The advent of eSports has revolutionized and drastically expanded the video gaming industry. Where once developers would look to craft experiences for solo players, the desire to compete with others became more and more recognized. Now, several companies explicitly focus on creating titles that can break into eSports.
Having risen into the mainstream in a relatively short spell, other forms of gaming are looking to emulate video gaming’s leap into the big-money competition. If the planning is put in place, and a sufficient draw is created by organizers, online casino gaming could make an unexpected expansion into a similar scene of competitive gaming.
How video gaming developed its eSports scene
Many cite the origins of eSports as an event back in 1972, which saw arcade gamers being brought together to compete for the Space Invaders Championship. With 10,000 players registered to compete, the draw of head-to-head gaming had long been clear to see. However, accessibility and availability were always going to hinder the tech-driven scene for a while.
As computers became more accessible and necessary at home, more opportunities to play games and for publishers to create a gaming community came to light. Along a similar timeline, video gaming consoles made their way into the limelight, with the likes of Sony, Nintendo, and eventually Microsoft seeing the demand for dedicated gaming hardware.
Online games have been a core part of video gaming for decades, with internet-connected PCs offering players access to deep and diverse game worlds online. Alongside these more social titles were the much more competitive creations, such as League of Legends and StarCraft. Playing online via consoles took a little while longer to be fully integrated, but once it did, multiplayer modes became a near-necessity in certain genres.
The next big step wasn’t anything to do with game developers and hardware producers, though, with media sharing platforms allowing gaming to create the eSports scene. The likes of YouTube and, mainly, Twitch allowed people to showcase their performances in games for the entertainment of others. With so many people piling online to watch others play games, there was sufficient evidence to suggest that eSports would be viable on a much larger stage.
Now, thanks to the steady and closely-watching development of organizations and competitions, online gaming means much more than it once did. Now, it’s just as appealing to watch gamers as it is to be one, with the proof being in the industry being worth in excess of $1.1 billion, continuing to grow year-on-year, and now featuring dedicated stadiums around the world.
The foundations may be set in another form of gaming
Video gaming required accessibility, competitive games, and a popular platform to showcase live and entertaining content to begin to develop the eSports industry as we know it today. Now, we’re seeing another sector of popular gaming looking to have taken similar steps, with the foundations in place for a less likely type of gaming to develop an eSports-like scene of its own.
Easily the most popular form of game within the expansive online casino gaming space is that of slots. When people want to find out more about gambling with confidence at the top online gambling sites, one of the main reasons is because they want to play the eye-catching slot games. Although there are many themes offered, from Game of Thrones to Avalon, it’s the ever-increasing jackpots of the progressive slots that are the most appealing and competitive.
Being accessible through mobiles and computers, with the progressive jackpot slots already proving to be very popular, the next necessary aspect to creating an eSports-like scene is viewers. In fact, it’s on eSports’ primary platform, Twitch, that slot gaming has earned an audience of spectators. With over 500,000 followers, the slots section of game videos on Twitch shows that there is interest in watching others spin the reels.
This isn’t the first example of gambling games making for compelling viewing, either, with poker notoriously experiencing its 00s boom thanks to competitions being shown on the Travel Camera. In poker, it was the hole cam that helped to connect audiences to the players and game. For slots to become a greater competitive spectacle, a method of bringing specific players together to compete for looks to be the next step.
If developers were to introduce a way for progressive jackpot play to have more decision-making available to the players, or to have set jackpots locked to a set event for players to compete over. They could go down the route of set jackpots at stages of a knockout tournament, or follow the likes of Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 by having a bunch of players compete at once until there’s only one player left.
The popularity of online casino games and their increasing audience on Twitch may be showing the potential foundations of a competitive scene.