Last Updated: March 15, 2022.
Social games are still considered a new phenomenon in the iGaming space. That notwithstanding, industry experts hold that social gaming is set to grow exponentially with the expansion of social networks such as MySpace, Roblox, and Facebook.
Today, there are over 200 million monthly players engaging Facebook’s top 10 games, and the number keeps on growing each month. Therefore, claiming that social gaming is growing is an understatement.
What’s A Social Game?
Let’s start by stating that social games do not differ much from video games that have been around for decades. It’s also worth clarifying that the word “social” does not connote multiplayer either. So, what does a social game really mean?
Well, the only distinction between social games and video games is in the platform within which the actual gaming occurs.
Social games take place through social network platforms such as Facebook, while most video games are either downloadable standalone games or part of an online casino game collection, such as those reviewed at Casinobetting.live.
With video games, the player has to find the game themselves. On the other hand, the social game finds the user. This feature of social games has the potential to introduce some exciting creative energy into the iGaming industry.
What Does the Future Hold?
Since the invention of the internet towards the end of the 20th century, new trends have been emerging as developers seek new ways to push the boundaries of web browsers. The goal is to achieve more efficiency by breaking through constraints.
The growth of Ajax and Reverse Ajax app protocols, for example, has set clear standards for browsers and websites. Consider the difference that the browser Safari brought to iPhone users.
From the foregoing, it is clear that change is inevitable, especially in the internet world. It is obvious that the young social gaming space is set to grow. Below are some of the technologies that will shape the future of social gaming:
Adoption of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality makes it possible for players to enjoy immersed social experiences, which serves as a catalyst for pushing the technology into the mainstream. With an opportunity to engage and play with friends from anywhere in the world, coupled with the VR effect, the industry is gearing up for evolutionary change.
Most VR-powered games on the market are designed for a single-player experience. However, developers are working on software that will support a group experience. As this comes to life, we should expect to witness intense growth within the social gaming sphere.
A Shot at Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is the technology that merges the virtual world with the real world. This means that users can enjoy virtual reality simulation while engaging with items from the real world.
In the social gaming sphere, AR can deliver an immersive and thrilling gaming experience, further contributing to the growth of the young iGaming market. Players are looking for better ways to engage with other players in an augmented social gaming experience.
With technologies such as Metaverse, we should expect that social games offered through the platform will take a new shape.
The Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI technology has had multiple uses in the iGaming industry for decades. However, developers are yet to exhaust the uses of artificial intelligence in enhancing the iGaming experience.
We have seen the application of AI in creating non-player characters (NPCs) in video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Pac-Man. Today, game developers are taking a more sophisticated approach to AI-powered NPCs.
Modern-day NPCs are programmed with complex behavior trees that enable them to perform more complex decision-making. With social gaming characters having augmented decision-making capabilities, you can easily tell that players will have to tap into their critical thinking pools to match these NPCs.
In return, the overall social gaming experience becomes something to look forward to.
Cloud computing has immensely revolutionized how we approach data sharing and security. This technology typically means that the future of social gaming will take place on someone else’s computer.
Cloud gaming essentially means that players will have the ability to engage games streamed from servers located in a different corner of the world. This technology is gradually making the player’s local hardware less relevant to the social gaming experience.
This means that you can stream the social game regardless of your device’s capabilities. Since cloud gaming is often offered as a subscription, it’s gradually moving gamers from the mentality of owning the physical media to one of renting digital content.
The Revolutionary Metaverse
This discussion about the future of social gaming cannot be complete without mentioning the Metaverse. This concept has dazzled many in the tech world. Popularized by Neal Stephenson in his fictional work Snow Crash in 1992, Metaverse is cyberspace or virtual realm where everyone can log in and live their second lives.
Ideally, Metaverse combines augmented reality and virtual reality to have a functioning economy and allow complete interoperability. While we are still far off from actualizing a world under Metaverse, hints of Metaverse are evident.
You will spot this possibility in social gaming platforms such as Roblox, where fashion brands such as Gucci host luxury fashion events. The game Fornite in Roblox allows players to dress up like their favorite Marvel or Star Wars characters.
Like the internet, Metaverse will find more uses beyond social gaming. However, the technology is set to revolutionize social gaming. It is no longer about competition but connection.
Social Gaming and Real-World Impact
Social gaming is already changing the world in numerous ways, from how we interact as a global village to altering the youth slang and the emergence of virtual economies. In other words, what happens in-game has the potential of leaving reverberations throughout our day-to-day lives.
e-Sports players and online celebrities are becoming more popular and gradually gaining cultural awareness.
Bearing in mind that these celebrities emerging from the social gaming platforms have huge social media followings, they have a huge influence over the young generation, who are typically the future of the world.