With more people spending more time indoors than ever before, there’s a pretty good chance that some of us may turn our attention towards video gaming. While video gaming used to be a fairly niche affair, as gaming audiences have matured, it has helped the video game industry surpass other entertainment forms such as music and movies.
But what kinds of game are newcomers to video gaming actually playing, and how are video game companies aiming to capitalise on the trend for a new wave of casual gamers?
For many years, gamers would have to pay money to buy a copy of a video game. But something remarkable has happened and it’s now common for developers to allow customers to download their game for free and then have optional in-game purchases for items.
This can be seen in anything from the global success of afree play mobile game like Clash Royale and Clash of Clans, to some desktop game like Fortnite and Dota 2. But a slight variation of this technique has extended into the iGaming industry as well. Casino sites offer different types of casino bonuses that allow players to get free plays of an online slots game. Such initiatives have proven to be immensely successful in the promotion of the gaming product, and they also help the customer see whether the featured game meets their needs.
While this model of allowing gamers to try a game for free has plenty of benefits, some people have criticised the fact that free play game often encourage people to make in-app purchases. Hugely popular game like Angry Birds or Candy Crush built much of their success through the use of in-app purchases and it looks like this trend is continuing throughout 2020.
The rise of casual gamers has also meant that 2020 could be the year where we finally see streamed games taking off. This takes the concept of cloud gaming and it means that you could enjoy playing top quality video game without having to buy a game or even any hardware. So while many big budget movies have had to be delayed, it shouldn’t stop us enjoying some high quality gaming direct from our television screens.
We’ve already seen brands like Google, Sony and Microsoft getting serious about making cloud gaming a reality. While these streamed gaming services could take a little while to truly enter the mainstream, there have been enough impressive reviews of the Google Stadia to suggest that we could all be enjoying the benefits of cloud gaming by the end of 2020.
Cloud gaming offers a further boost for casual gamers to play high quality games without having to pay the large amounts of money required to buy a high powered console. Plus it could hopefully signal the end to the compatibility war that has dogged video gaming in recent years.
The battle for high powered gaming supremacy
Towards the end of 2020 we can look forward to two of the biggest gaming brands unveiling their latest consoles. This will see the Microsoft Xbox Series X going head to head with the Sony PlayStation 5 to try and dominate the high-end gaming market.
Both of these consoles are slated to be released in the run up to Christmas and they promise to deliver faster processing speeds, more vibrant graphics and some big name game. For the Xbox Series X, gaming fans can get to enjoy the highly anticipated Halo Infinite, while the PlayStation 5 should get decent sales thanks to the fact that game like The Last of Us Part 2 are being launched on the same day.
The fact that both Microsoft and Sony are investing huge amounts of time and money into these new consoles shows that there’s still a large enough audience of hardcore gamers who want the most immersive gaming experience possible. But with the rise of free and streamed gaming technologies, it’s going to be interesting to see how this battle for video gaming supremacy will unfold.