Tech

From World of Warcraft to Pokemon Go, a look at the evolution of online gaming

The times they are a changin’Getty Images
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The times they are a changin’
How we play games has changed over the years, from tabletops to virtual reality to augmented reality. It is also now estimated to reach a massive $196 billion in revenue by 2022. And it doesn’t have a long history either.
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Coming into being
Although video game prototypes were created as early as the 1950s, the very first gaming console was not introduced to consumers until the 1970s. But they really took off in the 1990s, as the internet slowly started becoming ubiquitous.
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Major milestones
  • 1990s: Online gaming rapidly gains popularity due to the increasing availability of the internet
  • 2004: World of Warcraft launches, the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) to eclipse more than 10 million active subscriptions
  • 2009: Minecraft launches and becomes one of the best selling video games in history with 176 million copies sold.
  • 2016: Augmented reality game Pokémon Go is launched, generating the most revenue grossed by any mobile game in its first month.
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All hail the future
Mobile is the largest gaming platform, producing $68.5 billion in revenue in 2019—45% of the total market that also includes PC and tablet gaming. Although still a relatively new segment of the industry, mobile gaming has developed at an astonishing rate, with 2.4 billion people playing games on mobile in 2019.
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Gaming personalities
In the future, games could automatically generate game content that is customized to fit each player’s personality and playstyle, based on their player data. They could also use your personality traits to create complex gaming profiles.
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