In an incredibly short space of time, competitive gaming has gone from being somewhat of a novelty to a global money-making machine. The eSports industry was established yet lacking in appeal to many in 2010, but in 2020, it generates a revenue of $1.1 billion.
It is getting harder and harder for non-believers to ignore eSports now, and the industry is having an effect on other sectors around it. Evidence of this is being seen particularly in the other offshoots of gaming. Developers are now scrambling to think up ways to attract this massive eSports audience.
Developers Will Have a Competitive Element in Mind
Online play was more easily available on the third generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles, bringing (relatively) painless online gaming experiences to the masses; however, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were the first units to truly take it to another level. Indeed, it now seems almost essential for games that were once solely meant for one player to have an online mode that encourages cooperative and competitive play.
Grand Theft Auto V is a prime example of this, with the 2013 title from Rockstar Games expanding on its predecessor’s multiplayer element to bring it to a whole new level. This was hugely successful and it led the developer to do the same thing with its most recent title, Red Dead Redemption 2.
These detailed online modes highlight how major developers are considering how to cash in on the eSports and Twitch-obsessed gaming crowd of the modern age. Gaming is becoming more of a collaborative experience, with streamers on Twitch often allowing their followers to comment and contribute towards the playing of the game. Some players just want to have the opportunity to watch others in action, so having the option to connect a game up to the internet is now becoming ubiquitous.
Games of Chance Could See Skill Based Upgrades
The growing eSports scene has led developers to consider the instances of chance involved within their games with a view to making them available to play on a competitive level. A good example of this is Gwent from CD Projekt Red, a card game which was initially seen as a side feature in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Fans of the open-world epic loved the game so much that they begged the Polish developer to create a standalone game.
When Gwent came about as its own title, CD Projekt Red clearly saw that it had the potential to break into the eSports market alongside similar games like Hearthstone. For this to happen, it attempted to limit the instances of random number generation (RNG) and focus on skill-based gameplay.
There is some speculation that online slots could go down the same route and piggyback on the success of eSports. The popular genre of casino games has constantly evolved over the years to keep up with current trends, and this suggests that it would be open to more changes in the future. For example, developers created real money slot games like Thunderstruck to appeal to Avengers fans and Bridesmaids to bring in players who enjoyed that film. Surely they will try to do the same to attract eSports lovers.
Slots could evolve for the eSports crowd by using IPs from popular video games to expand such worlds into the iGaming sphere and build on the existing lore. Skill-based mini-games could also be introduced as side features to keep the gameplay fresh for experienced fans of both genres.
The influence of eSports is only just beginning, and after its meteoric rise so far it is hard to imagine where the industry will be in another ten years.
Do check out: