Online games: Why their popularity has grown in 2023

by MaddOx
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As of 2023, over 3 billion people are playing video games across a wide variety of platforms, including console, PC, mobile, and Nintendo Switch. Not to mention, Sony just released the brand-new PlayStation Portable, so you’re very spoilt for choice. 

The fact that so many people worldwide have become gamers highlights that it’s one of the biggest hobbies. The best part about this? It’s still only the beginning. By 2030, there’s no telling how many people will be playing video games, but you can expect it to be close to the entire population. 

So, why are more people playing online games? It’s a great question. The truth is that there are many different reasons why online games have skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years. This article is going to unpack some of these reasons and explain them to you in detail.

Different online game genres

No matter your preference or taste, there’s an online game genre for everyone. 

Do you love fast-paced gun action? Play a battle royale. Are you a big fan of sports? Hop on EA Sports FC or NBA 2K. Enjoy open-world games? Fire up GTA or Red Dead Redemption. 

Interestingly, an emerging genre in the online gaming world is real-money gambling. Real-money gambling games have caught people’s attention because (as the name suggests) they allow you to play online games using real money. Online slots are a great example of this. They’re a fun, easy-to-play type of online game that also involves real money. You can bet £5, £10, £15, or any other amount you like. If you land a winning combination of symbols, you’ll win some money back — simple. 

As we move into the future, it’s expected that online casinos like Spin Casino will continue to grow in popularity as more people switch to real money online games instead. Sites like this have high-security encryption and follow safe betting practices – meaning that they are looking out for the customers, as well as having a wide range of slots to play. The reputation of online casinos is changing thanks to sites like this.

Chaos on Wheels: Gameplay Screenshot 4k Snow Camp Arrow 001 NoHUD

Free-to-play online games

If you open up your iPhone or Android app store, you’ll see that the majority of online games, such as Call of Duty® Mobile, are free to play. In other words, you can hit the download button and install the game without paying anything. This is another big reason why online games have started to take over. 

You might be wondering why companies are making their games free. After all, surely that’s a bad business model? It’s actually the opposite — it’s a great business model. The game publishers simply make their money back through in-game microtransactions and DLC, which people are more than willing to pay for.

If you look at Fortnite, it’s estimated that it made over £6 billion in 2022. Remember, Fortnite is free-to-play, so all of this money was generated through Fortnite’s in-game microtransactions, such as the battle pass and player skins.

Season 2 - Fortnite Gliding - One of the most popular online games

More affordable consoles

Back in the old days, if you were a gamer with no money, it was simply a case of tough luck. Now, though, you can be a gamer on a budget and still be able to afford a gaming console or gaming PC. Just look at the Nintendo Switch, which (refurbished) can be purchased for around £100. 

Regular game updates

Whenever you buy a modern game, you can expect it to receive updates and new features for years. This is highlighted through a game like GTA V, which was released all the way back in 2013. It’s 2023, and GTA V is still receiving brand-new online content every year, helping keep fans happy and engaged. 

The social aspect 

These days, a lot of people use gaming as a platform for socialising with their friends. This is especially useful when your friends live far away and you can’t make it to see them in person. Instead, you can simply choose your preferred online game, join a lobby together, and socialise together in a fun gaming environment, whether it’s just you and one other friend or an entire group.

eSports influence

Many gamers have been influenced by the rise of eSports. In a nutshell, eSports are competitive video game tournaments and leagues where teams get to compete for real money. Yes, that’s right: video games are now officially classed as a sport — and it’s having a huge influence across the world. 

From Europe to Asia, both men and women have been inspired by the fact that you can now play video games professionally for money. As a result, this has led to them spending more time playing video games as they try to improve their skills and (potentially) get good enough to enter eSports tournaments in their countries. 

Every year, the UK hosts tons of exciting eSports tournaments, such as Pocket Gamer Connects 2023 London (which took place earlier this year), so make sure to check them out if you think you’d be interested in eSports, too.

One Esports DOTA 2 World Pro Invitationals with Vici Gaming taking on TNC Predator

On-the-go entertainment

It’s no secret that people love on-the-go entertainment, as it’s a great boredom killer. Thankfully, online games (specifically, online mobile games) have been providing people with on-the-go entertainment for years. Now, you can take your iPhone or Android anywhere with you and play your favourite online games on the go — with the only catch being that you need an internet connection to do this.

Phones being used as mobile gaming devices with MG-X PRO Urban Camo Mobile Gaming controller


Now, many of the best online games come with optional DLC that you can choose to buy if you wish. 

In case you didn’t know, DLC is downloadable bonus content that you usually have to pay a fee for. The purpose of the DLC is to provide players with new content to keep them engaged with a specific game. For instance, over the years, Rockstar has released a lot of DLC for GTA Online, which has ultimately ensured that the experience never gets boring for the millions of GTA V players around the world. 

No matter what your favourite online games are, you should check to see if they have any available DLC for you to download. If you like the look of the DLC, then it’s definitely worth considering if you want an expanded gaming experience.

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