Online gaming has come a long way since Internet connected games first showed their faces in the 1990s. These days, online functionality is almost expected in most games. Research and Markets reports that 40 percent of people worldwide play games online, with at least one percent of growth each year through 2017. Social and mobile games are driving this video game market segment, with 20 percent growth overall. 2014 is another exciting year for online games, whether you prefer playing through next-gen consoles, PC, browsers, or mobile.
Titanfall has captured the attention of PC and Xbox gamers when it was announced. The primary focus of Titanfall is its online multiplayer gaming, revolving around large titans that allow gamers to enact massive robot battles. Each large, expansive map is set up for six on six battles, making team-based dynamics important to the success of each game. This is exclusive to Xbox 360 and Xbox One for consoles, and will also see a PC release.
Browser Based Games
Other trends with online gaming are browser-based games utilizing improved HTML 5 technology to implement new features and more compatibility with a range of devices. This is particularly helpful for iOS devices, which have limited Flash support but do support HTML 5. Downloadable games from iWin and other online gaming hubs adapt well to HTML 5 technology, with smooth game play even on lower end systems and devices.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is one of the top selling video games of all time, prompting Bethseda to take the experience online. The Elder Scrolls Online is slated to launch in April, barring any development or beta testing delays, and it seeks to stay away from the free-to-play trends of most recent MMO releases. Instead, they have a subscription based service similar to World of Warcraft, where the gamers pay for the game along with a $15 monthly fee. Since most MMOs have moved away from that model at this point, the gaming world is keeping a close eye on The Elder Scrolls Online to see if it’s going to move the trend back to paid MMOs, or if it will switch over to the more recent free-to-play format.
The Xbox One and Playstation 4 have integrated streaming and sharing features that take full advantage of their online features. Instead of setting up a video camera for capturing your game play, these systems allow you to capture, stream, and upload automatically. Youtube and Twitch.tv are the platforms of choice for Let’s Plays and live streaming game play, so this integration continues to evolve with online interaction between streamers, video creators, and their audience.
Steam has long been a mainstay in the PC world, but consoles are beginning to make the leap for online digital distribution of games as well, such as Nintendo’s Eshop and the services offered by Sony and Microsoft.
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