How online gameplay is transforming and alienating gamers

red xbox one game controller

Video games have come a long way over time. The Internet was a tremendous development as it started the first major boom in the gambling industry. What it allowed was the production of more consoles because they could be in more homes, allowing game developers to focus on improving gameplay and graphics.

Connectivity has continued to grow over the past two decades, and then the COVID-19 pandemic kept many people at home. Even for the older generations who started playing at one online casinos instead of risking their own health with a deadly virus that is spreading to different countries, states, counties and cities.

But it also fueled a boom in video games because kids of all levels were staying home to and from school, adults were working from home in most jobs, and there was a growing consumer base. Competitiveness had increased over time, but it was starting to reach an all-time high.

More and more people watched the professional leagues – NBA 2K, Call of Duty League, Rocket League and many more – and learned new game strategies. Other ways to learn were from the pros who streamed in their spare time. They would engage their communities and teach new tricks.

Then there was the evolution of content creators as the pandemic ushered in a golden era of streamers. With the people back home, they felt a new sense of belonging, connecting with those who played similar games and were alike in various ways. Also, it was a new form of entertainment when the sport was shut down for several months.

But the online gameplay has also had many problems over the years. Here are some ways players have enabled certain games.


Many game developers have found a gold mine in microtransactions. This is especially important for free-to-play games like Battle Royale favorites like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty Warzone. The ability to look cool in new skins and have great weapons and accessories quickly, especially early in seasons and game modes, has generated a lot of sales.

But consumers didn’t have to pay anything to win either, and the skill base of these games is much more widespread.

There were other games that got grilled, especially for microtransactions that were necessary to keep up, especially in sports games. These games like FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K all had an “Ultimate Team” mode or equivalent where player cards with different attributes made their way through circulation based on historical years or active cards. But the quickest way to develop superpowered teams was for consumers to buy their way, and it was easy when the money was there.

While that sounds like the typical economy, those who are amateur gamers and just want to have fun haven’t experienced this, so it rubbed a lot of players the wrong way.


Skill-based matchmaking is something that has been quite controversial. Among higher level players, being able to go head-to-head with some of the best competitors has been a draw for certain game modes. Because of this, a league game modeled on the rules of the pros became very popular in some titles.

But others didn’t like SBMM because it seemed unbalanced. Beginners didn’t have fun because they seemed to face higher level players in every game. The crème de la crème accused others of tanking games to play in great games, especially tournaments. It became a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

What’s next?

While offline tournaments can generate purist matchups, these games still have integrity. But being four years away from the COVID-19 pandemic means a return to normal for so many.

So the entertainment industry is crowded again. There are different shows every night, whether live concerts by local acts, musicals, plays or sporting events, and a wide range of ways for people to enjoy themselves. When people go back to work in person, there are far fewer opportunities to improve one’s skills.

So what’s next for the gaming industry? Will they return to the pre-competition and cater to the players who just want to have fun? Some titles may have a head start.


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