A Black Desert Online character standing in a medieval town with a shield on their back.

6 Modern Features That Changed The Video Game Landscape

Gaming has changed a lot since the days of Space Invaders and Pong. Thanks to the constant development of technology, games have been getting better every year for decades now.

Sure, plenty of modern titles can’t compare to the classics that we played in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but at least they offer features we couldn’t even comprehend of back then. It’s those features which, for better or worse, have shaped the gaming landscape in recent years, and made over 2.5 billion people into active players.

Video games truly wouldn’t be the same nowadays if it weren’t for factors like the ones listed below.


Remember back in the day when you bought a game and that was it? It wouldn’t receive updates down the line or offer DLC so you could get more out of the game. Modern gamers would probably struggle to get their heads around that, given most titles nowadays offer bonus content after purchase. Of course, we grew up when DLC wasn’t even a concept, so it was hard for us to be disappointed by the lack of it.

It has to be said, though, that while some people may view downloadable content as a quick cash grab from developers, it can really enhance a game. When done right, it can bring even more quality to an already exceptional title. Plus, it gives you a reason to keep playing for longer. What’s wrong with that?

Loot Boxes

3 virtual loot boxes that can be purchased for real money.

When you played things like Crash Bandicoot or Super Mario Bros. in the past, you didn’t have much say over who you controlled or what they looked like. You were given a character and that was that. Nowadays, though, you get a lot more freedom over stuff like this thanks to loot boxes. These things allow added customization options, as well as extra items and weapons, for those willing to fork over real money. It’s caused a lot of controversy because of how much people tend to spend on these things. If you’re going to gamble, at least do it in the proper place.

There’s no real-world benefit to having rare skins and weapons, aside from bragging rights, but online casinos allow you to make real money. You can spend your time playing games and actually walk away better off here, provided you check out the right sites. You can find which online casinos are actually reliable at Onlinecasinos.co.uk. They test these sites out themselves and offer unbiased reviews for them, so you can feel safe while you’re gambling.


It’s not everyday that you can get your hands on a game and not have to pay a penny. At least, that was how it used to be. Now, nearly every game that you buy on a mobile device promises that you can download it for free, but with a catch. These titles are freemium, meaning it costs nothing to start playing the game, but if you want to make any significant progress, you usually have to pay.

Obviously, that’s a world away from what many adult gamers are used to, especially as mobile gaming wasn’t even a thing when we were growing up. However, as alien of a concept as it may seem, it’s clearly proven popular with modern gamers. The fact that freemium games can still be played without paying, albeit at a slower pace and with fewer benefits, may well be the reason for that.

Motion Controls

People often look at Nintendo nowadays and think they’re a little crazy. However, it’s that out of the box thinking that has kept them relevant against behemoths like Microsoft and Sony. They always do something you don’t expect, like creating a console that puts motion controls at the forefront. It was quite a revolutionary concept in the ’00s, and the fact that the Wii sold over 100 million units proves they knew what they were doing.

Since the Wii was released, we’ve seen motion controls become more prominent in other Nintendo consoles, as well as in things like the Xbox Kinect. Its popularity has likely been down to the greater immersion it provides through physical movements. That has since been expanded upon in this next feature, which has truly made games the most immersive experience possible.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality always used to be something that sci-fi movies associated with the future. It was just one of those things that they predicted humans would eventually have, along with stuff like flying cars and hoverboards. While we can’t say those last two are commonplace yet, virtual reality has definitely been making waves in recent years. So many games now offer a VR experience, with the technology continuing to improve as time goes on.

The increased success of VR paints an interesting picture of what gaming might look like in 10- or 20-years’ time. Given the growth in virtual reality users last decade, it’s clear that it’s becoming a common part of many people’s everyday lives. With most gamers naturally interested in an immersive experience while playing, it makes sense that VR may one day become the norm.


Playing games with friends wasn’t really something you got to do much of back in the day. There were only so many titles that offered a multiplayer function, and these usually only allowed for one other person at best. What’s more, they had to be in the room with you if you wanted to enjoy a game together.

Elder Scrolls Online showing someone sneaking up behind another.

That’s not something that modern gamers have to worry about anymore, thanks to the improvements of multiplayer. Not only have developers made it possible to play with multiple people in different parts of the world, but MMOs are now some of the most popular games around. There’s something about playing with so many other gamers online, sometimes in a battle royal format, that really speaks to the next generation. That’s good news for them, but less so for those of us who prefer single-player adventure modes, which have become less common following the rise of the MMOs.

From the ‘80s to the ‘90s to the ‘00s to now, gaming has been in a constant state of change. It’s kept the industry alive and inspired new waves of people to fall in love with video games. Regardless of whether you love or hate some of these changes, surely this continued popularity is something that’s worth celebrating.