For many gamers, industry watchers, and critics, 2016 is a memorable year. The year was loaded with announcements and developments that made players excited, satisfied, and looking for more. For example, it was the time when the PlayStation 4 Pro was released; virtual reality handsets were released to the market; Nintendo announced its excursion in mobile; mobile slot games are getting more popular, thanks to the massive penetration rate of smartphones and the internet.
Although these developments were primarily seen as events and developments unique for 2016, the same developments will continue this year and will spur some innovations in the pursuit of customers’ satisfaction. So as we approach the middle of 2017, it’s time to explore how the previous gaming trends have defined the world of gaming today, and explore the emerging gaming trends of 2017 that are changing the way players enjoy and play games.
Future of VR, Augmented Reality Will Be Validated This Year
The virtual reality technology has been discussed heavily in many forums and even on gambling websites, thanks to its promise of changing the way players will experience the games. But the chatter on VR eventually increased with the release of VR headsets in 2017. The leading VR headsets released in 2016 were the ones from Sony and Samsung, and of course the Oculus Rift. This year, the focus is now on the game content and development. Now that the devices are ready, the challenge is for the developers on how to develop games for PC and even for casino websites. Will there be an engaging VR title to be released soon? And does the market have the right number of VR users that can sustain the industry?
Just like VR, augmented reality is expected to dominate the gaming scene this year. This was tested with great results with Pokemon Go last year, where the players had to download and use the app outdoors. For this game, computer-generated content is added to the environment, which can enhance your playing environment. As you explore your surroundings, content will pop out on the mobile phone, superimposed on the screen’s view of the environment. Aside from Pokemon Go, other games that run using the AR technology are Ingress, Parallel Mafia, and GEO AR Games. Most of these apps are free to download and work on iOS and Android.
Mobile Games, Mobile Platforms Will Continue to Grow
Mobile games and entertainment were huge in 2016, and it’s expected to be sustained this year. This is no longer surprising, knowing how popular smartphone use is around the world. Recent statistics suggest that a third of the world’s population will own a smartphone in 2017, with Western Europe as the most ‘connected’ region in the world. In 2016, the mobile blockbusters were Super Mario Run, Clash Royale, and Pokémon Go. And in 2017, more games can be expected this year, including planned releases from Nintendo like Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing Games.
Mobile is also changing the way casino gamers play online games. Aside from the possibility of using virtual and augmented realities in casino games, mobile is also expected to change the way customers pay for games and services. Instead of using bank transfers or e-wallets, major casino operators now allow customers to make deposits using their mobile phones. Under this payment arrangement, a player can make a payment charged against the phone bill or can be deducted from the phone’s existing balance.
eSports as your New Sports Action
Games and sports are taking a different form this year with eSports. Under this gaming arrangement, teams can play sports against each other through the use of computers, and often the competitions are hosted in an arena with hundreds of fans and enthusiasts watching the sporting action unfold. Although this is nothing new, it is expected that eSports will continue to grow in 2017.
- Games like Overwatch, Street Fighter, Counter-Strike, and League of Legends will sustain the popularity of eSports this year. Experts and gaming observers all agree that the eSports business will double in 2017, and is expected to grow as a $1 billion-industry with an audience nearing 500 million before the end of the year.
- The announcement of the development of Overwatch League by Blizzard will also help push the popularity of eSports to a different level. This new league as envisioned by Blizzard is clearly ‘big league’ as it will be based around major cities around the world, in the same way, that NFL and NBA teams are structured around cities. The eventual aim of Blizzard under this project is to come up with a local team for every major city, like a team from Tokyo and London that will compete in the league. And if one takes a look at the hiring trends over at Blizzard, they are massively hiring for senior positions for their Overwatch League, something to look forward to in 2017!
There’s a revolution happening in internet gaming and gambling, and it’s taking place in 2017. Expect virtual and augmented realities to dominate the gaming scene, and casino action will be improved through the use of smartphones. And in all these developments, it’s the customers and players who will end up the winners.