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The entire gaming market has evolved over the years, and online gaming is one key space that has changed thanks to improvements in technology and an increased focus on quality gameplay from players.

Many commentators credit the introduction of Wi-Fi as the true turning point in the gaming industry, as it allowed games to move online and led to players being able to connect with one another and save their progress online.

As such, we’ve created an article that discusses the evolution of online gaming and how it has transformed from a market populated by small, niche games to become a worldwide phenomenon.

It All Started With The CVC GameLine

Before the internet was properly established and widely used, in 1983 the CVC GameLine was designed to allow users to download games through their phone line and play them on their Atari games consoles. This was the beginning of what we now have today, including Xbox, mobile phone and PC games that can be downloaded when the device is connected to the internet and then played when it is offline. This convenience allows today’s gamers to access a vast library of games that don’t have to be stored on their device, saving them space but still allowing them the choice they crave.

The Sega Dreamcast Was The First Truly Online Console

Now renowned as the originator for almost every trend in online gaming, the Sega Dreamcast was a pioneering device that could connect to the internet, albeit in a less sophisticated way than offered now. It wasn’t a particularly popular device, but it did pave the way for a whole host of new devices that would revolutionise the gaming marketplace. It also opened the market’s eyes to the possibilities that internet connectivity could offer to the gaming market and showed that it was perfectly possible.

The Internet Led To A Rise In Gamification

As the internet grew more popular and accessible throughout the 2000s, companies started to search for new ways to showcase and sell their services. Gamification was a great way to make their websites more engaging and encourage visitors to come back. Companies started creating games for visitors to play that would entice them to spend money or find out more about their service offering. Now there’s a vast range of online gamified solutions out there for consumers, including many sites that have training solutions that give consumers the chance to learn and encourage them to use certain products at the same time.

PC Ownership Led To A Rise In Online Gaming

As the internet took off, so did computer ownership, with personal computers becoming increasingly common in people’s homes. This led to gamers using PCs to play games through the internet, which started the revolution in online PC gaming. Since then the rise in computer ownership has led to the PC gaming market becoming incredibly competitive, with developers enjoying creating unique games for this hardware. There are now loads of different PC games that will allow gamers to have fun on their home computer as well as their video games consoles.

Real-Life Games Went Online

As the internet crept into the gaming space, the reverse also happened, with many real-life games moving online. At the start there were simply commentaries posted on blogs, but now there are a variety of ways sports fans can engage with their chosen sport online as well as in the physical world. One key market that has flourished online is sports betting, with sites like allowing sports fans to engage with their favourite sport online by betting on it and predicting the outcome of matches that are being played on a physical pitch.

Smart Phones Bought Online Games To A Wide Audience

As computers and internet connectivity grew more popular, phone providers decided to get in on the action, and in 1992 IMB launched the first smartphone. This revolution led to online smartphone games becoming a popular solution for gamers or individuals who wanted something interesting to do during their periods of downtime. As most smartphones only function when connected to the internet, most of the games hosted on them are online, meaning that online gaming really took off thanks to the eventual popularity of smartphones.

Laptops And Tablets Have Also Helped Drive Online Gaming Forward

The first laptop was created in 1981, but the solution took a little longer to take off. In 2000 the first tablet computer was put onto the market, and this helped consumers to really see the convenience that portable computers could offer to them. Now most tablet computers and laptops have access to app stores, which offer the chance for gamers to play a wide range of different online games wherever they may be.

Online Stores Helped To Drive Gaming Onto The Internet

Connected stores such as Xbox Live Marketplace and PS Store have helped to push video gaming online. Players can now connect via the internet while playing games on their consoles and buy upgrades, bonuses and new add-ons to make gameplay even more fun. These solutions helped to put consoles online.  

Today Online Games Are Everywhere

Thanks to the choice, increased in-game add-ons and multiplayer options, online gaming has become incredibly popular over the years, and it is now available on both PCs and most major games consoles, meaning that all types of gamers can enjoy the benefits that internet connectivity has to offer. There are now online games available for almost every connected device and platform, meaning that there’s no excuse not to find your perfect online game and start playing!

What Does The Future Have In Store For Online Gaming?

Looking ahead, there are loads of exciting developments in store for the online gaming space, with new technologies like virtual reality and cloud computing driving change in the market. Consumers are increasingly looking for new and innovative gaming solutions that will connect to every aspect of their online lives, meaning that developers will be adapting to link games to various other online solutions such as social media platforms.