The world of video gaming is constantly changing and evolving in order to suit the wants and desires of video gamers. Video have clearly become a major part of peoples lives and I for one would consider video games as the most important of the least important things. But what can we expect from the next generation of video games?
This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many different types of video games out there now. Thanks to digital distribution platforms such as Steam and public benefit set-ups such as Kickstarter, game developers do not need a multi-million-dollar distribution company behind them like they used to. The video games market is beyond huge and will continue to grow, whereas video gaming used to be seen as a pastime for children and teenagers, it is now accepted for adults to be just as passionate about video games as anyone else and for good reason.
Video games transport us away and give us rest bite from our often stressful and restless lives. They take us by the hand and lead us to distant galaxies and solar systems, they take us into criminal underworlds of the past present and future and allow us to become cowboys, cops and samurai warriors – they truly are amazing. But what does the future hold for video games?
Esports and Competitive Video Gaming
Esports introduced the concept of competitive video gaming. Esports have looked to push video gaming from a hobby into a competitive sport. Hitherto, esports have become a worldwide success story. From a global point of view, esports are popular all around the world. Esports are watched by millions of people on the internet whilst esports events take place in sold out stadiums across Europe and Asia to North and South America.
Certainly, esports are here to stay given their immense popularity and the crowds that are drawn to esports events. There are dozens of different esports scenes with their own dedicated communities. For example, Valve’s Dota 2 community is one of the most loyal given the difficulty and high skill level of the game. At the same time, Dota 2 is a tough game for beginners to get into, which is why Dota 2 is not the most watched esport, that spot belongs to League of Legends (LOL) which is followed closely by Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
Both LoL and CS:GO are far easier for beginners to pick up than Dota 2 is which is one of the reasons why total hours watched on LoL and CS:GO are higher than the total number of hours watched on Dota 2. The popularity of esports has meant that betting markets for them have opened up. CS:GO betting sites are becoming more common as loyal viewers want to put their CS:GO gameplay knowledge to the test – the same goes for LoL and Dota 2.
Esports have given esports players and teams cult like followings and fan bases – much like sports such as football have. For example, Virtus Pro are a Russian esports organisation that have teams across a variety of different esports. Virtus Pro are one of the most well-known and supported teams in Europe. Similarly, South Korean and Chinese esports teams have their own mass followings – Invictus Gaming is a hugely popular Chinese esports teams – and as the popularity of esports grow in the America’s, teams from these regions will also attract their own loyal fanbases.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR)
New implementations in technology does not only allow for video games to become more in depth and more aesthetically pleasing. Technological advancements also ensure that video games become more realistic and immersive. Virtual Reality, for example, makes certain that gamers feel like they are directly inside the video game that they are playing. If you play Resident Evil on VAR be prepared to be immersed into the Baker Family’s creepy household! So be aware!
At the same time, constant improvements in AI have ensured that the video games themselves are becoming smarter. For example, in almost impossibly difficult games such as Dark Souls, bosses in the game are so difficult to beat because the AI is programmed to anticipate common human mistakes and punish them. The hope is that improvements in AI will create more interesting, dynamic and realistic video gaming experiences. At the moment, game developers tend to prioritise actions that human players can predict, arguing that unpredictable AI is not necessarily super fun for players. Personally, I would love a range of video games that contain super unpredictable AI characters, but then again, I love super challenging video games!
The video gaming industry is starting to enter stranger territory as we move further into the 21st century. Game design studio F.O.W. Studios, primarily known for creating and designing pornographic video games, are set to release a game to Steam dubbed ‘boobs in space’ after they received over $1 million in donations via Kickstarter.
Subverse allows players to take control of their own space shuttle command team in the fictional Prodigium Galaxy. You are expected to recruit human and alien waifu’s – fictional in-game characters that one is attracted to – to your crew. And yes, you can have in-game sex with your waifu crew, that’s one of the main draws to the game for fans. Currently, there is a large and clear line between pornographic video games and normal video games but after Subverse is released there is a chance that the line becomes narrower and harder to see. Sex sells, after all.
Where will video games lead us to next?
Whether you enjoy the competitiveness of video games, the relaxed state of mind that they bring or the hot waifu’s, we can all agree that a world without video games would be a very sad one indeed. As of writing this article, I am playing FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and I love how difficult and challenging the AI is to defeat. In the future I hope for video games that not only encourage challenging AI but also implement unpredictable AI to ensure a more realistic experience. I want the AI to be super intelligent. How do you think video games will progress into the future? Let me know in the comments below!