There’s never been a more exciting time to be a gamer than today thanks to a slew of new tech innovations, creative platforms and exciting developers. Yet few people know just how much variety there is in the world of gaming now.
To demonstrate just how diverse this field has become, we’re going to take a rundown here of some of the most innovative new game modes and formats to come along in the past several years.
While it seems like the metaverse bubble may have burst for the time being, you can rest assured that before long the age of VR will well and truly dawn.
There are already a huge array of impressive VR-optimized games being enjoyed across diverse platforms with Sony’s PSVR2 in particular pushing boundaries for the medium with the first true triple-A VR game, Horizon: Call of the Mountain, impressing gamers and critics alike.
Elsewhere, Oculus and Meta’s early steps towards metaverse gaming in Horizon Worlds are, despite initial criticisms, laying the groundwork for novel gaming experiences in cyberspace to come. The fact of the matter is that, despite assertions to the contrary, widespread VR adoption is still some years away.
Many now point to the announcement of Apple’s own ‘mixed reality’ headset, Vision Pro, as a coming watershed moment for the technology.
While VR holds out the promise of total immersion in wholly artificial worlds, some developers are breaking new ground in the opposite direction. In recent years, a new breed of live game casino has sought to build on the enduring appeal of online casino titles by seeking to recapture some of the lost magic of the brick-and-mortar gaming parlor.
To this end, the inclusion of live dealers providing hosting duties in digital rooms aims to split the difference by giving gamers on-demand access and all the features they’ve come to expect from modern iGaming platforms, while cultivating the communal atmosphere, sense of fun and connection that only a live human can provide.
We’ve become so accustomed to thinking of video games as something somewhat abstracted from direct human participation and interaction, but this appears to be shifting. Some analysts point to the success of the Twitch streaming platform as being a key driver in this process towards greater human input and collaboration.
While many streamers simply play games while interacting with the visitors to their feed, more still are exploring means of furthering the participatory nature of this medium by having viewers vote on actions, and even directly influence the approach of the gamer through co-creative narratives.
Few innovations have caused as much of a stir in the tech world as the arrival of blockchain technology – yet while it has thus far failed to make significant in-roads in the world of finance, the applications of NFTs and micro-cryptocurrencies are being keenly felt in the world of gaming.
Titles such as Axie Infinity are among the first games to actively integrate the blockchain into their design, and the results are very promising.
In Axie Infinity, and games like it, players can earn actual crypto-currency assets in exchange for game progression, leveling up, and trading in-game items. Such features – which have acquired the moniker ‘play-to-earn’, are in their current forms little more than a proof of concept. But it’s relatively simple to see where this could head once major game studios adopt similar practices.
Not only is it very likely that we will see NFT items being traded in games like Call of Duty in the next 5 years, but the ease of monetization that blockchain confers to games could pave the way for integrating esports tournaments with instantaneously awarded cash prizes.