Exploring the Evolution and Future of First-Person Shooters

Did you know that the original first-person shooter game, “Maze War”, was released more than 50 years ago, back in 1973? In just over half a century, that game, which was built at a NASA research center, laid the foundations for an enormous gaming sector and paved the way for Web3War® to come into existence. 

While some early FPS games were sold in small numbers in the 1970s and 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the game industry truly entered the mainstream and started to move serious units. Wolfenstein 3D became known as the original FPS, while Doom introduced the deathmatch game mode and a music soundtrack. 

A title you might be less familiar with is Pathways into Darkness, which introduced the idea of using multiple weapons and having LAN voice chat with other players. Soon after, Quake introduced competitive multiplayer modes, a precursor to modern-day esports. Then, Duke Nukem inspired interactive environments, a protagonist character, and more adrenaline-based gameplay. All of the ingredients were there for game studios to play with. 


Evolution of FPS Gameplay


A lot has happened in the intervening decades, especially regarding gameplay. Titles like Half-Life, Goldeneye 007, and Medal of Honor all further developed the FPS space, with gameplay becoming more fun, addictive, and competitive. As newer consoles were released with more impressive graphics, a battle raged between Sony, Nintendo, SEGA, and others, regarding which could host the best FPS. 

A few titles in the 2000s largely helped to shape this space into what it is today, in particular, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Halo, Battlefield, and Far Cry. By the 2010s, the FPS was arguably the most talked about gaming category, with fierce competition emerging between different gaming studios as to which would be the dominant force. During this period, immersive worlds, greater use of graphics and lighting, improved weapon mechanics, cooperative story modes (think Left 4 Dead), looting, and map expansions all became commonplace.

As consoles further improved and online gaming took over, everything changed. Multiplayer interactions became essential, clan-based gaming took off, downloadable content opened up the potential for regular upgrades, and suddenly the place to hang out with your friends was on an FPS. Then, as bandwidth improved, Battle Royale became arguably the most popular game mode, with some games allowing hundreds of players to fight each other in the same lobby. PUBG, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends now all form part of modern-day popular culture, with more than half of the 1.5 billion gamers worldwide playing FPS as of 2024. 


Emergence of Web3 FPS Games


In 2009, a pseudonymous individual called Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin to the world and gave birth to the Blockchain industry. As far as Web3War® goes, this release was significant. 


Advancements in Graphics and Immersion


From pixelated imagery and immense lag, we’ve come a long way to the ultra-HD realistic experience that we get right now as gamers. This has helped FPS go from one-player maze games, where each directional move required all of the scenery to render again, to a world where sometimes it’s hard to distinguish in-game environments from the real world. 

The realism offered in FPS makes the excitement and suspense much higher, as players feel more immersed in the diverse, detailed, and dynamic gaming environments.


Player Customization and Personalization


Throughout the history of first-person shooters, more development has gone into the “shooter” element, than on the “first-person”. In recent times, however, more emphasis has been put on the person behind the screen, the one playing the game, and how they’d like to customize their characters and bring a personalized element that allows for identity expression. Through character customizations, detailed weapon loadouts, and marketplaces for cosmetic items, players are finally seeing a more human-centric approach to FPS gaming. Now, the “first-person” is a priority. 

To compound this recent phenomenon, we have the introduction of player-driven content creation and modding, where game developers invite their communities to submit assets that can then be included in the game. With the blockchain making rewards so easy, this is usually a fast-track way to earn tokens and be recognized as a respected content creator. Web3War® is already integrating this into the game, as you can see when we teamed up with Mad Lions player Criper and actress Carolina Kelsen. Together, they designed a unique rare weapon skin.


Competitive Gaming and eSports


Another exciting development in the FPS space that has taken the world by storm is esports. The growing popularity has seen esports teams compared with sports teams, both in terms of dedication and commercial performance. The growth of esports has been particularly inspirational to development studios like Roll1ng Thund3rz, who see enormous potential for competitive gaming on the blockchain. 

As we are yet to see one title take the lead in this department, could Web3War® be the answer? With more development on our competitive angle, we believe so. We are already blessed to be collaborating with some of the world’s most exciting esports teams, such as Mad Lions, Team RRQ, and Ninjas in Pyjamas, who are all key to W3W becoming a leading blockchain esports game. 


Final Thoughts


Twenty years ago, future forecasters may have been able to predict some of the innovations in FPS gaming that we have now, but certainly not all of them. For sure, the introduction of the blockchain and how this will reinvent gamers’ relationship with games and ecosystems is set to be the most exciting development of this decade… or will it? The future is a mystery, that’s the beauty of it, so we keep developing and improving and seeing what happens. There is a chance to shape the future with top-quality technology.

What we can predict is that our team is doing things, like Skill2Earn, that nobody else is doing, and we are going to continue to innovate and inspire other game studios along the way.