Many industries evolve massive as the sands of time pass and that is certainly the case where the gaming sector is concerned. Gaming’s early roots date back to the Second World War, although it wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s that things really began to take off. Fast forward to the modern era and gaming is firmly established in the mainstream, with online gaming and free online slots amongst a plethora of ways the practice manifests itself. Read on as we take a look at how gaming has progressed over the past 50 years and assess what the future holds for the industry.
Arcades Spark Gaming Boom
Iconic gaming companies such as Sega, Taito and Atari laid the foundations for the gaming boom, with early versions of their games emerging in various entertainment venues. Amusement arcades benefited massively from this, with games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man attracting huge interest across the world. This was effectively the start of multi-player gaming, although it was limited to players battling on a single arcade machine to set the highest score. Realising they were onto something, developers soon moved to capitalise on gaming’s popularity by taking the activity into millions of homes worldwide.
Console Wars Revolutionise Gaming
Atari were the first company to hit the jackpot with a games console, with sales of its VCS machine reaching 10 million units by 1982. Cartridge versions of Space Invaders and Pac-Man were amongst the games developed, with the latter shifting around seven million copies. The likes of Sega and Nintendo jumped on the bandwagon in the 1980s, leveraging the advancing technology to introduce different game genres into the mix. While consoles continued to fly off the shelves during the following decade, the creation of the internet was the catalyst for what exists as gaming today.
Gaming Goes Online
Nintendo, Sega and Atari all tried to establish online gaming via cable providers, but it didn’t truly take off until the turn of the 21st century. Sega’s Dreamcast turned out to be a financial disaster for the company, although it laid the foundations for next generation consoles like the Xbox to make their mark in the industry. The launch of the integrated Xbox Live service in November 2002 changed the gaming landscape forever, allowing players to play games online. Titles like Halo 2 were hugely successful, selling millions of copies worldwide and cementing the multi-player element that remains so prevalent in the modern era.
The Shift to Social Gaming
Gaming in the 21st century continues to be a healthy mix of arcades, consoles and online, although a new genre has joined the party in recent times – social gaming. Advancements in mobile tech have allowed developers to create games that can be downloaded and played on smartphones and tablets. Social games such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Pirate Kings and many have become hugely popular, with millions of people playing them on a daily basis. Free online slot games like Jackpot City and Wild Witch have also attracted massive interest, with their retro gameplay feel offering a throwback to arcade-style fruit machines.
The Future of Gaming
One of the most exciting future developments tipped to have a major impact on the gaming sector is virtual reality (VR) technology. This could revolutionise many different aspects of the industry, particularly with regards to the way people play games. The best VR games will allow players to immerse themselves into the heart of a game, effectively taking on the lead role in ways that had never previously been possible. It also has the potential to transport users into another setting, creating the possibility that players could ‘visit’ arcades to play different games.