If you grew up before the ‘00s, you’ll understand just how much the gaming landscape has changed since you were a child. That’s largely down to technology constantly developing and giving us bigger and better things every year.
One development that’s been particularly influential is the internet, with online access shaping both how titles are made, as well as the gaming experience itself. Its impact has spread far and wide, and these are just some of the effects it’s had over the last few decades.
Improved The Multiplayer Experience
Multiplayer existed before the internet was a thing. However, back then, there were a lot of restrictions on what you could actually do. For one, you had to be in the same room as the other players if you wanted to join their game. What’s more, most titles only allowed for one extra person, a limitation that was partly down to consoles having just two controller slots.
Flash forward to the modern-day, and everything’s different. Now, most multiplayer games are designed for remote play so that individuals can get involved without leaving their homes. Many of the most popular games around are multiplayer ones, with single-player titles seemingly in a decline now that their heyday is over. This isn’t something that’s likely to change, especially now that there are over 2.5 billion active gamers in the world.
Made Game Development More Accessible
When you think about the games from your childhood, how many of them were created by big developers? Indie titles simply weren’t a thing back then because aspiring developers had little means to share their creations with the world. Oh, how times have changed.
While AAA titles still sell amazingly well, plenty of indie games have succeeded just as much over the years. Some of these titles are reviewed more positively than their blockbuster counterparts, despite being created on a smaller budget with limited resources. Not only has this given people a greater variety of experiences to enjoy in gaming, but it’s also provided aspiring developers with an opportunity to hone their craft. They no longer need to be hired by the big names because they can carve out a successful career on their own.
Boosted Online Gambling
Just like a PlayStation or Xbox, casinos are also home to a wide variety of games. They’re a little different than what you might play on a console, but they’re just as engaging and fulfil a similar purpose. They’ve also been boosted by the internet just as much as other video games because people now have the freedom to go to a casino without ever leaving their homes.
Using an online casino has become the norm for a lot of gamblers, with these websites making it far easier and safer for people to indulge in a game of poker or play slots. It helps that there are sites available which filter out the bad casinos and promote the best, such as Online Casino Reviews. Created to highlight which places offer the best bonuses and the most secure online gambling experience, it’s an excellent resource when you want to find somewhere to play for money.
Made Games Last Longer
It used to be that when you bought a game at the store, what you took home with you was everything that you had to play. Once you made it through the story, the only way to get more time out of the game was to replay it. While that understandably appeals to some people, it’s not for everyone. Luckily, those who prefer new content over doing the same thing again now have the means to satisfy themselves.
Nowadays, many video games come with DLC which adds new content weeks, months, or even years after the title was released. This kind of thing has helped to revive games that would normally go out of style once people had completed them.
Microtransactions Now The Norm
Obviously, DLC isn’t the only form of paid gaming content that the internet has made possible. Microtransactions like loot boxes and pay-to-play mechanics have completely shifted people’s expectations for their games. It’s now common to keep spending money on a title long after you’ve purchased it because the rewards you get for doing so are enticing.
The rise in microtransactions has dramatically shifted the pricing for a lot of games, with plenty now released for free. Developers do this to attract interest in their title, with the intention of hiding certain content behind a paywall. Players either have to pay to advance, or to unlock items that would be almost impossible to obtain otherwise. Understandably, this has been a more effective tactic on mobile, with phones reportedly producing over 75% of the global revenue for free-to-play games.
This is truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how the internet has impacted gaming over the years. There’s also the fact that it’s made it easier for people to form friendships, or for issues in a game to be addressed and updated. Plus, without the internet, we wouldn’t have access to FAQs and walkthroughs which can really help when you’re stuck on something. It’s truly shaped gaming in so many ways, and for the most part, it’s been for the better.