The development of computer gaming, iGaming and online casino gambling, and has always relied on the latest new tech for accelerated industry growth and accessibility. Recent technological advancements (typified by the transformative use of VR, AI, the metaverse, and blockchain) have undeniably impacted how we play games online. In the past few years, leading software and gaming providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Playtech, and Evolution Gaming have gotten in on emerging and established tech trends to provide their players with a more immersive and interactive gaming experience than ever before. Which technologies have proven the most disruptive in the gaming industry in 2022?
In the same way that ‘the cloud’ has revolutionized how we store and access data online. Cloud gaming has had a dramatic effect on the way we play games, stream content, listen to music and interact with software providers, so much so that we’ve seen the increasing gamification of education and business worldwide. In 2022, most heavyweight gaming companies (from Microsoft and Amazon to Sony and Google) will provide their users with cloud-based subscription services. With the increasingly widespread accessibility of high-speed internet (not least the impending arrival of 5G), more players can now use the cloud, reducing the necessity for typically expensive hardware that must be regularly updated and replaced.
The first VR/AR headset was developed in 1968, but it is only in recent years that the tech has been fully realized and utilized in online gaming and gambling. Virtual Reality (VR) headsets enable players to dive deeply into fully interactive 3D environments, which adds another level of immersion to the gaming experience. VR is particularly useful for video gaming and online casino gambling, especially when replicating the land-based casino experience and providing hyper-realistic game environments. There are already plenty of VR-accessible games on the market, although this selection is set to expand as the technology becomes more accessible and widely used by generic gaming providers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already been widely used to implement self-exclusion and cool-out systems for online gamblers. In contrast, AI systems have even been known to beat human players at poker in the context of online casinos. AI uses algorithms to personalize game content, provide extra safety and security, and offer a more realistic gaming experience, especially when it comes to combat-based video games such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the Halo game series. In contrast, enemy ‘bots’ actions were previously predictable and largely controlled by user difficulty levels. The new breed of AI enemies behave much more naturally and respond more closely to the actions and behavior of the player.
Live Dealer iGaming
With the iGaming and online casino industries enjoying considerable growth, more platforms are now offering live dealer options. In live dealer iGaming, players can experience high-quality casino games serviced by professional dealers and croupiers while interacting with other players in real time. Live dealer game titles are naturally aligned with emerging tech such as VR, blockchain, and the metaverse. At the same time, gamers can enjoy a more authentic online replication of the land-based casino experience than ever before without worrying about lags and interrupted streaming. While live dealer titles are increasingly popular with discerning casino lovers across the globe, countries such as Canada and the UK have been leading the way in terms of prolific live casino game output. If you’re searching for the best platforms to play with, click here for top Canadian casinos offering live game content available today.
While the metaverse has long been described as the future of the internet, it is only in recent years that this dream has become more of a reality. The metaverse is a more immersive VR version incorporating blockchain tech and crypto elements. The metaverse consists of a potentially endless network of connected digital ‘worlds,’ through which users can move freely while interacting with other players and objects using the Internet of Things (IoT) to make meaningful tactile transactions. The metaverse enables players to buy, sell and accumulate digital items while interacting with other individuals in the digital environment via avatars using 3D headsets. The emerging metaverse technology has excited the social aspect of gaming online.
Blockchain & Crypto
As perhaps the most disruptive technology featured in this list, blockchain tech (an offshoot of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). It has revolutionized the way that we make real money transactions online, whether that be placing wagers with online casinos or buying content in video games. In essence, blockchain works by recording cash transactions with a unique ‘hash’ signature, which enables secure and accurate verification of individual players. It is generally considered one of the safest ways to make real money transactions, deposits, and withdrawals online, whether with an online casino or gaming network. Blockchain tech has facilitated the booming popularity of well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The latter is a unique and groundbreaking crypto variation that uses image-based, non-mutually interchangeable stock for cash transactions.
While gambling on eSports is nothing new (with fantasy sports leagues being a longstanding fixture of the iGaming market), the industry was boosted considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the cancellation of regular sporting events and popular sports leagues led to a gap in the market. In 2022, eSports tournaments are considered and recognized as a popular financial draw for spectators, and the eSports industry only continues to grow in scope and popularity.