I recently came across an ad on my smartphone that nudged me to buy a “retro” gaming gadget. You know – just like the ones we’d get from Nintendo. I was a paw-size away from buying it, until I came across another ad, and this one said, “PLAY AD-FREE”! And oh boy, was I happy to see something like this.
In a world where most of our gaming apps take up a chunk of our time (and also our space), the gaming industry sure has evolved and paved its way in our lives; be it through an iconic game of Candy Crush that’s meant for all, or a brutal yet engrossing game of Mortal Kombat to bust some stress. And with gaming experiences getting even better by the day, thanks to virtual reality and top-notch AI advancements, it’s given a whole new experience and continues to baffle us with what it can offer. With so many gaming startups growing, the one strong driver for them is that advanced technology can be leveraged in ways unimaginable in the gaming sector. And so does Armaan Naveet, Game Designer at Zynga agree to this.
What’s Trending While You Play
Virtual Reality: Imagine stepping into a world where your reality seamlessly blends with the digital. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are reshaping how we experience games. In terms of offering an immersive first-person video game playing experience, Augmented and Virtual Reality gaming have barely any alternative. Take Pokemon Go, for instance; the game gave rise to AR gaming’s popularity in no time!
While technologies like augmented and virtual reality are still niche, brands like Meta, Valve, PlayStation, and Samsung have all entered the VR market. Companies like Apple are busy making VR more appealing to a wider audience, and are said to be working on a VR/AR system with promising developments on the horizon.
Despite a few roadblocks along the way, tech and gaming businesses are hard at work attempting to progress the industry by spending a lot of money on creating VR technology and games. The sector for VR games is expected to develop at a rate of 30.5 percent by 2028, so this trend of investment is likely to continue.
While AR and VR have been buzzwords for a while, they are still considered niche in the gaming world. “These technologies hold immense potential, but they are yet to capture a mainstream audience fully”, Armaan remarks.
Mobile gaming: We find ourselves in an era where the boundaries between realtime gameplay and virtual reality are increasingly blurred.
And as much as some would prefer old-school gaming experiences, the industry is no longer confined to traditional consoles and PCs. The rise of mobile gaming, cloud gaming services, and augmented reality (AR) experiences has ushered in a new dimension of accessibility and engagement. The mobile gaming sector, in particular, has demonstrated remarkable growth, accounting for a substantial portion of the industry’s revenue.
The Mobile gaming market is expected to account for 52% of the market by 2023, and this growth is being driven by the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, as well as the growing availability of high-quality mobile games.
Inclusivity and Diversity in Game Design: Traditionally, gaming has been seen as a male-dominated space. However, times are changing. Games like Animal Crossing have become a bridge, attracting a more diverse audience, including women. In fact, nearly half of all gamers are now female. But there’s still work to be done. Slowly but surely, things are moving. The industry is recognising the importance of diversity and is actively working towards better representation.
Game designers are increasingly committed to fostering inclusivity and diversity in their creations. In 2023, their efforts are more pronounced than ever. Inclusivity is a top priority, to make sure that games represent a diverse range of races, genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. “It’s important to give more thought into inclusivity and diversity to ensure that our consumers’ sentiments are well understood and reciprocated. These days, we’re also trying out gender-neutral character options, and so far, things are going good” says Armaan.
Screening Giants Entering The Gaming Environment: While I’m sure most of us have binged on our favourite TV shows on OTTs like Netflix and Youtube throughout the pandemic, these screening giants have been busy seeping into the gaming industry, and have introduced gaming in their platforms. One of the main reasons why Netflix has ventured into gaming is to diversify its revenue streams since it had been primarily reliant on its subscription-based model to generate revenue. Now this exciting development means that gaming is no longer confined to traditional gaming platforms. The integration of games into streaming services has blurred the lines between gaming and entertainment, offering players an unprecedented range of experiences.
3D Modeling in Game Art: The demand for stunning visuals in games is soaring. Game designers are employing advanced 3D modelling techniques to craft breathtaking environments and lifelike characters. While Armaan seconds the importance of gameplay mechanics, he also emphasises on how improving game art can amplify user experience. “This trend isn’t just about realism; it’s about creating immersive worlds that players can experience in their gaming journey”. And as much as it may sound concerning to a few, who doesn’t like a stressbuster which doesn’t require your physical presence, but some mental immersion on occasion?
Cloud Gaming: We all know how downloading games can be a hassle, especially with slow servers and the need for extra storage space. Plus, not everyone has a top-notch gaming rig. This is where cloud gaming comes into play. Instead of downloading games, you stream them in real-time. No more long waits, and you can enjoy the latest hardware without buying it. Streaming services like PlayStation Now are not only convenient for gamers but also provide a steady income stream for game publishers. They can monetize older games, even from previous console generations. It’s a win-win situation that’s gaining traction rapidly, given that PS Now has upgraded with its gaming subscription service.
Game Monetisation: When asked about how the gaming industry continues to innovate financially, Armaan mentioned how tech giants like Apple introduced Apple Arcade back in 2019, and are flourishing with constant game updates and consistent subscription models. This subscription-based model allows subscribers to access a library of games for free, revolutionising the gaming landscape. As for pay and play, traditional paid apps still have their place for its filtered consumers, especially for premium gaming experiences. The free-to-play model, however, which is accompanied by in-game purchases, remains dominant, especially in the mobile gaming space.
Remember the game I mentioned earlier, that screamed “play ad free” whilst scrolling through some random consumable content? Yup, still dominant I’d say.
Change in Player Preferences: Just like how I’d end up boring myself with one game and hop on to another, the overall player preferences and demands are always changing. And for this time, Armaan mentioned how the mobile gaming market is oversaturated, demanding that developers create truly unique and innovative games if they ought to stand out. User acquisition and marketing have become so essential in this cut-throat competitive space that companies need to stay on track with shifting trends. This is because player’s have a change of taste more often than you think, and this makes it challenging to settle on what’s actually trending. And as a result, there’s more focus towards game and character customisation, so that players have the liberty to customise not just their character in the game, but also the gameplay. So now, game designers are exploring new components and systems within games, with an emphasis on creating unique and engaging interplanetary gameplay experiences. This creates more of a peacocking effect and “FOMO” kind of situation, and I think that’s what makes gaming so thrilling, right?
The gaming industry of 2023 is a vibrant space where technology, creativity, and community hold hands to create wonders. From cool vistas of virtual reality to the thrill of competitive esports, the opportunities are as diverse as the games themselves. As we embrace the trends shaping this ever-evolving landscape, enthusiasts have a chance to contribute their talents to a dynamic and ever-expanding domain.
What You Can Do
So, whether you’re a code wizard, a creative visionary, a strategic mastermind, or a social connector, the gaming industry welcomes you to join the adventure. Embrace the future, level up your skills, and become a part of the phenomenon that is shaping the entertainment landscape of tomorrow. And if you’d like to learn more about such trends and stay up-to-date with recent advancements, career tips, or even find some clarity about the gaming industry (because we’re assuming this blog may have sparked an interest in your curious mind!), then Mentoria’s here to get you game on. Try our online assessments and get tailored insights, planners, and book a session with our A-grade counsellors so you can pursue the career of your dreams! Don’t wait, let’s talk!