Since the appearance of the first video games in the 50s, gaming was an industry on a constant upward trajectory. As one of the most profitable entertainment industries on the planet, it certainly has an eventful and rich history. The evolution of this industry has been an interesting one, from Dr Edward Uhler Condon’s game machine in 1940 all the way through to the PS5 and online giants such as Fortnite or LoL.

During The Early Years
Something that was officially recognized as a video game or at least its distant cousin is the ancient mathematical game machine by Dr Edward Uhler Condon. The computer, The Nimatron, used to win 90% of all the games and it was displayed in 1940. Almost thirty years later, in 1967, Ralph Baer released the Brown Box, the first game system for home use and was later released a few years later as the Magnavox Odyssey, a few months before Atari’s first home system.

The Era of Atari & Arcade Games
Arcade gaming emerged in 1966 when Taito and Sega released the electro-mechanical games Periscope and Crown Special Soccer. A few years later, Nolan Bushnell brought Atari to this world. Atari was not just a new toy on the market, it also made arcade games a thing in 1973. The first game available for Atari was Pong, and the world just couldn’t get enough of it.

Soon after, you could find Atari everywhere in bars, cafes, bowling alleys, and even malls. The video gaming entertainment industry had just started its incredible journey, and in the next decade, 15 new video game companies emerged.

The Birth of Competitive Video Games
The worldwide craze around video gaming during the 70s was beyond comprehension. Naturally, it led to competitive gaming among players who tried to be the number one on the scoreboard. All of this led to the emerging of multiplayer video games, making it possible to compete on the same screen at the same time.

The first multiplayer game was Empire designed for up to 8 players playing on the PLATO network system. In 1973 a new multiplayer game was introduced to the world of gaming – Spasim by Jim Bowery. This 3D space shooter game was designed for up to 32 players. It was the first step toward online multiplayer gaming as we know it today.

Bringing the Gaming Home
Gaming consoles became popular in arcades, bars, restaurant chains, and commercial centres in the US during the early 70s. This period was marked by the invention of microprocessors by Intel and many other technological advancements. This period was also marked by the first multiplayer combat shooter game called Gunfight.

Then the Atari VCS was released, and it also had an external ROM slot for game cartridges. Soon enough various programmers started releasing games that started setting the standard. In 1980 a new milestone in the industry happened, the release of Space Invaders for Atari, which also made the console sales skyrocket.

Personal Computers Era
Home and arcade gaming was booming, and the industry kept growing. New gaming companies emerged and many new consoles were released – which eventually led to the industry crash in 1983 due to the overcrowded market. In other words, the gaming industry needed something fresh and innovative.

This was when home computers recorded their rise with models such as Commodore 64 and the Apple II. New affordable personal computers were on the market, and they soon started gaining popularity. With better processors, these computers were perfect devices for gaming which led to the creation of more complex video games.

In the late 80s, some machines, such as the Atari ST, allowed up to 16 computers to be linked up and played against each other, via cables connected between the MIDI ports.

In the early 90s, local area networks allowed for true online multi-playing. Doom in 1993 is the game that is often cited as the first true LAN game that sparked the imagination of a generation. Here are some more milestones of this period in the history of video gaming:

  • 1993 – the release of Pathway to Darkness and emerging of LAN gaming
  • 1993 – the emerging of the World Wide Web
  • 1994 – the release of Marathon on Mac
  • 1995 – Nintendo released Satellaview, and opened doors toward online gaming on consoles
  • 1996 – the release of Quake, the first-person multiplayer shooter
  • Windows 95 launching, LAN networks, and multiplayer gaming
  • 2000 – the release of Sega Dreamcast Internet-ready console
  • 2001 – the release of the first MMORPG, named Runescape

Modern Day Online and Mobile Gaming
With better internet and computer processor capabilities, the gaming industry just kept growing. Now the gaming giants simply keep amazing us with better graphics, better stories, better playing modes with every game they release. Today, more than 700 million people around the world play online games and video games is a bigger industry than music and movies combined.

One of the most popular ways of online gaming has become online gambling. The possibility to play casino games from home and on the go has been welcomed among players around the world. Whether they browse the Internet in pursuit of new bonuses or to check £5 minimum deposit casinos, gambling fans in the United Kingdom and beyond now have more opportunities than ever before to enjoy their favourite games.

Today’s modern video games are often more based around multiplayer online play than solo offline play. First-person and third-person shooter games really started exploding in the 2000s with the likes of Call of Duty. They are still massive today in the form of Fortnite or Apex Legends and they keep evolving. Now, you can play multiplayer online games such as LoL, Fortnite or CS:GO as a part of an organized group called a clan or a guild. This has also led to the emerging of eSports competition and eSports betting in online casinos and sportsbooks. Gaming has become big business in multiple areas.

The industry went past computers and consoles and entered the world of smartphones in 2007, making mobile gaming a part of the mainstream pop culture. One of the examples is the mobile video game Clash of Clans. All of this just highlights how massive and ubiquitous online gaming has become. It’s part of the culture now. And with the increase in eSports, YouTube and Twitch it’s not just something that we do but it’s something we watch. It has become a whole new form of entertainment. Gaming just keeps evolving, and it’s exciting to think about what the future may hold.