Gaming is a huge and quickly developing industry. Globally, revenue for the online gaming industry was estimated to have surpassed $21.1 billion US dollars last year.
Many recent developments in the gaming market are aimed at utilizing new technologies and innovations to improve the player experience. They also respond to changes in demand and consumer habits.
One reason that gaming is such a popular form of entertainment is that there are games to suit all interests and lifestyles.
For instance, for players that want to escape reality for a little while there are MMORGs such as League of Legends on PC. For gamers that want short, thrilling games on smartphone casino games such as Online slots provide convenient entertainment.
The gaming market continues to grow in 2022 and there are a number of interesting trends that are emerging. From changes in how games are accessed to changes in gaming content, here are some trends we are witnessing this year:
Streaming viewership for games is on the rise
Game streaming viewership has risen exponentially in recent years. Many players enjoy watching gaming influencers and top level players play in real time via live stream.
Twitch is currently the most popular platform for watching gameplay, last year viewers consumed more than 5,700 million hours of content. By comparison, on YouTube Gaming Live 1,100 million hours of content was watched and on Facebook 1,200 million hours.
So what are the most popular types of games that viewers enjoy watching live streams of? So far in 2022, the MMO action game Lost Ark has been one of the most watched.
Action adventure video game Grand Theft Auto V is also very popular on Twitch, as is the first person shooter Valorant. Online viewers often watch live streams to improve their own play and get tips from more experienced players.
World-famous gaming tournaments such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are also streamed online, these competitions have multi-million dollar prize funds. As the esport market continues to grow, so will the amount of people watching live streamed games.
Increased diversity and representation in games
The stereotype that gamers are young men exists, however in reality the gaming market is much more diverse. For example, 65 percent of women in the United States play mobile games. In the overall gaming market, around 45 percent of players are women.
There is demand for more diverse representation in games and more players want to see women and minorities as protagonists. The RPG game Kingdom Come: Deliverance, while highly rated, was criticized for its lack of diversity in the gaming world.
Some games and game providers are taking steps to be more inclusive of all genders. For instance, in 2021 Cyberpunk 2077 did not list the traditional male and female gender options.
Key to increasing representation within games is employing more under-represented groups in the gaming industry, particularly within game development organizations.
Interest in cloud gaming continues to grow
Another emerging trend that we are seeing in 2022 is cloud gaming. Statistics show that over the last five years, online searches for cloud gaming have increased by 105 percent.
One reason for cloud gaming’s popularity is the convenience and amount of choice it offers. On this kind of platform, players can access and browse hundreds, if not thousands, of different games.
Players also avoid the hassle of needing to download the games to their PC or video console, saving time and minimizing the amount of storage space required. Players using cloud gaming services do not usually need high spec hardware to run it like they would for a disk-based or downloaded game.
For game publishers, streaming games is also a good way of maintaining revenue for older games. We can expect more players to sign up for cloud gaming services in the months ahead.
We are going to see more remakes and reboots
Lastly, over the last few years we have seen a huge increase in the amount of game remakes and reboots. In 2020, a remake of the highly popular game Crash Bandicoot became one of the top selling games of the year.
Also, the original Resident Evil 2 (1998) and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999) were remade and released between 2019 and 2020. These next-gen versions introduced the franchise to a whole new audience.
Older gamers are the ones that are driving this trend, they yearn for the nostalgia that playing games from their younger years gives them. However, remakes are often preferable to the original game as they are suitable for modern consoles and PC and have the speed and graphics that games today are accustomed to.
It will be interesting to see what remakes will be in the pipeline for release in the years ahead.
These are just some of the online gaming trends that we are currently seeing. As technology continues to develop and the next generation of players influence game development, we can expect new releases that will enhance players’ experiences even further.