When discussing the impact of emerging technologies on the video game industry, there are several main topics of conversation.

Some might highlight how artificial intelligence has helped make each gaming experience truly tailormade to the person playing it. Others might discuss how advances in motion-sensor technology have created virtual reality worlds that are more immersive than anyone could have expected. However, one facet that people often decline to mention is the one that has arguably had the greatest impact on how we experience video games: How software advances have greatly increased the availability of choice and flexibility for gamers of all stripes.

No longer do gamers have to invest in a single title at a time, but rather they can now play an almost limited number of titles in a single space. Let’s take a closer look at just how dramatically the level of choice available to gamers has grown in recent years.

Netflix-Style Gaming

Advances within game engine software and server capabilities have allowed developers to switch towards the “Netflix model” in their offerings. Instead of developing individual games to be sold for a fixed price via retailers, many of the biggest gaming companies are allowing people to pay a monthly subscription fee to access as much content and as many titles as they want.

One of the pioneers in this regard is Nintendo, thanks to its massively successful Switch Subscription scheme that allows Switch users to choose from a huge array of new and classic Nintendo titles for just $3.99 a month. Apple, Xbox, and Playstation are all pivoting towards on-demand gaming too, suggesting that software-as-a-service is set to become the new normal in gaming, too.

Online Game Libraries

As has often been the case in the video gaming industry, the PC gaming market has been a pioneer for the kind of unlimited flexi-gaming that consoles are now picking up. Online game libraries such as Steam and the Ubisoft library have been providing customers with instant access to hundreds of top-tier games for well over a decade.

Meanwhile, another PC gaming sector has been taking choice to new heights for even longer: the online casino industry. Rather than simply saddling gamers with a limited selection of slots and card games, major online casino platforms such as Speedyspel.se give account holders instant access to hundreds of the most popular real-money games, produced by a range of developers.

New games are constantly added, meaning that it would take account holders literally years to play through all of the slots, poker, blackjack, bingo, and live casino games on offer.

Cloud-Based Gaming

One emerging development that can’t be ignored is the rise of cloud-based gaming, which has the potential to open up access to gaming like never before. The major cloud gaming player on the market right now is, of course, Apple, which released its Apple Arcade product last year. With this, players pay a monthly fee and can access all of Apple’s console-quality games and play them on the phone, tablet, PC, or TV.

This is because the games are hosted on Apple’s cloud servers, meaning that it doesn’t matter what kind of hardware the player actually has access to. Microsoft is also making moves into cross-platform gaming with the Xbox Scarlett, which will also utilize cloud-based gaming. Soon enough, gamers will be able to play the latest console titles on their old laptop, providing they have a good enough internet connection.

In the contemporary video game industry, choice matters. This list shows how developers are taking advantage of technology to increase access and choice like never before.