Since online games started to become more popular with an increase in the availability of the internet, they’ve become one of the top forms of entertainment. The worldwide online gaming market is now worth around $46 billion which is expected to double by 2024.
With the industry bigger than ever and producing more innovative and immersive hits each year, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest and best online games of the century.
World of Warcraft
Originally released in 2004, World of Warcraft gave players the chance to live out their dream of playing as a dwarf, elf or other fantasy-based characters. Players were part of a huge online world and could interact and join one another to take on quests.
World of Warcraft is the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) of all time. In 2009 the game had a player count of more than 10 million, whilst in 2014 there were over one hundred million registered accounts.
The success of the game has made the Warcraft franchise the highest-grossing video game series of all time. Its success spawned countless copies and other MMORPGs, but none could match the quality of World of Warcraft.
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Recent years have seen the use of online casinos and slot games increasing as most sites also offer mobile play. The ability to play slots whilst on the go is a big plus for many players.
Whilst it didn’t start out as a multiplayer game, Microsoft’s version of Minecraft has come a long way since the original. Beginning in 2009 as one man’s project to provide players with a Lego-like procedurally generated world, Minecraft soon became something much bigger.
By the time the game was fully released in 2011, it had 10 million players who enjoyed the creative and unlimited aspects of building in the game. Over time, Microsoft began to release the game over other platforms including game consoles and phones, helping to reach new audiences.
Now with other 175 million copies sold, Minecraft has become a social hobby for many young players who set up servers to build and play with their friends. Hundreds of schools throughout the world even use the educational version of Minecraft to help teach students about diverse subjects such as physics, art, electronics and sustainable farming.
Battle Royale Games
The late 2010s saw the arrival of a new format of online game, the Battle Royale. Widespread access to fast internet speeds have meant the scale of online games has increased and Battle Royale games see up to 100 players all battling against each other.
After the success of Fortnite BR and PUBG, many other games followed, trying to match the success of the previous games by adding new features. Although games such as Apex Legends and PlanetSide Arena have been popular, none have matched the impact of Fortnite and PUBG.
PUBG has racked up more than 400 million players worldwide and is available across multiple platforms including mobile devices. Fortnite, meanwhile, has amassed more than 250 million players and made a reported $2.4 billion in 2018, not bad for a free game.