Over the last several years, the gaming industry has experienced a boom in trade like no other; what was once seen as an activity confined to basements and bedrooms has now become a lucrative industry. This is arguably due to how much the sector has adapted to contemporary trends of players.

This progression has created two very distinct categories within the gaming world: offline and online gaming. Although they are part of a much larger industry, each sub-culture has their own series of releases and accompanying features that speak to contrasting players. Easily the most common, and most talked about currently, is the online community.

In what now feels like a bygone age, video gaming used to be a very niche and select pastime, and more importantly, it was a solitary one. Although friends would share tips and cheat codes, gamers usually experienced the title alone, and without the need of internet connectivity. It was all about the game and your console. However, now that we are all about interconnectivity and networking, gaming has become a hugely social activity.

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This is most evident in how huge competitive gaming has become: tournaments are played across the globe, annually, yielding large financial prizes for the most talented of gamers. In fact, the change has been so profound that many well known brands have branched out to accommodate a growing market. As if this transformation wasn’t enough, casual online gaming is also becoming a boon to the industry.

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Interactive games, such as casinos online, are fast taking over the sector for most revenue generated; instead of hardcore gamers being at the fore, casual recreational players are taking the lead. What is more, the industry of leading casinos online, consisting of Betway and many other renowned companies, is resulting in a further blurring between gaming and social media. These two activities are highly linked thanks to the various apps that allow us to connect our accounts online; with a tap of a finger our Twitter can share our latest online wins, as well as help us find fellow gamers with similar interest.

Nonetheless, while the online gaming scene is proving a untameable beast, the offline sector while less talked, about still has significant sway within the industry as a whole. Moreover, analysts of the recent sector growth, particularly that of online mobile games, believe that connected playing isn’t the answer for the future of gaming. The key issue being that connectivity is often disrupted.

Players that frequent titles such as Destiny know all too well that if the server goes down, you’re not able to play. Period. This on and off type of interruption can hinder gameplay and prevent gamers from immersing themselves in the vast worlds that have been lovingly created, an aspect that is very important to the gaming experience. Alongside this potential issue, online games can also be seen as having a time limit attached to them, even if it’s an unspoken one. If a site chooses to shut down, or if a server goes dark, that gaming history and its hours are lost. Whereas with offline gaming, your save lives on, meaning you have a certain level of freedom despite the lack of connectivity.

Whether you’re an online or offline gamer doesn’t matter, for one certainty for 2016 is that the gaming industry will continue to progress and grow.