Many years ago, the only gaming option available to enthusiasts was to walk into a physical store to play their favourite games. While it is normal to find many people trooping into these physical stores, there is no denying that it is stressful. Technological advancements have changed all of that making life and gaming easy for a vast majority.
From board games to virtual reality, how we play games has slowly changed over the past few decades. The days of pixelated screens and low-quality sounds are distant memories, as video games have become as close to reality as ever.
Global Online Gaming Market Growth: 2022-2027
The global online gaming market was estimated to be worth $173 billion in 2021. The industry will witness explosive growth in popularity in the upcoming years. According to Mordon Intelligence, a global research firm, the global online gaming would be a $314 billion market by 2027, clocking a CAGR of 9.7% between 2022 and 2027. It is estimated to cross $200 billion in revenue by 2022, and it is considered one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide.
Asia-Pacific would take the largest chunk of the pie though, it will be the growth in the MEA region (Middle East & Africa) that will make the head turn. According to estimations, the exploded adoption of smartphones and fast internet speed, alongside with booming economy, will help the MEA region to clock a double-digit early growth in the next five years.
This article attempts to explore the humble beginnings of the online gaming niche, explains why it has become a trillion-dollar market and dives into the technological possibilities of its future.
The Birth of Online Gaming
Although scientists in the 1950s made the first video game prototypes, the first game consoles were created and introduced in the 1970s. Subsequently, the use of video game consoles began to increase due to widespread interest and adoption. As technology advanced, the global gaming industry also began to grow and expand with many companies rising to the occasion.
By the 1990s, online gaming took root and rapidly gained popularity due to the growing availability of the Internet. Between 2003 and 2004, the digital storefronts steam launched, allowing gamers worldwide to review games and even buy games online. Not only have new gaming companies entered the limelight, but betting has also increased and individuals are making a lot of money from it.
In that same period, one of the first massive multiplayer online games called “World of Warcraft” was launched and had over 10 million active subscriptions who have a better understanding of online gaming and online casinos for real money. However, it was not until three years later that online gaming began to shift to the mobile space. By 2009 Apple had announced in-app purchase features for the iPhone, and Minecraft became one of the best-selling video games in history with nearly 180 million copies sold.
By 2015, there were already 1.5 billion gamers worldwide and in subsequent years, augmented reality games began generating the most revenue grossed by any mobile games. Pokémon Go was a good example, with record-breaking revenues only in its first month after launch.
From then till now, Google has released “Google Stadia”, a cloud gaming service intended to succeed in the age of gaming consoles. At present, virtual reality has become more prevalent, and talks of the Metaverse have created more prospects of taking the online gaming world to unimaginable heights.
Technological innovations drive the evolution engine in online gaming, but several other factors have also contributed to its success.
Components of Online Gaming
There is usually some confusion with gaming terms and online components in the gaming space. For instance, Esports industry is usually affiliated with many online games, but it is just a facet of the online gaming system.
The distributors and retailers are people or platforms that sell games, while the streaming services allow users to live stream games. Esports organizes multiplayer video game competitions, and gaming arenas host such gaming events.
Components like hardware development and software developers build the electronic infrastructure that gives users access to play. Lastly, the game developer and publishers develop and finance their creations.
This organized ecosystem creates millions of revenue streams for the gaming industry. For every one of these channels, the adoption of mobile gaming creates even more avenues and opportunities for growth. That’s why the gaming industry boasts a trillion-dollar market.
Mobile Applications: The Future of Online Gaming
Mobile gaming is the largest platform, producing nearly $70 billion in revenue in 2019 alone. Currently, it boasts more than $100 billion, and it accounts for nearly 50% of the total market that also consists of PC and console gaming. According to expert analysis, the online gaming market is predicted to experience exponential growth in the coming years.
Although it can still be described as a relatively new facet of the gaming industry, it has grown rapidly. In 2021 nearly 3 billion people played games on their mobile devices. A significant part of the mobile’s growth can be attributed to a seamless and innovative user experience that adopts engaging features such as loyalty rewards and in-app purchases.
With the era of 5G Internet already at our doorsteps, these mobile gaming systems could transform online gaming even further and make the industry more exciting. The expanding demographic of gamers create nearly unlimited demand for more immersive entertainment.
In the quest for building easier and better ways to access gaming environments, the future of the mobile gaming industry looks very bright.