Online games that have grown in popularity over the past decade


Online gaming has exploded in the UK over the past decade and the sector will reach a total turnover of over £1.1 billion this year.

This incredible growth is set to continue with the number of digital video gamers expected to reach over 49 million by 2027, but which games, in particular, have driven these numbers? Let’s look at the online games that have grown in popularity over the past ten years.

A cultural phenomenon

grand theft auto online has become a cultural phenomenon since bursting onto the scene in 2013. The longevity of the game, developed by Rockstar North, has been achieved by constantly giving fans new updates such as The Diamond Casino Heist and the expansion Dr.Dre. When playing online, players have the opportunity to compete with up to 30 other players in the open world, a competitive aspect of the game that keeps fans constantly coming back for more.

Capitalize on the pirate theme

Online games have also been able to capitalize on popular themes in modern entertainment. Sea of ​​Thieves, which was developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Studios, tapped into the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. Since its release in 2018, the game has been constantly updated with new content, contributing to the milestone of 30 million users in June 2022.

In turn, online games have inspired the choice of game titles in another area of ​​the online entertainment industry, namely the iGaming sector. Slot games such as Plunder Ahoy Thundershots, which is available on Buzz Bingo, are influenced by the success of the pirate genre in movies and video games. The slot game not only features a hunt for buried treasure, but the accompanying music is also clearly inspired by the popular film. The high recognition factor of pirate themes allows video game developers and online casinos to capitalize on the popular genre.

Common characteristics of successful online games include fast-paced gameplay, a high level of action and a competitive element, which is why games such as call of duty online are so popular. In 2019, this was accompanied by Call of Duty: Mobile, which was released as a free-to-play game, achieving over 100 million global downloads within two months of its release. In 2021, Activision Blizzard celebrated the milestone of 500 million downloads and the game remained a favorite, with 3.72 million downloads recorded in July 2022.

Another online phenomenon is League of Legends, which is considered by many to be the ultimate multiplayer online battle arena. The free-to-play online game, published and developed by Riot Games, plays an important role in esports, with the League of Legends World Championship attracting over 100 million viewers in 2019.

The tournaments are so popular that they are not only broadcast live on streaming channels such as Twitch, they are also broadcast on ESPN. The cultural influence of League of Legends is demonstrated by Lil Nas X releasing the track Star Walkin as the anthem of the 2022 World Championships.

The growth of online games is expected to continue and the number of global gamers is expected to exceed 1.3 billion over the next three years. With double-digit annual growth in the value of the global online gaming market, the games that have been popular over the past decade are likely to continue to delight fans with new updates and added content.


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