WORLD OF WARCRAFTS & DIABLO III ARTS

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With virtual reality set to hit the mainstream this year with the release of the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Gear VR and HTC Vive, developers are striving to be at the forefront of the ground-breaking technology. Many existing popular games will be working out ways in which they can adapt to the new gear, and all the developers will be looking to emulate whoever finds the winning formula first.

MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) are one of the most popular gaming pastimes on the internet, with hundreds of thousands of players logging on each day to play games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Not only can players create their own characters and embark on quests in sprawling virtual universes, they can also socialise with other players who are online at the same time. When virtual reality hits, these games could be brought to the next level. The gamer’s dream has always been to enter a fully immersive world, and plans suggest that these games will be some of the first to embrace VR to its full potential. The model of creating this online world and allowing players to interact with each other could be applied to a range of different games as well.

Bingo is a game that could easily follow the same format as the MMORPGs, and combine this social experience with the thrill of winning. After the traditional bingo hall seemed to die out, the game has recently enjoyed an online renaissance. There are now hundreds of sites that specialise in online bingo, and a lot of the popular casino sites also have a bingo section. 32Red Bingo has traditional 90 ball bingo, along with bingo slots and jackpot games. Players get £5 free upon joining without even having to deposit cash. Elsewhere, Booty Bingo is an example of a site which also offers players free playing money upon joining, and Betway Bingo allows players to deposit £10 and play with £40. The fact that these sites offer such attractive bonuses is an indication of the vast amount of players enjoying bingo online.

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With this kind of online popularity, it seems a certainty that these successful online bingo sites will look at ways they can evolve and incorporate the new technology. This may be done with virtual reality video clips when the balls are drawn, or they could even go as far as creating huge virtual bingo halls. The virtual bingo hall would obviously hark back to the days of the traditional venues where players could socialise as well as play the game. This would take some ideas from the MMORG environment. With the added elements of all the new online ways of playing, it could be an exciting innovation.

The idea of a virtual bingo hall doesn’t seem out of the question when considering some of the other plans for VR such as massive virtual casinos. Microgaming, the company behind many of the slot machines and other games found at sites like 32Red and Betway, have already demonstrated their virtual roulette game. The idea is that the player has the betting table in front of them and can physically place their chips down as they would in a real casino. This could be the first step towards building virtual online casinos. These casinos would allow for player interaction, and their secondary function would be a place to meet friends.

MMORPGs, online casinos, and online bingo have serious potential for VR settings because of the sociability aspect, and because they can take place in virtual settings, but what about the addictive apps for smartphones and tablets that don’t follow this format? Will games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush be things of the past as VR moves games forward into a new era?

The scope for VR is absolutely endless. As more people buy the headsets, the amount of software available will increase dramatically. If you are wondering whether your favourite games will be available to play in VR, consider how popular they are now first, and how much they have innovated with technology in the past. Highly popular games that aren’t scared to adapt and evolve are sure to be at the forefront of this exciting new technology.

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