It’s no secret that people continue to flock to online games and gaming sites. The past year has seen an unprecedented surge in all kinds of gaming. From eSports to massively multiplayer online games, and from casinos to casual gaming, there seems to be no stopping the popularity of these new online communities. And based on this unprecedented growth, many of these communities are even starting to push out into the real world with tournaments, meetings, conventions and even new facilities.
New 5G technology, which is finally starting to roll out across the country, will help boost all of those gaming activities, both in the physical world and for the millions of online players. Game developers too will suddenly have new and viable options to help feed players hungry for more.
Gaming companies in all of those areas have upgraded their services, and carriers are beefing up their capacity to accommodate the traffic. For example, in its snapshot of traffic for March, Verizon reported that although overall Web traffic increased by 20 percent over the previous months and video streaming was up 12 percent, gaming shot up a whopping 75 percent over the same period from a year ago.
Games and eSports
That dramatic surge in activity over the past year has been consistent for gaming networks and just about all other online platforms. Even individual games with heavy online components, or ones that exist totally online, are booming in popularity.
Take the A3: Still Alive game from Netmarble corp. Launched for both the Android and iOS platform, A3 Still Alive is a cross-genre mobile experience that pairs the enormous and living worlds of Open-World RPGs with the extreme combat of Battle Royale. Set in an apocalyptic fantasy world of swords and sorcery, players must be vigilant in an always-open player vs. player (PvP) environment as they fight against enemies with intense hack and slash combat in the search for powerful gear. The game recently celebrated a huge milestone, with half a million simultaneous players across both the iOS and Android platform.
Esports is another area that is booming. In fact, over $460 million U.S. dollars was awarded to the top five highest earning esports players and teams this year. Tournaments can support prizes like that because it’s estimated that over 250 million people watch eSports today. And those numbers keep growing. By 2023, the global eSports industry is forecast to be worth almost $1.6 billion, up from $776 million in 2018. That means that eSports popularity, and the money involved with it, will double over that five-year period. More fans, players and sponsors are sure to follow.
The Best New Casino Content
Driven by a huge influx of new and innovative content, players are flocking to online casinos and other sites that offer the thrill of gaming along with the chance to win good money. And slot games, traditionally the kings of the casino, are of course leading the way. Slot machines have come a long way from the three wheel, hand-cranked machines of yesteryear. Today’s most modern slot machines are visual feasts of sight and sound. Many are based on movies, video games, television shows and even thrilling stories and tales from literature.
Some of the best new slot games pull from history and well-known cultures like Medieval Times, Egyptian mythology, the Roman Empire or the American Wild West. Consider The Eye of Horus slot, one of the most favorably reviewed new games to hit the online casino circuit in years. It’s steeped in golden Egyptian culture, gods and history.
The Eye of Horus follows the history of Horus, who was known as The Beautiful One in ancient Egyptian lore. God of kingship and the sky, it’s a regal subject for an exciting game. There are lots of people playing and reviewing the game online, all of which are wildly positive.
Some gamers are even showing how they won some really big pots with this new game.
The Coming 5G Storm
So what do all of these activities have in common? It’s that they can all benefit from the timely arrival of the new 5G wireless services. The bandwidth available using 5G compared to the old 4G LTE technology is like night and day. For example, the fastest version of 5G being rolled out right now, which is based on the ultra-high millimeter-wave spectrum, is capable of speeds as fast as gigabit fiber internet. Compare that with 4G LTE, which tops out at 50Mbps.
The old 4G LTE speeds work okay for, say, a single user playing a lower fidelity game by themselves on their home network. The speed cap also limits what companies serving up the content can offer. They simply can’t offer really graphically intensive titles, and certainly not to millions of simultaneous players, very easily under the current technology. The fact that all of the aforementioned games have done so well is a testament to their quality. Gamers are willing to put up with the load times and other quirks of their current wireless technology because the games are so good. Imagine what it will be like, and where developers will be able to take their games, once 5G is commonplace.
And the predictions are that it will be a really amazing change. News site Techstory predicts that 5G will literally change everything. According to them, “Game designers will have a whole new level of integration with the network. You must inform the network about each person’s bandwidth requirements, ask the network user where the bandwidth will be in the next five minutes, and customize the game accordingly. For example, instead of going into the tunnel every 30 seconds, the game can choose whether to preload objects, reuse existing local objects, or change the game experience.”
Beyond just improving existing game genres, we may even see entirely new ways to play once 5G takes hold. Things like augmented reality and virtual reality, once confined to niche gaming circles, will suddenly have more than enough bandwidth for a mass market of players. Amazing game development will surely follow.
Anyway you look at it, the future is bright for game developers and players. 5G will only improve the popularity of an already white hot area that we all love.