Online gaming has become the dominant form of gaming over the last few years. Almost every major release has this aspect included, but it’s also started to be a regular addition to smaller games too. Most of the breakout hits of the last few years have had an online element included. They also feature social aspects that help to take them to the next level. Is it the social aspect that’s so vital, or does a game just have to be online to have a chance of being popular? We have taken a closer look at some games to see what patterns exist.
Online casino games
This is a little bit of a strange one to look at as most people don’t associate online casino games as being inherently social. However, this can be a little bit of a narrow and short-sighted view. There’s actually a huge social aspect to online casino games, which has helped them become popular in the first place.
When online casino games first became a possibility, online casinos didn’t have the wealth of choice in games that’s available now. The range of games on offer was much smaller, and they weren’t as popular. However, there was one form of online casino game that truly stood out from others. This was online poker.
Playing online poker has never been an experience of playing a casino game alone. All poker tables have chat rooms attached to them. This allows players to communicate with each other, creating new forms of bluffing. This poker experience is a lot closer to being real-life than any that had ever happened with a computer before. Before the modern video slots and live dealer games took over, online poker was the most popular method of playing online.
It was undoubtedly the social aspect of playing poker online that helped it to become more popular than other games and generate popularity. It is unlikely that we would see online casino games, in the same way, today if it wasn’t for the social connections that online poker offered back in the late 1990s.
Among Us was a bit of a sleeper hit. It was described as a phenomenon after it finally gained immense popularity. In reality, it was a game that was released and then forgotten about. However, when it finally gained the popularity that it deserved, people saw just how good the game was. What really made Among Us so impressive was the social aspect of the game.
Although players don’t necessarily talk to each other during the game, many players have setup Discord servers. This allows players to build up trust with each other in order to try and play the game more effectively. In turn, this has added an extra social aspect to the game, which helped it be more popular. It went from just a mystery game to an opportunity to connect with people and then, if you liked, stab them in the back without any real-world consequences.
The game itself would have likely been a moderate success without the additional social aspects, but with them, it became one of the most popular games available. It is vital that this component is given the credit that it is due when describing the overall success of Among Us.
Fortnite is a strange one. The social aspects of Fortnite are more related to the sheer number of players that are involved in every battle. While not that much chatting takes place when playing Fortnite, the ability to play with so many people in such a confined space at once has made this game special. When it was released, there was a very short period where the game wasn’t a breakout hit. Then almost overnight, it became the biggest game on the planet.
This was the battle royale effect taking place. Fortnite is now, undoubtedly, the king of battle royale games, and it’s no surprise that it is still going strong to this day. However, many people feel that in order to maintain its position at the top, it will need to diversify slightly and provide a more social experience. It remains to be seen if the developer chooses to go down this route.
World of Warcraft
Although WoW wasn’t the first MMORPG or even the first online multiplayer game, it is probably one of the most well-known. WoW isn’t all about battling dragons and befriending wizards, though. There are aspects of the game that are just about social interaction. In fact, players can even go to a pub and sit and chat with each other in the game.
This extra layer of social interaction is what has helped WoW remain strong to this day. Even though the scope of the game doesn’t provide a massive amount in terms of varying gameplay, the ability to login and socialize with friends from all over the world keeps many players coming back for more. It’s an aspect that many games have tried to emulate, but very few have managed to achieve.
FIFA is a bit of an anomaly in terms of social interaction when compared to other online games. There’s not a huge amount of social interaction involved with this game, especially if you don’t have a microphone available when playing. This means that you can just enjoy the game without having any social interactions apart from playing against another person.
The reason FIFA is so popular is because people like to play the game itself against each other. While some additional social aspects might improve the game’s popularity, the fact that they’re not in place at the moment hasn’t taken too much away from it. So, while social aspects are important with games, they’re also not vital for every type of game. For example, a game that utilizes cooperative play would need social interactions as a big part of the game in order to be successful. However, a single-player online game can be successful without including social aspects.