Going Back in Time with Online Gaming
1983 was a milestone of the video game, the Atari Shock hit the gaming industry. This was the largest recession that the video gaming industry had seen since its inception, and it lasted for two years. The revenues were at an all-time high in 1983 around $3.2 billion, then by 1985 this had fell to a paltry $100 million. Analysts at the time questioned if there was a serious validity to the future of the industry?
So, what were the reasons for the Atari Shock?
Things were a little confused as why the video gaming industry dived so spectacularly in 1983, causes were cited as: a flooded console market, world inflation, competition from PC’s and the loss of publishing control. The video gaming industry pulled its proverbial socks up in 1986 mostly due to Nintendo and their NES (Nintendo Gaming System), and once again the industry was on the rise.
The Next Steps Forward
As the late 80’s revival continued, Sony and Nintendo dominated the market and soon came the 16-bit era, and the SNES. Nintendo was dabbling in satellite modem technology which was the first tentative steps to future online playing.
In the mid 90’s the concept of multiple players playing games online was in its infancy, but in 1996 Sega released the NetLink modem for its Saturn console and soon it was possible for people to access the Internet through their browsers and play games, such as Bomberman, Sega Rally and Duke Nukem.
At the turn of the millennium another milestone occurred in the online gaming industry, Sega’s Dreamcast was the first Internet-ready console to be available worldwide. This acted like a springboard for the other leading manufacturers of the time to enter the fray. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all supported online platforms. Sony released the PlayStation Network to support PSP & PS3 platforms, and the figures of their online players is now estimated at 60 million. It is true online gaming took quite a considerable time to gain momentum, but rather like pushing a snowball down a mountain, it is now rapidly moving and getting bigger. The founders of the videogames industry, namely Sega and Nintendo battled adversity and the Atari Shock to finally pull through and start something the world now takes for granted.
Booming Digital Distribution
Today digital distribution around the world is booming, and PlayStation and Xbox live have allowed networks of multiplayers from across the globe to have access. You can take very few things for granted in the gaming industry, and trying to look into a crystal ball to predict its future it to say at the very least, difficult. One thing that is possible to hang your hat on is the continued growth of the digital sector. Think back to the very first video game that you played, then compare that image to your last gaming experience and compare the two. It is a fair bet that you will be able to see a vast difference, even though it may be only a couple of years between the two events.
The online gaming industry is very dynamic, both in the ways the games themselves are improved and in the way, we are allowed to play them. So, waiting for the next milestone developments might not be too far away.