How Online Gaming Is Driving Innovation in Technology

Technology is behind the most monumental changes we’ve seen in human history – and what makes these changes even more remarkable is that they’ve all happened in the space of the last 50 years. Online gaming is just one small solar system in the tech universe.

Still, on its own, it’s a multibillion-dollar industry, with many in the business believing it will become a multitrillion sector by the midpoint of this century.

Ultimately, when you have such astronomical sums of money circulating in any 21st-century business, a huge, proverbial iceberg of technological innovation lies just beneath the surface. Today, we will explore how online gaming is driving innovation in multiple areas of technology, and shaping a brand-new gaming universe in real time.

Humble beginnings of a fast-moving gaming evolution

Nobody could have foreseen what was on the horizon in the world of online gaming. Of course, there were a few people back in the 1980s and 1990s who predicted that mass internet accessibility would result in a golden era of online gaming, but back then, a few colossal components needed to come together – and it took a lot of ingenuity and positive breaks for this to materialize.

While console gaming companies had been exploring the concept of online gaming for around 20 years before the first significant inroads occurred, it was a smaller sector – the casino industry – that made the first successful leaps in going digital. In the mid-1990s, casino companies were taking a big gamble that the industry’s future would be online. While it might seem obvious now, it was far from it back then.

For example, fewer than 20% of American homes had a PC – so many of the more traditional casino companies did not consider an online presence feasible in the long run. Skip forward 20 years and you have a scenario where digital casino gaming dominates the entire industry, offering from one or two payment methods to over two dozen, such as Maestro.

Although casinos accepting Maestro as a payment method is not a particularly new innovation, the sheer number of casino platforms that are flexible with their approach just highlights where the industry is. The battleground and competition have switched to payment methods, such is the diverse and prolific nature of gaming libraries, even at the most basic of casinos.

VR growth in console gaming and wider technology

The bulk of innovation in online gaming has come in the console and PC gaming sectors. Although casino gaming technology implements many pioneering areas of technology, most notably virtual reality (VR), VR gaming has witnessed even more remarkable developments in console gaming.

While Mark Zuckerberg might have jumped the gun somewhat when he bet big on the metaverse and VR technology back in 2021, now that headsets have become much more affordable, many gaming companies have started to explore this avenue, with fascinating results.

The knock-on effect of prominent gaming companies paying such close attention drives innovation. Ultimately, the interest and funding in certain technologies drive innovation; designers, creators and pioneers will, more often than not, follow the money.

Although some will be doing it out of sheer passion for gaming, the amount of money available for gaming companies that can exploit a unique angle into a fresh area of the sector is enormous – potentially billions. You need only to look at Rockstar Games’ success to understand this. It’s reach, influence and impact on everything, from game design to marketing, causes seismic shifts in the industry whenever it announce a new project or drops a new trailer.

The growth of artificial intelligence (AI)

We couldn’t mention innovation in technology without discussing AI, could we? While AI doesn’t need any help from the gaming industry to continue marching toward unstoppable global domination, gaming provides a real, unique, potential use case. Of course, AI will eventually be implemented in all elements of our lives, but for many of us, it’ll be operating in the background.

AI will refine internet searches and provide us with more tailored ways to learn. However, online gaming has been exploring the implementation of AI into NPC profiles, which will be one of the most unique and entertaining use cases for millions of us.

Grand Theft Auto has already toyed with the idea of using AI – and the initial reaction to VR in GTA V was extremely positive. However, it appears that Rockstar will put all of its technologically innovative ideas into the GTA 6 basket.

Rockstar has a multibillion-dollar, seemingly limitless pool of money and technology supporting it while it prepares to launch the most anticipated game of the century thus far. It’ll be fascinating to see how much money they spend on pioneering truly innovative tech for their next landmark chapter. This brings us back to our point in the last section – wherever the money is in gaming, the brightest minds will follow, and herein lies the innovation.

GPU technology is also advancing rapidly, fueled almost exclusively by the eye-watering rise in Nvidia’s stock price. The demand for such technology and the money available in the industry are creating a technological rush and causing the best global minds in AI to come together and break new ground.

Given that technology is the bedrock of all significant trends in entertainment and anything digital, online gaming is yet another key area that uses the demand within it to generate profitable ideas for the technology sector.

Although tech companies explore all elements of businesses and are constantly searching for new angles in every corner of the economy and our society, the ubiquitous, cross-border nature of online gaming has meant that it commands a lot of respect from those in the tech industry.

Gaming provides an effective marketing base for technology companies to test their latest creations. As more people are veering toward the latest trends, such as AI, VR and the ever-popular online gaming, technology companies are eager to partner with the world’s biggest names to create longstanding, successful business models and ideas.

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