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As the EGX event celebrates eleven years of existence, a lot has changed in the online gaming scene. More than two billion people now play video games, over half of whom play on their mobile devices.
Mobile gaming is projected to continue growing in popularity, at least for the next five years. iGaming (online gambling) companies aren’t left behind, either. With technologies like AR and VR taking center stage, these companies want to know how to take advantage of them.
Stick around to find out what trends may dominate the online gaming industry next year and how they may impact gamers.
Big Name Developers to Invest in Mobile Games
After years of Electronic Arts (EA), Rockstar and Epic Games domination, other established developers are planning to enter the mobile gaming niche. They will find a crowded market with all the indie developers out there. But depending on the quality of the games they provide, they could gain a significant share of the market.
One of the reasons driving popular developers into the mobile scene is the increased focus on cross-platform gaming. Look at titles like Fortnite and PUBG for example.
Today’s gamers own multiple devices, and many regularly use them for gaming. That means more developers likely thinking about creating mobile versions of their games.
Mobile Gaming Controllers
Android gaming controllers are fast gaining popularity. They are expensive and can be challenging to control, but that isn’t stopping gamers from purchasing them. That means developers will likely continue to invest in the devices.
A few controllers are making the rounds online for their impressive features, such as the Razer Raiju Mobile. It looks precisely like a PS4 controller, but it has a mount for your smartphone. It uses both Bluetooth and wired connections to function on a variety of games.
As we mentioned, these devices don’t come cheap. The Razer Raiju Mobile costs $130. For that amount of money, you can purchase two PS4 controllers or a new low-budget smartphone. Of course, tech devices are always expensive when they come out. So we have to wait to see how affordable the controllers could be in 2020.
Rise of iGaming in the US
After the US Supreme Court allowed states to legalise sports betting at will last year, online gambling is tracking up fast. New Jersey, which sponsored the bill to legalise betting, now provides at least a dozen online gambling licenses.
Nevada, Delaware, Rhode Island, and California also have online gaming licenses, although they vary on what games they’ve legalized. California, for instance, only allows poker and lotteries while Nevada also accepts sports betting. However, it is believed more than 20 states will have progressive gambling laws by the end of next year.
Similarly, online gambling in the UK has also apparently seen total gross gaming yield (GGY) for the 12 months ended March 31 climb to £5.3bn (€6bn/$6.8bn), with the sector now accounting for 37% of the market total.
AR and VR
People have been tipping AR and VR to explode since Pokémon Go’s success in 2016. Three years later, video game fans are still hopeful the technologies will become mainstream. Well, 2020 might be the year when AR and VR become truly impactful to the gaming community.
For the uninitiated, Augmented Reality provides digital elements that link up the video game world and the real world. So, when you play a simple Match 3 game like Tetris Effect, you could play with the backdrop of New York streets, a football field, or your kitchen.
Virtual Reality, on the other hand, shuts out the world near you so that you immerse yourself in a video game world. When playing Fortnite at home, VR goggles could block your view of items like couches, tables and electronics. They instead transpose you to the Fortnite environment to create an engaging experience.
Olympic-like esports tournaments
For more than two years now, some have been looking at whether esports could become an Olympic sport. Nothing shows esports will be included in the official Tokyo Olympics sports of yet.
But thanks to an Intel-backed initiative, professional gamers will be able to compete for gold at Olympics-like tournaments. The events will take place weeks ahead of the Olympics and will involve Rocket League and Street Fighter V.
Match winners will take home $250,000 for each win in the group and knockout stages. The main event will be held from June 22nd to 24th and will attract much higher payouts.
Some gamers use crypto to purchase and sell game-related merchandise. In the casino world, using crypto to fund accounts, bet and cash out has been going on since 2010. Next year, crypto-based gaming will only intensify.
The growth of crypto will coincide with increased regulations around the world. Crypto enthusiasts might not like government interference, given the inspiration behind digital currencies. But regulations will provide more legitimacy to the industry and lead to its growth in the gaming sector.
More Streaming Networks
When Google Stadia, Amazon, Microsoft and EA all complete their intended streaming networks in 2020, streaming could look way different. Google Stadia plans to lift the burden of purchasing and maintaining expensive PCs.
With a service that could be free next year, you’ll be able to play any video game on a desktop or laptop with average specs. Amazon is yet to state the details of its streaming platform. But it will likely be something like Google Stadia or Twitch.
If you haven’t tried streaming yet, you may or may not invest in an expensive gaming PC. Of course, we must wait and see how effective Google Stadia will be.
The online gaming industry is always changing – it keeps reinventing itself. And that’s what’s required for any sector that wants to improve every year. In 2020, we will be looking forward to some of the trends mentioned above. Some may change how you play video games forever, while others might fade out of popularity by 2021. Time will tell.
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