When considering what makes the current top of the gaming crop so popular, there is a lot to ponder. Of course, the ability to provide fun plays the biggest part, but this only tells a portion of the story. As we head into the next console generation, we need to weigh what makes the current best in class so special, so maybe we can see whether these trends could carry well into the next decade.
Love it or hate it, Fortnite is not a game whose influence or popularity can be ignored. Rising from a spinoff of another game mode (in a similar fashion to Gwent and Hearthstone), the Fortnite battle-royale mode is single-handedly responsible for generating owner Epic Games $1.8 billion in 2019 alone. It is also this mode which is, in no small part, responsible for the game’s loyal player base.
While it certainly didn’t originate the battle-royale mode, Fortnite brought it to the masses like no other property. It did this through a synergistic relationship with another of Fortnite’s primary strengths, its free-to-play nature. With no price acting as a barrier to entry, people could instantly jump into this new subgenre. There is also the fact that Fortnite released over PC, console, and mobile devices. This range of access opportunities, combined with cross-play capabilities, meant that few could escape its grasp.
As we see it, Fortnite’s success will continue into the ‘20s, even though it might be at a diminished rate.
Online Casino Gaming
While not traditional video games, any list of successful online gaming systems would be remiss if it didn’t mention the sheer popularity of online casinos. Starting as small and simple platforms in the late ’90s, online casinos are worth tens of billions of dollars annually today, which is expected to rise to a yearly market worth of over $100 billion by 2025.
Online casinos accomplished this feat through several avenues, perhaps the most notable of which being their ever-evolving user-friendliness both for existing and for new players. For example, today, some sites offer free spins with no deposit, which are a great way to get started. Adding onto this is a range of games which far exceeds anything a brick-and-mortar casino could offer, due to the lower cost of digital games compared to physical machines.
Also, just as with the other games on this list, their evolving forms of access, especially onto mobile, have helped ensure a consistently engaged player base for these companies.
Initially forgotten in the rush of players to Fortnite, Minecraft is again seeing a strong resurgence of what is one of the most popular games to ever exist. The key to Minecraft is the creativity which it encourages. Minecraft is a game where you get out what you put in, and this is true for players of all demographics.
While the simple graphics may initially confuse newcomers, this is a game of incredible depth, allowing for the creation of fantastic buildings, as well as complicated machinery and even low levels of internal programming.
Finally, being available over PC, consoles, and mobiles has done a great deal to boost Minecraft’s ubiquity. It even has an AR version in development, due out in early 2020.
Though the games on this list are quite different, what they do share is an understanding of the interconnected device market which will undoubtedly play an important part in the future. Games becoming available over a range of devices has been, at least in these cases, an enormous draw, and this looks to be a focal point of the market going forward.
From game streaming systems like Stadia to dedicated mobile gamepads, it is communication and ease of access which continually plays a significant role in gamers’ entertainment. How will this manifest in the next generation of consoles? While we do have some minor information so far, only time will tell.
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