The gaming industry is booming! Last year it was valued at 162 billion, and it is predicted that the gaming industry will reach a valuation of 300 billion by 2026. That’s a 2X growth in just six years.
Experts predict that the projected employment growth in the gaming industry would remain close to 10 percent in the next five years.
But what is making the gaming industry grow like crazy?
What new advancements took place in the past few years that have toppled the gaming dynamics?
What we remember is that 10 years ago, gaming was a non-existent area. A dead industry where only a few bold hearted wanted to go because of their creative minds and artistic souls.
So, what actually changed? That’s what we are going to discuss in this blog. We will not only look at the gaming trends that have brought the industry from its doom and put it on a trajectory of boom. But we will also look at how these trends are reshaping the future of tech as a whole.
Dynamic Gaming Trends Outlook
Gaming became mainstream with the emergence of Android smartphones, specifically the Play Store by Google. Google allowed every developer to start putting out their creativity. This meant gamers who didn’t have a lot of money to support their creativity could open an account on Google Play for $25 only and post their applications.
These were then downloaded by users who were using Android mobile phones. This led to a thriving market of games on mobile phones. Angry Birds, Flappy Birds, Subway Surfer, Temple Run, and many other short games came to the market. Most of these games had in-app purchases enabled.
This meant that developers have two ways of earning—one by selling games on the play store and the other through in-app purchases. Later Google introduced mobile ads. So, gamers who had free games available on the marketplace, they could still earn money through ads.
Statistics of Video Gaming – Last Two Years & Future Projections
Consumer spending on gaming in the United States in 2nd quarter 2019 and 2nd quarter 2020, by segment – Source: Statista
The above graph shows the consumer spending on gaming in the United States alone. As you can see that the consumer spending on gaming products have increased by 25 percent in the US alone. Similarly, in the world, it is also on the rise.
Console gaming content market value worldwide from 2011 to 2022, by distribution type. Source: Statista
People are relying on gaming applications instead of gaming consoles. A significant reason is that they now have their smartphones available. Each smartphone is well-equipped to play the best HD graphics game. Games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG, Fortnite, Pokemon Go, and various others can now be played on smartphones without any issue.
All this has given rise to new gaming trends. Let’s discuss some of the gaming trends that will stay in the limelight in the coming years.
Video Gaming Trends to Watch Out for in 2021
VR/AR is mainstream
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality both go hand in hand. Gamers who have VR gaming consoles can also use them for playing AR-based games or enjoy AR applications. More and more developers are now joining the arena of VR/AR mobile application development. Pokemon Go is one game that has been downloaded a billion times, and it is solely based on VR/AR gaming.
Change in gaming distribution models
Gaming monetization and distribution models change as gamers no longer rely on just Google or Apple play stores. Their gaming applications can now be downloaded directly through their websites. This happened because Google and Apple are now removing applications that are using third-party revenue earning models from their app stores.
Fortnite was one such game that was removed from Google. So, gamers are now opting for alternative delivery methods, and they are succeeding at it as well. Third-party application stores are on the rise as well, such as 9Mobile, Samsung Mobile app store, Amazon App Store, 1Mobile marketplace, and others.
LTV measurements get deeper
The only measurement metrics that gaming developers now want to know is the LTV measurement. LTV stands for Lifetime Value, which means how long a person keeps their game in their smartphones or how long they will play the game. It can be a month or even six months. LTV directly translates to the profit margin of game development firms. Game developers have now improved the way to retain more users by bringing out new upgrades in-games, new versions of their games, or creating new levels and scenarios. One such example is Battle Royale games like Clash of Clans.
Game streaming is the new monetization method
Game streaming websites like Twitch, Hitbox, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and many others have become a lot popular in the past five years thanks to high-speed internet. This has brought a new way for gamers to monetize their activities. Gamers previously had no idea how to earn by playing games. Now, they can stream to their followers and earn directly through ads, donations, or subscriptions with services like Twitch donation and Patreon.
Gaming Console Upgrades
Microsoft Xbox, Sony Play Station, Nintendo Switch are getting upgrades almost every year. These include new hardware upgrades such as RAM, graphic cards, and various other technical aspects. All these combined have revived the gaming industry, both on software and the hardware level. Apart from that, new companies like Apple and Google are entering the market with their products Apple TV 4K and Google Stadia streaming service.
The E-gaming industry is seeing another major shift because of COVID. Where the tournaments were organized in arenas, they are now being organized from homes. This has led to an increase in the frequency of e-gaming tournaments. Where the audience was paying $100 for a seat in the arena, they are now paying $10. But the benefit is that more people can join, and seats are never sold out. So, more people can now join the tournament as the audience.
Cloud Gaming Services
Cloud gaming services like Stadia, Unlimited Gamez Mo, and various others have become the new way of playing MMPORGs online with friends and family members. These gaming services allow you to play the latest games on your current gaming systems because they don’t require gaming power from your system.
They use RDPs and cloud servers to run the game, and you just need a decent internet connection. Of course, you will be paying for the subscription. However, the cost is negligible.
We discussed the latest emerging trends in gaming, their implications on the future, and how they are changing the dynamics of the tech industry as a whole. There are many more trends that will be impacting the gaming industry at large, but these trends are the one that is having the most influence.