Modern technology has helped developers improve not only the playability of online games but the opportunities to expand the possibilities, resulting in more choice, greater accessibility, and improved gameplay. It’s why online gaming is popular all over the globe.
In New Zealand, like in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada, popular online games show a preference to multiplayer survival and battle royale games, first and third-person shooters, and casino favourites such as slots and poker.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite Battle Royale currently sees around five million active players playing worldwide and over 200 million registered users. It’s a strategy-based action-adventure in which 100 players fight it out against each other. Rewarding to players who are both skilful and patient, Fortnite, as futurefive.co.nz reviewer Jacques-Pierre Dumas says,“costs nothing and gives everything” in a glowing critique that concluded the game was a “great experience” with “intense moments” and a striking “creative art style”.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
A multiplayer battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds reached four million sales faster than Minecraft and has multiple awards since its release in 2017. 100 players are shipped to a remote island and tasked with survival. The last player alive is the winner. Part of its popularity is down to the box office smash hit movies from which it draws inspiration, namely The Hunger Games. And it’s creator – Brendan Greene, speaking to Stuff New Zealand – said its success is helped because “anyone from my 12-year-old daughter to my grandmother can understand it.” Highlighting the country’s love of the game was Ping Zero’s NZ$1,000 competition, the first PUBG tournament in New Zealand which took place last year.
From poker to video slots, blackjack and roulette, the online casino has risen on the wave of modern technology, fast internet speeds and pocket-sized phones and tablets. Indeed, while most of the games on this list are a favourite of PC gamers, the classic slots game Starburst has contributed to New Zealand’s dominant mobile gaming category generating $194 million last year (a rise of 11% on 2017). With free spins and bonus offers often available at major online operators (the best of which are listed here: free-spins.org/en-nz/), casinos like LeoVegas and 888 have seen Starburst, the 5 reel, 10 pay line slots game, become one of the most popular gambling attractions for new and regular players.
Created by Blizzard Entertainment, this is an online trading card game where players collect certain special skills, abilities, spells and characters to build decks that can be used in combat with other players. Obtaining cards from various houses and powers, the player utilises his hand to lower the health of an opponent in order to win the game. It’s very easy to play and enjoys a strong following from mobile users. Reports suggest the game has enjoyed around 30 million active users globally. Now a popular esports game too, New Zealand has a number of the world’s top players.
With technology enabling us to immerse ourselves in these fantastic games whether we’re at home or commuting to work, developers are rightly looking at ways to make the experience even more entertaining and rewarding. That in turn is seeing more choice, improved accessibility, and, when we sit down to play, an all-round better gaming experience.