Video games have come a long way over time. The internet was a huge development as it created the first big boom in the gaming industry. What it allowed was more consoles to be produced because they could be in more homes, which allowed game developers to focus on improving the gameplay and graphics.
The connectivity continued to grow over the last two decades, and then the COVID-19 pandemic kept a lot of people home. Even for the older generations who began choosing to play at an online casino rather than risk their own health with a deadly virus making its way across different countries, states, counties, and cities.
But it also created a boom in video games because kids were home from and for schooling at all levels, adults were working from home in most professions, and there was a growing consumer base. The competitiveness had picked up over time, but it was starting to get to an all-time high.
More and more people were watching the professional leagues – NBA 2K, Call of Duty League, Rocket League, and many more – and were learning new strategies in gaming. Other ways to learn were from the professionals who were streaming in their free time. They would engage their communities and teach new tricks.
Then there was the development of content creators as the pandemic created a golden era of streamers. With people home, they had a new sense of belonging by connecting with those who played similar games and were alike in various ways. Plus, it was a new form of entertainment when sports were shut down for several months.
But online gameplay has also had plenty of struggles over the years. Here are a few ways that gamers have turned on certain games.
A lot of game developers have found a gold mine in microtransactions. It is especially important for free games, such as battle royale favorites like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty Warzone. The ability to look cool in new skins and quickly have great guns and attachments, especially early on in seasons and game modes, created a lot of revenue.
But consumers also did not have to pay for anything to win, and the skill base on those games is a lot more widespread.
There were other games that got grilled, particularly for microtransactions being necessary to keep up, notably in sports games. Those games like FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K all had an “ultimate team” mode or equivalent where player cards with varying attributes based on historical years or active cards would make their way through circulation. But the quickest way to develop overpowered teams was for consumers to buy their way, and it was easy if the money was there.
While that sounds like the typical economy, those who are amateur gamers and just want to have fun were not experiencing that, so it rubbed many gamers the wrong way.
Skill-based matchmaking is something that has been rather controversial. Among the higher-level players, being able to match up against some of the top competition was a draw to particular game modes. It is why a league play that emulates the rules of the professionals became very popular with some titles.
But others didn’t like SBMM because it seemed unbalanced. Novice gamers were not having fun because they were running into the higher level gamers seemingly every game. The cream of the crop accused others of tanking games to get into great games, particularly in tournaments. It became a lose-lose situation for all involved.
While offline tournaments can generate purist matchups, there is still integrity to these games. But coming up on being four years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic means a return to normalcy for so many.
So the entertainment industry is again crowded. There are different shows every night, whether concerts live local acts, musicals, plays, or sporting events, and a wide range of opportunities for people to enjoy themselves. With people working in person again, it creates a lot fewer opportunities to improve one’s skills.
So what is next for the gaming industry? Will they revert back to pre-competitiveness and cater to the gamers who just want to have fun? Some titles may have a head start.