As any gamer knows, technology is the backbone of the industry. Even from the days of arcade gaming, a player’s experience and enjoyment of the title were directly tied to how advanced the graphics and mechanics were. Unsurprisingly, companies that nailed early gaming technology had an advantage moving forward.
For example, Nintendo’s Gameboy was a handheld console released in the 1990s. Most of the company’s success has come from innovating new gaming technology, which led to releases like the Wii and, more recently, the dual-format Nintendo Switch.
Better technology leads to an enhanced gaming experience, plain and simple. One of the latest innovations in the industry is multiplayer features that allow for more advanced and large-scale game modes. Though not often tied up with technology, social and multiplayer elements in popular games have led to brand new genres, like Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) titles.
These aren’t just some of the most popular video games in the world – including titles like Rocket League and League of Legends – they’re also some of the most lucrative in terms of revenue. So, what is the almighty multiplayer mode changing in the world of gaming?
Enhancing the Competition Pool Worldwide
The most straightforward benefit of technology that supports large-scale multiplayer modes is the reach of players. Increased 5G network coverage means that players can enjoy real-time strategy games that involve dozens or even over one hundred players from around the world battling it out in a multiplayer game.
This has far-reaching effects on mega-popular titles and even more niche titles. For example, Texas Hold’em poker became a world favourite after tournaments were televised in the early 2000s. Today, players around the world compete in table games and tournaments to qualify for regional events. Without multiplayer technology, large tournament play wouldn’t be possible—and table games might also look very different.
Multiplayer modes have also pushed eSports into a global affair. For example, League of Legends professional eSports matches pit five players against five opponents. Players must defend their half of the map while engaging in combat. To succeed, players must communicate with one another through in-game chats while on one server. There are a lot of moving pieces, from technology like edge computing to that of digital signalling, that enable these types of competitions.
Teamwork as a Crucial Part of Gameplay
The popularity of multiplayer games has moved the industry away from an at-home hobby and into the world of organized eSports. As mentioned above, advances in multiplayer technology allow games like League of Legends to be played on a grand and global scale—and it’s pretty tame in terms of multiplayer options.
PUBG, for example, is a shooter survival game that sees one hundred players spawn onto an island with the hopes of surviving to the end. However, it’s a player-vs-player setup. Most MMO games involve teamwork. Like LoL, Counter-Strike, Valorant, and Dota 2 also involve teams of five.
In each case, players perform specific roles, which means that they train like professional sports teams. They go through practice drills, engage in team-building exercises, and craft multiple lineups in case of any last-minute changes. This element of teamwork is just another reason why eSports brands have taken off, as many gamers see them as another type of modern pro sports team.
A Multiplayer Game for Every Player
From Texas Hold’em poker to the world’s largest eSports leagues, multiplayer technology has contributed greatly to the rise of gaming culture worldwide. But not all those who benefit from these features realize they’re gamers. Today, there are millions of ‘casual’ gamers who play low-stakes mobile games to pass the time as a hobby—with no intentions of going pro or finding a seat at the WSOP main event.
Social features and multiplayer technology is just as prevalent in these casual titles. Among Us is one of the latest games to blow up worldwide. The social game requires players in groups of 4-15 to determine which among them is the imposter. The mobile app version from Apple currently has a rating of 4.1 out of over 710,000 reviews.