With the repeated lockdowns that have punctuated the past year, we’ve been spending more time at home than ever before, and with little to fill our spare time, entertainment has become more important to us.
The gaming industry responded quickly when the first restrictions were put in place, with numerous online platforms racing to upgrade their platforms in a bid to offer the best player experience yet – so it’s little wonder that we’ve seen such impressive levels of growth since this time last year. According to the experts, the industry is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12 percent between 2020 and 2025, and at a time when other sectors have been struggling to withstand the global pandemic, suffice it to say that gaming is positively thriving.
We’ve already seen a variety of online gaming trends unfolding in recent months, and from an increase in the number of high-spec apps to the introduction of artificial intelligence to boost the customer experience, the digital gaming experience is now better than it ever was before.
We asked the experts at online platform Gameseek.co.uk – which offers some of the best casino games at just the click of a couple of buttons – to share some of the biggest movers and shakers when it comes to the newest and most disruptive developments that are shaping our player experience in 2021.
Virtual reality (VR) has come into its own over the past year, allowing players to escape the stress and uncertainty of the real world and fully immerse themselves in their favourite games. Never before has it felt so pertinent to be able to do so, and the pandemic has seen a huge surge in development, with plenty of new and ever-more innovative headsets becoming available.
Nonetheless, augmented reality (AR) still appears to be one step ahead of the game, requiring players only to use a smartphone app (no headset needed) in order to enjoy an immersive experience. AR utilises your phone’s camera to superimpose graphics onto reality and has already been gathering momentum, allowing players to enjoy a more interactive experience all-round.
Granted, online casinos aren’t anything new – but over the past year, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of players logging in to get their fix of traditional favourites like roulette, blackjack and poker from the comfort of their own homes. With bricks-and-mortar establishments forced to close their doors due to government lockdown regulations, many have pivoted quickly in a bid to retain their highest-rolling clients, offering improved customer experiences, a wider variety of games and some attractive VIP packages and bonuses, to boot. Google has also reported a huge spike in searches for platforms like Gameseek since the beginning of this year, with convenience and accessibility likely meaning that this is one trend that is here to stay.
Face and voice recognition
Facial recognition has been used in the security field for some years now, but now it’s beginning to infiltrate our games. The advent of smart home devices like the Amazon Dot has seen us become increasingly reliant on voice technology – generally due to the ease and convenience of being able to do things hands-free – and the latest games have turned this to their advantage. Now, you can scan your face to become a character in your game and control movements and actions by voice – which means the days of aching thumbs from frantically operating your controller could soon be a thing of the past.
When it comes to online gaming, it’s as much about the customer experience as the playing itself, and many providers have begun to implement artificial intelligence to make this as smooth and seamless as possible. Digital casino platforms, in particular, have been utilising this innovative new tech to resolve customer queries and issues quickly and efficiently, at any time of the day or night, and doing so has no doubt helped them to retain a loyal customer base.
5G and the cloud
The arrival of 5G is set to revolutionise the gaming industry, and has already started to facilitate a quicker and easier gaming experience on demand. There is no more waiting for a game or app to download; instead, you can access them instantly and play via the cloud. While 5G is still relatively new, gaming developers have already been looking at the best ways to maximise its potential, and as the year continues we can expect to see some exciting developments unfold.
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