Home Entertainment MMOs to Online Casinos – A Retrospective of Online Gaming

MMOs to Online Casinos – A Retrospective of Online Gaming

by Maria L. Searle
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MMOs to Online Casinos

Online gaming is a microcosm of the broader societal trend of internet dominance. Billions of us shop online, browse social media, speak to our friends, and watch our favorite films and TV shows exclusively via internet-based platforms.

Depending on the type of game you like, there’ll undoubtedly be an online multiplayer option, or perhaps you won’t even use the offline version. One thing is sure: online gaming is a highly profitable and dominating global media and entertainment force.

A brief history of MMOs

MMO is an acronym widely used in gaming for massively multiplayer online games. Throughout the early to mid-1990s, technology and gaming companies found incredible success with offline, home console gaming models.

After switching from the packed arcades of the 1980s, gaming mega-companies like Sony and Nintendo developed console models that meant you could enjoy highly detailed and sophisticated home gaming.

Once Sony, Nintendo, and later Microsoft dominated this industry, driving immense innovation in a multibillion-dollar sector, the stage was set for the next frontier — online gaming.

Although some individual games, like sports gaming, involve a solo one-versus-one approach, the goldmine that indeed lay ahead was the concept of MMO gaming.

How gambling paved the way?

Casino gaming and sports betting were the first within the industry to shine a light on the shifting consumer appetite and the incredible potential of thousands, sometimes millions, of people all gaming on the same server.

Online casino gaming and sports betting have hopped effortlessly from their humble PC gaming beginnings to support mobile device and smartphone gaming.

Sports betting companies have identified the same trend and often work closely with the casino industry. They have a similar vested interest and have pioneered the idea of mass in-play betting on the same server across many sports.

These derivative, micro-betting, and prop markets enjoyed a new leg-up when smartphones started to disruptively innovate how we lived our day-to-day lives. FanDuel is an excellent example of an MMO within the gambling sector that puts many fans together on the same server.

FanDuel facilitates a platform where bettors can play casino games fantasy sports, and explore sports betting markets. By championing the collective entity and focusing on interaction and MMOs, FanDuel Sportsbook has quickly become a stalwart of American sports betting.

Betting on sports is now worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year, but just like every other monumentally successful digital business — the origins are somewhat humble.

While it might seem like the norm now, there was a time when many analysts were dismissive of the potential of the gambling industry. Around the turn of the century, the internet was expensive and much slower, and mobile phones didn’t even have cameras.

So, while the benefit of hindsight is often a tool used by those who seem to have all the wisdom, gambling companies validated and highlighted the potential, pioneering the growth of MMOs.

Online gaming – Consoles and genres

Some games have a much slicker MMO design than others. If you look at the staggering, sustained popularity of Grand Theft Auto Online, it generated hundreds of millions of dollars per year in profit for Rockstar Games.

The trailer release for the next installment of GTA broke almost every possible gaming record; as far as MMO gaming goes, few can match GTA.

It’s fair to say Rockstar had the advantage here; by developing such an immense gaming dynasty long before MMO gaming on in-home video consoles, the anticipation was already off the charts.

So, while games such as Call of Duty exploded, bringing huge rooms of players together at the beginning of the 2010s, GTA picked up the baton, took the blueprint, and ran with it.

Once gaming developers realized the phenomenal potential of MMOs, they adapted very quickly, aiming for that market as part of their wider gaming design.

Reasons behind the success of MMOs

Gaming communities have always been a hit; the hustle and bustle of arcades in the 1970s and 1980s are a testament to that. Gamers enjoy competition. They enjoy proving their worth against other fanatical gamers, regardless of the genre.

As gaming and home consoles developed, despite the lack of an internet or global community, thousands of gamers would flock together, meet up, and play in competitions to determine who was the best at a particular game.

Developers and innovators in tech and gaming aren’t stupid people; they know the untapped potential that was there. It’s simply that the internet and gaming technology haven’t caught up yet.

Although the success of MMOs may have taken some in the industry by surprise, with gaming companies going from multimillion-dollar promising enterprises to multibillion-dollar household names, the common denominator is the power of the community.

Emboldened by the strength and growth of this community, MMOs allowed players to get together in chat rooms, speak with other gamers around the world, and get to know people who shared similar interests. It’s just as much a social tool as a gaming one, and the results are evident as part of their continued success.

Final thoughts

Online gaming doesn’t rely solely on the online community to keep its products fresh. Many award-winning games have a multitude of offline or solo-style online platforms for gamers to enjoy. However, it’s the community and the success of MMOs that have driven developments in every field of gaming.

We may have touched on casino gaming and specific console games today, but the truth is that online gaming is in the midst of a golden era. Economists, analysts, and experts within the gaming industry unanimously agree that the sector still has significant room to grow.

Data from Wall Street also points to the idea that the industry has further ground it can expand into, and game developers are quickly becoming one of the big investment ideas that investment banks and hedge funds are exploring in 2024.

Although there might be a debate about whether the likes of casino gaming fall into the traditional model of MMOs and should be considered separate from console gaming, it is a different discussion for another day.

Ultimately, the growth of online gaming has stemmed from multiple components, and its continued growth is supported by the quality of the games, their online communities, and their collective ability to work together.

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