What Lies in Store for the Gaming Industry in the Coming Years?

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    Gaming Industry

    If the gaming industry is anything, it’s certainly not static. There is no better way to see this by taking a look at the first-ever video game, Spacewar!. It turned 60 years old this year and it looks very different from the content that’s put out by publishers today. 

    Content created today evolved over the last six decades, with technology, culture, and economics all playing a role in the transition. 

    The evolution has not stopped. Video games and the industry that creates them will continue to morph in the coming years as both factors from within and without act upon them. 

    If anything, changes to the gaming industry are likely to accelerate in the coming years as it grows larger and larger. Here’s what we can expect to see. 

    More Microtransactions

    Love them or hate them, microtransactions are a fact of life in gaming today. They’re certainly not going anywhere and they’re likely to become more prevalent. 

    Microtransactions are small but (generally) regular payments that gamers pay to unlock extra content for titles that they already play. They’re not a new phenomenon, but they’ve grown bigger and more prominent as publishers have discovered how profitable they can make their content. 

    This has led to the monetization model finding its way into gamer favorites like Mario Kart.

    It’s not just the focus on in-game purchases and the nag screens that push players towards them either. Microtransactions help to extend the lives of existing video games way beyond traditional lifespans, with many releases from the early 2010s, including Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, and CS:GO continuing to be popular thanks to the regular stream of new content that is facilitated by microtransactions. 

    Fans clearly like this model too. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be handing over their hard-earned cash. 

    Therefore, since it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, we’re only going to see more of them in the future. 

    This will also lead to the gap between releases of new games increasing. We can already see examples of this with titles like GTA 6 which has been pushed back several times. 

    iGaming to Keep Growing

    iGaming, which covers casino games and other forms of online wagering, has enjoyed a lot of success over the last decade or so. The first online casino opened its virtual doors in the second half of the 1990s, but they didn’t really find their feet until the late 2000s and early 2010s.

    In Europe, iGaming has matured a lot, with billions of euros and pounds wagered across the continent every year. That figure continues to grow as new players discover the hobby and brands innovative with new and exclusive casino games like Vinnie Jones Roulette and Amazon Kingdom.

    Over in North America, Canada is a rapidly growing market for iGaming with changing regulations helping to make it easier and safer for players to enjoy the content offered by online casinos.

    Similarly, south of the border in the US, more and more states are legalizing online casino gaming, leading to a rapid increase in the number of people having a flutter from their phones for the first time.

    Gaming Industry

    VR and the Metaverse

    There’s been a lot of talk about the metaverse over the last year. In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company from Facebook to Meta in recognition of its switch in focus from operating social networks to creating an entire digital universe for us to spend our time in that uses virtual reality technology.

    Meta isn’t the only company working on the metaverse though. Most of the biggest names (and many smaller ones) are also developing some sort of product or service to serve this new digital realm. 

    Among them are gaming companies. Both Sony and Microsoft have declared they’re working on products for the metaverse, while Meta already sells the most popular gaming VR headset through its Oculus brand.

    VR gaming is still in its infancy but it’s already proving popular. As the technology matures, the metaverse becomes more defined, and more players get involved, we’re likely to see an explosion in this area of the industry. 

    Whether it will take over existing gaming formats or simply become a new category on its own in the way mobile gaming did in the 2010s is yet to be seen, but either way VR and the metaverse will make a big splash. 

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