Online gaming has sure come a long way since the ancient days of text-based adventures such as Gemstone and Dragon’s Gate. The once-invincible online gaming market has taken some hits in the last few years, and has had to contend with declining revenues. A lot of this decline is because of the drop in subscription-based gaming sales, as more people are interested in paying for virtual goods, small transactions of just a few dollars, rather than going whole hog and buying subscriptions with larger fees per month or year.
Of course, new advancements could lure increasing numbers of players back to the world of subscription-based gaming, and if everything works out, 2014 could see a renaissance in the world of online gaming. Here are some reasons why.
Gamers can look forward to a bunch of fan favorite titles and properties going the online route in the next few months and into 2014. To name a few:
The cult science fiction show finally gets its due in the world of online gaming. In the summer of 2014, the Browncoats will fly again, as players can captain a ship, hire a crew, and go on adventures, while trading and competing with other players.
Scheduled for an early 2014 release, Titanfall is a mecha-based multi-player FPS that has already received a lot of positive buzz.
Grand Theft Auto Online
The online version of GTA 5 will be available two weeks after the release of Grand Theft Auto 5. It’s free to anyone who’s bought the game, and offers a shared world of up to 16 players.
Elder Scrolls Online
Talk about a popular franchise! This 2014 release, set on the continent of Tamriel about 1,000 years before Skyrim, enables players to explore the continent and join one of three factions battling for the Imperial throne.
Free World of Warcraft
The 600-pound gorilla of online gaming has been entertaining the notion of going free-to-play, with micro-transactions taking over from the subscription model. As of now, the Starter Edition of WoW is free, but players are limited in level advancement and other functions. If WoW goes free in 2014, this will be huge.
As the cloud becomes a more commonplace element of today’s computing, the enormous potential of having games safely saved in the cloud will make for an easier, more secure sort of game play.
Gaming Across Devices
Considering that many people now use more than one device to access the Internet, it only makes sense to develop games that can work across devices. After all, if you’re playing a game on your phone, shouldn’t you have the option to be able to resume playing it a later time on your tablet? Google, for instance, recently unveiled cross-platform cloud-based game sync tools. Currently, players of Angry Birds, Plants Versus Zombies 2, and Chrome Racer can sync their games across multiple devices, and the number of titles will only grow as time goes on.
With all of these elements in play in 2014, we just may end up at the threshold of a new golden age of online gaming. Of course, only time will tell if the reality lives up to the hype. We gamers have known the bitter sting of disappointment time and again, as game developers have sometimes dropped the ball and let the gaming community down.