The $90 billion global video game business is frequently one of the first places many people get to see them in action when it comes to many of the tech developments affecting our lives. This is true for blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and, specifically, the metaverse, which is currently the hottest term. Continue on to discover more about the five biggest tech trends in the gaming world!
Millions of gamers now assemble in virtual worlds to engage in every type of entertainment, from chess and bridge to shooting each other up with homing missiles, while Facebook and Microsoft talk grandly of plans to construct immersive, persistent online worlds for business and recreation. The concept of in-game universes growing to include different types of entertainment, like music performances in Fortnite or branded marketing “pop-ups” in the enormously popular Roblox universe, will likely have a significant impact on the gaming business and culture in 2022. The largest franchises and games will increasingly reinvent themselves as “platforms,” enabling a considerably wider variety of user experiences.
Others will find space in these worlds to participate in networking, conversing, or other sorts of shared interaction, while many people may still only want to log into the most recent Call of Duty to shoot guns at their pals. The benefit of retaining users on their platforms will be seen by game developers, who can do this by increasing their loyalty as subscribers or by turning them into a captive audience for advertisers of all stripes. This trend will connect to every other one described in this post, but especially the trend we’ve got coming up.
NFTs and Blockchain
In a rather contentious move, a number of the biggest game developers, including Square Enix and Ubisoft, declared plans to incorporate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a mechanism for players to win, earn, and trade exclusive in-game stuff. It’s conceivable that some of these initiatives will start to materialize in 2022.
Many players dislike the idea because they believe that using these tokens is a waste of energy. This is because the complex blockchain algorithms required to operate on them require a lot of processing power. However, it’s likely to become a reality because game publishers have stated that they believe the convergence of gaming and NFTs has a bright future and that they are prepared to spend money to make it happen.
The proliferation of “play-to-earn” games that give players cryptocurrency rewards for participating in regular play is another emerging trend. Over a million people are active every day on Axie Infinity, and some of them make up to $250 every day. In some of the developing nations where the game is popular, this is a quite respectable wage!
Esports mostly refers to the development of video games to incorporate elements more frequently found in professional sports, such as live audiences, tournaments, leagues, sponsorships, and paid athletes. Esports will be included in a significant international multi-sport competition for the first time in 2022 when they make their official debut at the Asian Games. Esports, which gained enormous popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic along with many other forms of digital entertainment, generated over $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2021, the majority of which came from media rights and sponsorship, and is anticipated to reach almost $2 billion in 2022.
The League of Legends World Championship final attracted 73 million viewers in 2021, a 60% increase over 2020, and that record is predicted to be broken once more in 2022. This proves that video games have indeed become into spectator sports, and during the coming year, we can anticipate an increase in both the number of professional players and the size of prize pools.
Nearly all of the major companies in the video game industry, including Microsoft, Sony, Google, Nvidia, Tencent, and Amazon, now offer their games through cloud-based subscription services. This concept eliminates the need for gamers to maintain expensive and power-hungry hardware such as consoles or PC GPUs in their homes by replacing it with smart TVs and portable streaming devices like Chromecast or FireTV. The cloud data center serves as the hub for everything, with streaming video serving as the output to households. Additionally, as ultra-fast networks like 5G continue to proliferate, more people will have access to this new method of game delivery than ever before. Overall, even if it’s not a given that specialized home gaming systems will disappear from our lives, 2022 is a year in which industry leaders will invest more money in their vision of a streaming, cloud-based future.