The 2010s was certainly an interesting decade that saw technological advances, unlike any other decade. One of the industries that saw exponential changes and advancements is videogames.
While the videogame industry saw a brief dip in advancement and profit in the ‘90s, it saw a resurgence of interest in the 2000s. It wasn’t until the 2010s, however, that videogames once again became a major player in global culture and turned into a multi-billion industry.
Here are some of the most important videogame trends that reshaped how we saw videogames from the past decade:
From 2d video game art to full-on 8-bit pixel games, retro-styled and retro-themed games became a major player in the videogame industry of the 2010s. The 2000s were a hallmark in videogame technology, thanks to the release of the PS2 and the Xbox –not to mention leaps and bounds in graphics tech with the PC, which ushered in an entire generation of 3D games that pushed the envelope for videogames everywhere.
But when the 2010s rolled around, many people pined for simpler, nostalgia-driven games that hearkened back to the early days of the videogame industry.
The retro-themed games became such a driving force in the videogame industry during the previous decade because of a simple reason: gamers wanted an immersive storyline. Sleek graphics and characters approaching the Uncanny Valley were all well and good, but gamers needed great narratives to underpin the lights and sounds of next-gen videogames.
This need for great story-telling elevated videogames from computer applications to award-winning works of art, recognized for their human drama, compelling stories, and spectacular immersion, with story and narratives being integrated from all kinds of games, whether it’s RPG’s, MOBA’s, fighting games, and even first-person shooters.
Since the advent of the smartphone –arguably brought about by the release of the 1st generation iPhone in 2007 –people wondered exactly how far they could push mobile technology, fitting in all manner of programs and applications into smaller and sleeker devices. By 2007, the idea of a smartphone capable of playing videogames was an afterthought for most smartphone manufacturers.
Eventually, videogames found its way into smartphones, and the mobile gaming industry was born. What was once a niche market that “real” gamers derided has now become a $100 Billion industry around the world and has spawned entire sub-cultures and even e-sporting leagues. Speaking of which…
The idea of videogame competitions isn’t exactly new: since the days of Pong, people have competed over videogames, and as videogames became more and more complex, these competitions became bigger, offering more rewards and involving players from all around the world.
However, it wasn’t until 2010 when e-sports left the niche market and became a global powerhouse, raking in more than $957 million around the world. MOBAs (Massive Online Battle Arena) and FPS (First Person Shooters) are the most popular game genres that are played in e-sports leagues, and there are talks of videogames becoming a part of the next generation’s Olympics.
Twitch and Live Streaming
Interest in competitive videogames has gotten so big that it facilitated the birth of a new platform: Twitch. Twitch was one of the first online services that was dedicated to helping gamers livestream themselves playing videogames to a digital audience. But Twitch isn’t the only livestream platform for gamers, and the entire videogame live streaming industry is estimated to be making around $1.06 Billion worldwide.
Not only have livestreaming platforms provided gamers a wider audience, they also encouraged more people to take up videogames and see them not just as casual entertainment, but as an actual competitive event that could earn them revenue in the future.