The gaming industry has evolved tremendously in the last three decades. In the 1990s, you had to call a friend over or visit a gaming arcade to play video games with someone else.
Today, nearly every video game has a multiplayer setting. You can invite your friends to join you in your quest to demolish battleships, monsters and terrorists at a moment’s notice. Or, you could play with strangers from all over the world.
In addition to being convenient, multiplayer games are a big business. In 2017, developers invested $30 billion to advance the sector. In turn, games become more interactive, more innovative, and more entertaining.
Here, we’ll focus on the reasons why multiplayer games succeeded in capturing the gaming market. Let’s get started.
Massive Demand from Gamers
There has never been a time in the history of gaming that people didn’t desire to play with other humans. Owing to that backdrop, MMO games were bound to be a success.
Take a look at the most popular video games of 2022: Among Us, Apex Legends, CS: GO, and Destiny 2. They are all multiplayer-centered games. Among Us, for example, challenges you to repair a spaceship with a team of people who might be traitors.
Apex Legends pits you into teams of three players that control pre-made characters. The goal is to win a battle royale consisting of 20 or more teams. With CS: GO, you team up to achieve specific objectives.
Still on demand, there are over 500 million people who play multiplayer games monthly according to Statista. Top-tier MMO games like CS: GO, League or Legends attract up to 30 million players each.
Earlier, we mentioned that developers and publishers invest billions of dollars to advance multiplayer gaming each year. This money is spent on research, acquiring human resources, developing and marketing games that can dominate the industry.
According to critics, developers spend so much money on multiplayer gaming due to greed. They know that there’s a lot of money in the space, and so they exploit it by investing everything they’ve got.
That’s alright. Gaming is a huge business. In fact, it’s bigger than Hollywood and the music industries. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that developers spent years on research and billions of dollars in creating amazing titles.
To provide some context on what it takes to create a good MMO game, think of Call of Duty: Back Ups. The now immensely successful eSports game cost up to $250 million to create and market. Fortunately, the game’s return on investment has been over 400%.
Developers have been creating multiplayer games since the early 2000s. But these games never appealed to gamers when computer graphics were simplistic. No one wanted to play multiplayers before chat rooms arrived.
Thanks to technology, modern multiplayer games are complex, competitive, intuitive and exciting. Graphics and resolutions are impeccable while game mechanics and communication channels are seamless.
Issues that used to put people off from multiplayer games—lagging, crashes and shallowness—are a thing of the past. Truth be told, MMO games are not created equal. Some of them still crash and have shallow storylines.
But if you choose top-tier MMO games, you will get the best gaming experience that money can buy. It doesn’t matter what device you choose: Mobile, console and PC all support advanced multiplayer games in 2022.
When you think about it, multiplayer games wouldn’t be as successful as they are today without online gaming. In the olden days of gaming cafes, developers mostly made money from selling copies.
Thanks to the Internet, developers discovered ways to mint billions of dollars from their games. Most of them make money by selling video game add-ons like special weapons and customers.
Besides maximizing profits for the developers, online gaming also introduced MMO to the world. Regardless of where you live, you can play your favorite video game titles as long as you have a gaming device and access to the Internet.
In 2022, online gaming is so popular that it’s difficult to imagine gaming without the Internet. Sure, multiplayer games can exist through Local Area Networks (LANs). But then again, it wouldn’t be possible to play a battle royale of 100 competitors.
The Growth of eSports
In this age of professional video game competitions, developers fire from all cylinders to create award-winning titles. There’s a good explanation. Every major game publisher wants to have an eSports game.
Esports has grown rapidly in the last decade, rising from a $100M industry into a multi-billion sector. The sport consists of multiple leagues, teams, organizers and players.
Through competitive gaming, the new sport generates hundreds of millions of dollars for all stakeholders. Developers like Sony, Nintendo, Tencent and EA generate billions of dollars in revenues thanks to eSports growth.
Luckily, it’s not just the developers and publishers making money from eSports. Loads of young gamers earn thousands of dollars by doing what they love. However, these highly influential people won’t recommend an eSports game to their millions of fans unless it runs smoothly.
Media Attention and Online Critics
There was a time developers would get away with creating terrible games. Those days are gone. It doesn’t matter the size of the developer. It doesn’t matter if they invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the game.
If a game is terrible, word spreads fast. And usually, this could turn into a catastrophe for the publisher and developer. Online critics are quick to point out flows in new games. And in doing so, publishers learn their mistakes and fix them quickly.
The ease of providing criticism of MMO games is a good thing for the entire industry. Gamers get to know about good and bad games before they purchase them. On the other hand, game creators can improve games based on user feedback.