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How Online Gaming Took Over the World

You don’t need to look very far to see the extent of online gaming’s popularity. Turn on the television, and you’ll see adverts for the latest mobile online game appearing during primetime slots. That’s something that would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago, and it says a lot about the current gaming landscape. Any product that appears on television has high ambitions for success — and in the case of online gaming, the goals are justified. After all, this is an industry that’s worth a staggering $204 billion. By 2032, it’s predicted to be worth some $440 billion.

None of this is by accident. While the market for video games has always been there, it’s the current conditions that have helped to take the industry to new unprecedented heights.

Global Reach

When we say that online gaming took over the world, we really mean it; this is a global phenomenon that you’ll find in all corners of the planet. Of course, some countries have played a bigger role in the sector’s rising popularity than others. Online gaming in Canada, for example, is hugely popular, in large part because of the favorable policies that allow Canadians to play the whole spectrum of online games, including casino games. And in the United States, there are more than 4,000 professional eSports players. The biggest audience for gaming, however, is Asia, where there are a staggering 1.5 billion gamers.

Deep Engagement

It’s not just the games themselves that have led to such success. The culture surrounding online gaming has also played a pivotal role. Again, it’s all thanks to the internet, which provides a platform for new and innovative ways to engage with games. For instance, there are online communities — and plenty of memes — that allow gamers to feel part of a community. And then there’s online gaming streaming on websites such as Twitch, which can see top players attracting an audience of millions. All of these things help to create a committed community of game lovers.

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Accessible Online Gaming 

There’s another substantial reason for the rise of online gaming: it’s much more accessible than it was twenty years ago. Back then, to play games you’d need to have a machine, such as a gaming console or high-powered PC. But today, you can try your hand at a wide selection of games with little more than your smartphone and an internet connection, and even the most basic of computers can handle the majority of the latest game releases. This has helped lower the barrier to entry into the gaming community, allowing people to try games without making a big commitment. And once people are on the gaming hook, they rarely leave.

Broad Spectrum of Game Types

Online gaming’s popularity can also be attributed to the significant increase in game releases that have occurred over the past 10 years. In 2012, just 301 new games were released on Steam. By 2022, that figure had risen to 12, 500. The gaming industry now caters to a large and diverse group of players — there are plenty of offerings for hardcore gamers that love deep, challenging, story-driven games, but there are also plenty of casual games for smartphones that low-level gamers can enjoy on their commute to work, and everything in between.

Will Anything Stop the Rise of Online Gaming?

That’s the state of online gaming today, but what about the future? With the audience for gaming growing all the time, and new technology allowing for better, more immersive experiences, it’s fair to say that online gaming isn’t going away anytime soon — and will likely lead to new and exciting waters.

David Wojnicki
David Wojnicki
"He who licks knives will soon cut his tongue."
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