Games have evolved from predominantly single-player experiences to the vast, online multiplayer offerings that dominate the landscape today. Thirty years ago, Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda and Super Mario series were among the most played games, but since the arrival of the internet, MMOs and shooters now draw the biggest player bases.
The list of most played video games by player count is dominated by games that can support a larger number of players concurrently. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds leads the way with 1.037 billion registered players as of March 2021, with the ‘Battle Royale’ game supporting up to 100 players on each map. These players then compete against each other to be the last man standing.
Casino sites also support a vast player base, with each active account enjoying a variety of slots and table games. Michigan Online Casinos are a top choice for many, enabling players to participate in live dealer games and compete against others. By comparing the best offers available, you can get a welcome bonus in the form of real money after you make an initial deposit.
Online casinos have made considerable strides in terms of supporting a larger pool of players during the last decade. Multiplayer slots, like live dealer games, bring a social element to the online casino experience. They enable people to play together and communicate while sharing any bonuses that are triggered during spins.
The introduction of live dealers was one of the first transformative online multiplayer variants for casino enthusiasts as it essentially brought the experience of a physical casino to people’s homes. Live dealer games take place in real-time with a human dealer and are backed up by a robust infrastructure that includes live chat for questions and assistance.
Poker has also been at the forefront of online gaming since the turn of the millennium. It is now not uncommon for the biggest tournaments to generate multi-million prize pools and for thousands of players to compete simultaneously to make the final table and eventually secure a large jackpot.
Central to the rise in this exciting online gaming action is internet hosting and, more specifically, ‘game servers.’ Players that connect to these dedicated servers can interact with others in real-time. Servers are able to simulate game worlds, so everyone sees the same thing while supporting direct inputs for each player.
Casino sites use a similar robust “backend” to host engaging slots and table games that players access via connected devices, including laptops and smartphones. In recent years, the advance of new tech has enabled players to compete against each other on mobile devices wherever they are, rather than being tied to a fixed-line connection and large PC.
In the traditional gaming space, the battle royale genre revolutionized the online experience. Rather than playing against other players in small maps with only twelve to 16 players, battle royale games upped the ante by populating maps with 100 or more players.
PUBG was one of the first to become a mainstream success, but it was Fortnite, developed by Epic Games, that brought battle royale to the masses. With its popular free-to-play model, Fortnite generated $9bn in revenue from battle passes and skins during the first two years following its release in 2017.
Fortnite offers several different game modes. Players can compete in a solo mode against 99 other online players or team up in squad mode where they can communicate with three other team members and fight it out to be the last remaining squad. This winner-takes-all format is different from Call of Duty with its round-based action.
The rise of online games has made gaming more accessible to people of all ages. A study by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) in the UK found 76% of youngsters believe gaming enables them to build “better social connections.” As games begin to support an even greater number of players, there is great potential for more exciting, positive multiplayer experiences.
“Video games transport us into new worlds, new experiences and make us feel part of the story like no other medium. It’s no surprise to see that young people’s engagement with video games is at an all-time high,” author Rhianna Pratchett claims.
This is another area where online games have made strides in recent years – the ability to tell stories via multiplayer. Fortnite, for example, has interesting lore that players follow. This is a new avenue for storytelling compared to the traditional cutscenes in gaming.
And when games have more players, the experience is heightened. Popstar Travis Scott recently featured in an in-game live music event on Fortnite, watched by 12.3 million viewers. With games beginning to support larger player bases, there is potential for new ground-breaking gameplay.
For casino sites, live dealers are likely to be just one of the many new formats that will cater to a growing online player base. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) could soon be deployed to make players feel like they are playing roulette, baccarat, and blackjack in a physical casino with other online players.
Mobile gaming will become more of a focus, with new slots experiences that support many players who will be able to use ultrafast 5G for low latency and fast downloads. While casinos were mainly a solo experience in the 20th century, the tech will usher in a new era where the social aspect is enhanced considerably.
The main task for developers will be keeping a growing player base engaged over time. Offering high-quality slots and table games will be crucial for casino sites, while traditional game developers will look to create vast interactive worlds that can be updated over time.
Supporting more extensive player bases will also take gameplay to the next level during the next decade. While games already host a large number of players, the potential to support thousands of people within a single map at one time could revolutionize online multiplayer yet again.