Multiplayer gaming is here to stay. It had it limitations when it was just two people on one console on one screen. Now, online multiplayer gaming is dominating, companies are showing its their future, and it is making its way into other industries.
Massive Multiplayer Online Games & Bethesda Studios setting the trend
MMOs are becoming more and more popular. World of Warcraft, the game featuring character building, magic and infinite adventure has been around since 2004 and still has over 10 million people who are paying monthly to play it. The game is only available on Windows or Mac, so to still be this popular is truly remarkable and suggests MMOs aren’t going anywhere. Bethesda Studios succeeded their most successful game ever, Skyrim, (which was single player) with the Elder Scrolls Online that has over a million active monthly players. The latest Fallout Game, Fallout 76, is also going to be an online multiplayer game. Bethesda believes that massive online multiplayer games are going to be future and this is reflected with their latest releases.
Online Multiplayer is growing
Calls of Duty games were originally focused solely on their campaign modes. There was the option for dual screen multiplayer, but the limitations of this meant it was never the most popular aspect of gaming. Fast-forward to the present, and Call of Duty games are marketed predominately on their online multiplayer features. Grand Theft Auto games used to be single player. The latest release, GTA V saw the inclusion of GTA Online, and at the time of writing, Rockstar are still releasing new content for this game, exclusively for online multiplayer, nearly five years after the game was originally released. The way these two franchises have developed a focus on online multiplayer suggests this will be a permanent feature. This aspect of gaming was quickly adopted by the online casino industry, so for example Unibet slots, blackjack and poker tournaments has now become part of the normal services which players now expect.
Where does the Vita fit in?
Surprisingly, the PS Vita fares reasonably well when it comes to multiplayer gaming in a number of gaming genres extending far beyond MMOs seen beyond its PC and console rivals. When it comes to competitive online multiplayer gaming, nothing has still come close in terms of gameplay and performance to Sony’s own Killzone Mercenary with its multitude of game modes and stunning visuals not to mention its PlayStation TV support bringing the look and feel of the game up to that promised at the systems launch to gaming to rival that of the PS3. The Vita’s entry in the Call Of Duty series Call Of Duty Black Ops: Declassified still has its own legion of fans though – unsurprisingly being the Vita’s top selling FPS title – as has Resistance: Burning Skies.
At the same time, JRPGs haven’t left us disappointed giving us their own multiplayer experiences to match those including the arena-styled gaming offered by the Sword Art Online franchise being amongst my personal favourites. Other games have given Vita owners a similar chance to explore their more competitive side against other gamers but despite the Vita’s powerful wi-fi capabilities we’re still restricted by the need for a strong local internet connection nearby. Compared to PC and console gamers who can simply get online through an ethernet connection, we’re always going to be at a disadvantage and not able to experience online gaming to its fullest potential and sadly not in a competitive environment like ESports.
A few years ago, E-sports was a group of gamers at a convention playing games together such as Call of Duty or Counter Strike. With the help of Twitch and Youtube, the popularity of E-Sports has grown significantly, and ESPN and Sky now broadcast tournaments. Dota 2 recently had a prize pool of $2m at a tournament shown by ESPN. This is growing rapidly, and 500 million people are expected to watch E-Sports in 2020. This will only increase, with FIFA also playing a huge part. French Football team PSG signed on three E-Sports gamers. It is likely within the next few years, the top football teams all over the world will have their own E-Sports team that compete against each other, and this market has the potential to develop even more than football currently does. Multiplayer gaming is definitely the future and it will also generate huge revenue in the sport industry.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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