Gaming is now one of the most popular entertainment options in the world. Thanks to the roll out of better mobile data coverage, increased Wi-Fi speeds, and more accessible mobile technology, the gaming industry is continuing to experience unprecedented levels of success as we move deeper into a new decade.
2020 marked a boom in the global gaming world; for one week in March of that year, video games sales increased by 63% on the previous week. This was partly down to the much-feted release of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, it also signaled an increased interest in gaming as a whole.
Since 2020, there has not been another enormous boom. In fact, some numbers have taken a dip, and some seem to be on a permanent decline. This doesn’t mean that the gaming industry is waning or on its way out, though. Rather, it shows that it is bedding in for the long haul, poised and ready to take on Hollywood, the TV industry and the music scene combined.
So – if over 3 billion of us are now gamers, what exactly makes our favorite titles tick? What is the tech behind our most beloved gameplay? Read on to find out more.
A little known about but essential aspect of many gaming titles is RNGs, or random number generators. This phrase refers to a process akin to flipping a coin to generate a random result; however, the procedure here is a little bit different.
True RNGs use unpredictable data such as recordings of background radiation or airwave static to generate truly random results. This is then transformed by the algorithm and can be used for the generation of loot boxes in a game like Overwatch, or for the spin of a slots game on an online casino platform.
Slots are now the number one most popular type of game on online casinos, and iGaming platforms, such as casinos, are some of the most popular ways to access modern gaming. As we move further into the digital era, more and more players are investigating the core workings of this popular format so that they can be better informed before they play. RNGs can guarantee fair, uncorrupted results and a truly random spin every time.
Blockchain, NFTs & P2E
Speaking of fair play, using blockchain tech in gaming is becoming increasingly popular. One particular area of interest is P2E, or play to earn, games. Titles such as Axie Infinity and Crypto Blades have blockchain and NFT (non-fungible token) technology built into the gameplay.
Players can spend and then generate cryptocurrency or in-game tokens which hold value as NFTs in order to progress in the game. This format differs from traditional video games as players rightfully own any items or currency generated during gameplay. Some of these can then be turned into capital which is spendable in the real world.
Although F2P (free to play) titles do exist in this sector, they can still come with costs attached; these often include purchasing something like a starter park or an initial character using cryptocurrency.
However, F2Ps do lower the barrier to entry somewhat, meaning that more interested parties can get involved. They build on the blueprint perfected by free to play games like Fortnite, which only incurs costs for the player in the form of character skins, weapons and other in-game items.
AR & VR
Some of the most interesting developments in gaming are being made in XR, or extended reality. Virtual reality accounts for gameplay experienced through a VR headset with various peripherals such as haptics suits or weapons. Augmented reality refers to a digital overlay projected onto reality, usually through a smartphone screen, in order to facilitate gameplay.
One of the earliest and most popular AR games was Pokémon GO, whereas recent VR titles include Beat Saber and Half Life: Alyx. As developers continue to perfect this technology, we can expect to see more expansive and ambitious titles hitting virtual stores.
We also know that various metaverses, including the rebranded Meta’s social space, are still in development, with an expectation that this is how many people will choose to connect in the near future. Whether that means socialising, shopping, working, playing games or creating, AR technology is going to be a big part of our lives moving forward.