The Next Step in Social Gaming

Social gaming has moved far beyond Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMO’s) and annoying Facebook spam and has become much more involved than having a social media account linked to your favourite game or a virtualisation of your favourite board game.

To some, it is a glimpse into the future of humanity, and to others, it is simply entertainment expanded. To developers, it is an exciting market full of unexplored potential. Here are a few of the biggest social gaming trends that are going to impact the market the most over the next few years.

Augmented Reality (AR)

The success of Pokémon Go is the first global AR phenomenon, of which there are many to come. The combination of available technology and a profoundly natural user experience, combined with the already big brand recognisability of Pokémon is what made this possible. We have had access to AR from Google Maps and in other task-specific applications for maybe as long as ten years now, but it has taken this long for it to become truly, what it is today.virtualscreen4

This leap is giving social gaming a new platform to expand on, with endless applications now that the public is acclimatising to overlaying reality in a functional way.

Virtual Reality (VR)

We have been promised applicable VR since the 90’s, but so far, the products have been lacking. Major companies like Sony, HTC, Samsung, and Microsoft are now finishing what Oculus Rift had started. Unlike AR, VR struggles with real life social interaction as the power needed to drive an interactive VR system is not portable.

However, potential applications that are worth looking at are already in social games such as MMO’s and perhaps expand onto streaming services like Twitch.

YouTube

One of the biggest lateral developments of gaming over the past few years is the YouTube market. No one but the most unnaturally prescient speculators could have guessed that what started as hobbyists giving a commentary on a play through of a game would expand into what it is today.

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Thousands of YouTubers create content by editing videos of themselves playing popular games, for a living. A few of them even have income measured in millions.

The Machinima Culture, as well using games as actors and props in videos, has received massive popularity. Because of this, it is now proposed that game developers are going to keep fourth-person spectating (watching the person playing the game) in mind when they create the games, which will be a completely new way of adding social elements to gaming.

 
 

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