being exposed to a new type of app. This meant that video games were able to target a completely different demographic, and thus the mobile gamer was born.

Digital Downloads

Another benefit of the advancement of computer technology is that storage space has greatly increased over the years. While this shift has allowed developers to create larger games for consoles, the real change has been the death of the disc.

There is no longer any need to purchase physical discs to transfer and store game data anymore. Almost every new home console has enough storage space to contend with multiple large file downloads, which means that players can now simply download new video games directly to their console. Therefore, the last ten years have seen a decline in physical game media, and disc drives will likely be obsolete in the near future.

Casino Gaming

Not every video game is a high-concept fantasy epic or an elaborate first-person shooter. Some games require players to take a risk for the chance to win some prize money. Traditionally, these games were played at a live casino; however, the genre has now been digitized and you can now play all your favourite casino games online. Statistics in 2020 revealed that nearly 70% of those who gambled that year did so at an online casino.

While technically not in the video game sphere, online casino games are still considered to be a type of gaming. There are plenty of benefits to using these online sites to gamble. For example, look at the live casino guides available at PlayLive. Players can use this guide to learn about the games they play so that the experience is more about having fun rather than trying to win money. This means that more of the general public can jump on board with the concept of a casino site.

YouTube

Another innovation that came about in the mid-2000s was the video-sharing site, YouTube. This is one of the key items in our list of 6 ways that gaming has changed and exploded in popularity. The concept behind this website was to allow the general public to upload their own video content for others to watch online. It first started as a platform for people to share funny, real-life videos captured on smartphones; however, as the site gained popularity, more people began to experiment with the content that could be uploaded.

Soon, video game enthusiasts began uploading gameplay footage and walkthrough videos of their favourite games to a surprising number of views. Nowadays, video game content is some of the most-watched subject matter on YouTube, raising their profile and popularizing video games even further. Now, it is not only perfectly normal to play video games, but you can also have fun watching other people play them.

Free To Play Games

Video games would not be as popular as they are today if the average consumer could not get their hands on them. With the average triple-A title in stores costing upwards of $60, it isn’t often that the general public can afford to spend money on something that is not a necessity.

However, free-to-play games provide people with an easy way to join in on some video games without having to worry about their wallets. These free games will often feature ads as a way for the developer to receive some income from their title, but it is now perfectly possible to play video games in this decade for free.

Conclusion

Most of the 6 ways that gaming has changed the video game industry that have occurred in the last ten years have occurred due to advancements in technology. However, these advancements have served to make the hobby more accessible to the general public. Therefore, while technology is bringing new players on board, it is the enjoyment of playing video games that is keeping people playing.

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