The UK gaming market is in better health than ever. Slowly but surely, gaming has evolved from being a hobby pursued by teenagers and “computer geeks” to a pastime enjoyed by people of both sexes and all ages.
Mention the most popular games, and your mind might turn to immersive and realistic console games like Fortnite or FIFA 19. These are certainly enormously popular, but it is the parallel advancement of mobile gaming via the ubiquitous smartphone that has really pushed gaming to the top of the agenda. As a result, there are some surprises when it comes to the most popular games people are playing right now.
Gaming on the go with mobile slots
People still sit in front of PCs or around game consoles, but while these sectors have remained largely static over the past year or so, the mobile gaming sector has grown and flourished.
Given that smartphones are, by and large, owned by adults, the types of games that are most popular are aimed at a very different market to those on Xbox or PS4. For example, casino and slots comparison site https://www.justslots.com provides an intriguing insight into the strength of the online casino and slots sector in the UK at present. There are literally hundreds of sites offering thousands of games, and the industry continues to grow year on year.
Today’s online slots games are a far cry from the one armed bandits and fruit machines that populated the casinos and arcades of the late 20th century. Developers are using cutting-edge innovation to make the games engaging, and they typically involve story arcs and side missions that go far beyond simple spinning reels. Over the past year or so, live gaming and VR have become increasingly important to the sector.
The thing about these types of slots and casino games is they can be enjoyed in short bursts. The ability to log on via an app and have a few spins on a slot or a quick game of blackjack is something that has captured the imagination among everyone from commuters on trains to busy mums taking a five minute breather over a cup of coffee.
The profile of eSport has grown steadily over the past couple of years, thanks to a few different factors. Sponsorship from some of the most influential global brands and support from big name celebrities like Joe Montana have certainly helped. But even more significant has been eSport’s gradual transition from MOBA and first person shooter games like League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive to other sectors.
In particular, 2018 has been the year that online versions of physical sports really took off. The NBA 2K League caused as much of a stir in the USA as the real NBA League and will expand further in 2019, while there are those in the know who predict FIFA could become the most popular eSport on the planet. It sounds like a bold assertion, but a recent survey among football fans suggested that more than 70 percent prefer playing online to the real thing.
Combining the two
Perhaps the most dramatic advancement of all over the past year, however, has been where the above two sectors have started to intersect. Given the processing power of modern smartphones, mobile eSport seems certain to become the next big thing in gaming.
Games like Clash Royale are as immersive as their PC and console equivalents, and although this is a sector that is still in its infancy, expect its influence to grow exponentially over the coming year.