Developers and publishers are always looking for the next big thing, although getting their predictions right has been littered with stories of both phenomenal success and abject failure over recent years. Typically, building on what’s already showing signs of success, tends to be the safest bet, which leads us to what will continue to make online gaming boom in 2019.
The Battle Royale Phenomenon
If you haven’t heard about the remarkable popularity of Fortnite in 2018, then chances are you must have been living in a cave. Game developer Epic stumbled across a success of, well, epic proportions, arguably in the right place at the right time when they jumped into the Battle Royale gaming market, which had already enjoyed success with the 2017 release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, developed by PUBG Corporation and Bluehole. They also tapped into the established popularity of other successful games stories such as Minecraft and plucked elements from various genres with their offering.
Epic added further depth and sophistication to Fortnite besides just the run and gun elements of an online shooter, making it as much about freedom of exploration, community creation, customization and social interaction within their game world. Unless partaking of loot boxes to boost characters with paid additions, it’s also entirely possible to play the game completely free. Add that it can be played on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and mobile, and the game has become a huge cross-platform hit that appeals to players of all ages.
Needless to say, Epic is looking to keep building on their success with Fortnite, which already has an estimated 125 million people regularly logging in to play and over 200 million registered users worldwide. Meanwhile, other developers and publishers are eagerly eying what they can bring to the table in 2019, as they attempt to cash in on this Battle Royale craze of casual online gaming.
Image Source: @FortniteGame via Twitter
Online Gambling Growth
Worldwide revenues continue to boom year on year in the online gambling sector, mainly thanks to such a diverse range of products and services on offer, along with continued innovation and use of the latest tech by developers. According to Statista predictions, the industry is set to be worth over $55 billion in 2019 and will keep climbing to nearly $60 billion by 2020. Other data analysts say the market could be worth over $75 billion by 2023.
Sports betting is already massive, and there’s a plethora of online bookmakers around offering markets for every kind of sport you can think of, practically every minute of the day. Likewise, online casinos are also enjoying rapid growth and that will continue in 2019, with traditional land-based casinos increasingly getting in on the act, bringing live games such as poker and blackjack to players with real croupiers via streaming services, or Virtual Reality gameplay options to give players the feel of playing at a real casino.
Slots are amongst the most popular online casino games at present, and there are literally thousands of them out there, using different themes like movies and music to keep players spinning the reels. Scratch card and bingo games have also started making their presence felt online too, with trusted bingo sites offering a variety of 75 and 90-ball games to play, some offering huge jackpots. The potential of bingo games hasn’t been fully tapped yet, so expect online casinos to experience major growth with them in 2019.
Image Source: @Research4People via Twitter
Mobile Marches Ever Onwards
Thanks to both of the aforementioned trends, it’s no surprise that mobile gaming will continue to grow exponentially in 2019 too. Industry experts predict that PC and console releases will increasingly find their way to mobile devices, including many classic and familiar brands, not least because of the rapid improvement made in mobile technology over recent years, while developers and publishers are keen to make the most of the potential on offer.
Players are also showing an increased preference for online mobile games, as data usage costs continue to decrease and networks become more competitive around the world. Add technological advances for mobile such as augmented reality and virtual reality, which are becoming more affordable mobile accessory additions, gaming on the move is certain to boom even more throughout 2019.
Overall, online gaming trends are often highly difficult to predict. Indeed, it’s frequently the case that developers and publishers don’t truly know what will be successful until it actually becomes a success. Typically, however, tapping into strong existing technology growth areas that have proven popular, such as casual gaming, cryptocurrency and augmented reality, usually help steer trends towards booming and with the benefit of hindsight, identifiable as successful and lucrative trends.
Image Source: @MelissaSChapman via Twitter