How the Internet Became a Gaming Powerhouse
As with everything else, the internet had a big impact on gaming. But even the most optimistic of gamers could have not predicted just how significant the rise of the web would be for the gaming world. In as little as a couple of decades, online gaming has gone from being a relative fringe activity to an industry that is now worth some $200 billion — and that figure is only expected to rise in the coming years. To put it simply: internet gaming is everywhere. It is a powerhouse. And it is here to stay.
But how exactly did we get here? Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that led to gaming taking over the world.
Connecting With Others
The internet’s influence on gaming is, first and foremost, purely functional. It’s just the internet doing what it was designed to do — connect people. Whether we admit it or not, we all need, and often crave connection, and that’s especially true when it comes to things that we like. The idea of gaming became a lot more appealing to people when it turned into something that you can do with your friends and loved ones.
The internet takes us back to the community feel of the arcade days when friends and strangers would bond over the shared love of a game. The internet just made that easier than ever.
If there’s one internet gaming success story, it’s the rise of eSports. This would have been unthinkable more than a decade ago. Yet today, the eSports industry is worth a staggering $1.4 billion, and there’s still a lot of growth on the horizon. Interest in eSports has been helped by the broader culture of the activity. It’s not something that fans just watch. They’re engaged. They’ll have their favorite players, back outsiders to win using an OddsChecker betting deal, and hold post-tournament discussions with others online.
That helps to create a vibrant community of passionate fans and, for that reason, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if within a decade or two, eSports rivals major sports in terms of fandom and income.
Of course, the internet hasn’t always pushed the gaming industry forward. There was a time when it arguably held it back. If you can recall the early days of online gaming, then you’ll have memories of lagging games, crashing machines, and an all-around frustrating experience. That drove as many people away as it did attract people.
But those early adopters who powered through got the last laugh. In the previous two decades, and especially the last ten years, increased internet speed and accessibility, along with hardware improvements, have helped to create a smooth, even seamless gaming experience. Today, people can play online games without having to deal with many of the pain points of years gone by. That, in turn, builds the audience.
Gaming numbers have been increasing for years, and that, again, is thanks to the internet. There are more than 300 million new internet users each year, and that represents a significant new market for gaming titles. If even a small percentage of those new web users play games, then the industry is only moving forward.
In the pre-internet days, the video game market was largely concentrated in a handful of countries, such as Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The internet broke that outdated model and brought games to people all over the world.
An Explosion of Creators
The internet didn’t just help increase the number of games available. It also helped to increase the quality of games. There’s been an explosion of game creators in the past ten years, thanks to the general upskilling of society, who have the technical skills required to make such games. In this sense, the internet has helped to diversify the type of games available, which contributes to a healthier community and environment.
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