CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Online Entertainment Trends You Need to Know About for 2018

12 January, 2018

Year after year, online entertainment is breaking new ground.

Whether it be the meteoric rise of video-on-demand or the explosion of online gaming available from gaming consoles or the PC – with the UK at the forefront of these new technologies – things are moving at an increasingly fast pace.

And 2018 isn’t going to buck the trend. In fact, the coming year is set to be one of the biggest years in the history of online entertainment, and if you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes from knowing your VR from your eSports, you’ve come to the right place.

To make life a little easier, we’ll explore the key trends you need to be on the lookout for in the New Year, so when it’s finally here, you can say you saw it coming!

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is still in its infancy as we leave 2017.

Yes, VR concepts have been floating in the entertainment space for years, but nothing has truly got off the ground until now.

As we head into 2018, VR is finding a fresh, large audience who is willing to back the idea with cash.

One of the biggest developers of the system is gaming, with companies like Sony pouring millions of pounds into their relatively new PlayStation VR console.

As these consoles become more ubiquitous, and demand increases, we’ll see greater developments in the power of VR gaming.

Breakthroughs are also being made with regards to VR films. While it’s still a contentious subject among some film makers, don’t be surprised if we start seeing VR films cropping up more frequently in 2018.

eSports

eSports events have been around almost as long as the internet, and some of the most popular eSports events still feature games that are over a decade old.

However, the past couple of years has seen a shift in online compatible games, with nearly every major release having some form of online element.
Some of the biggest eSports draws are established titles such as League of Legends, StarCraft 2, and Call of Duty, but with newer games embracing the accessibility of the eSports community, you can expect that to change in 2018.

Wildly popular games such as Overwatch are already starting to dominate eSports tournaments.

Plus, with the increased popularity of streaming and Let’s Plays, the eSports market is the next logical step for the gaming industry.

Online Casinos

Online casinos are nothing new, and they’ve been a main feature of the gaming scene for well over a decade.

What’s changing as we approach the New Year, however, is their accessibility, variety, and quality.

Well you still could play traditional games such as roulette, but now you have a plethora of options available to you, including live table games, slot games, and tournaments.

On top of that, modern games come with high-quality graphics and mechanics, rivalling more established gaming mediums in terms of both ease-of-play and fun.

As more and more people accept the viability of online casinos as an online entertainment platform, you can expect to see their popularity skyrocket.
Live Streaming

Live streaming platforms are already popular, with YouTube and Twitch reporting large audiences on a regular basis.

However, more and more traditional media outlets are starting to realise the power of live streaming, not to mention the number of celebrities that already take advantage of services such as Periscope and Facebook Live.

Expect this trend to continue throughout next year, as more companies will do product launches – Nintendo Direct is already a good example – and customer interaction via live streaming.

One of the big things to watch out for is the possibility that Facebook and Amazon may bid for the Premier League television rights, which would mean that one of the most watched events in the UK will be live streamed!

Video-on-Demand Services

Netflix is the king of video-on-demand services as we approach the New Year – their variety of programming is nearly unmatched. But that may be changing in 2018.

With the success of Netflix and Amazon Prime, more companies are realising the potential of subscription-based VOD, and each one has something fresh and new to bring to the table.

It was recently announced that Disney will be creating their own service exclusively for their products, which means that most of the Marvel-based television series and even Star Wars – including new movies like The Last Jedi – will move away from Netflix to Disney’s own channel.

Once this is completed, we could see a shift in the market, with larger companies looking to create their own video-on-demand services.

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