As we head into the last couple months of 2017, people are starting to look towards a new year and want to know what trends to look forward to in the gaming industry. We’ve seen some major strides in gaming in recent years and can only expect additional progress as we move into next year and beyond.
Virtual Reality Improvements
Virtual reality has become a more widely-used platform for gaming, and this trend should continue into 2018 as we see advances in VR technology and better gaming opportunities. We should expect virtual gaming to become a more social activity as well, as game developers begin to explore collaborative VR games and spaces.
More Specialty Stores and In-app Purchases
As people play more games on their mobile devices, we should expect to see an increase in games that offer in-app purchases, or micro-transactions, to enhance gameplay and give users access to special items. Most mobile devices make in-app purchases easy with conveniences such as allow you the ability to store your credit card information and letting you process payments with the touch of your fingerprint. Some platform games are also tapping into this trend and offer the ability to purchase loot through in-game transactions.
A Generational Span of Gamers
Many parents are now playing games right alongside their children, as they were one of the original generations of gamers when video games saw a renaissance in the 80s and 90s. Thanks to collaborative and family video games, parents are even using gaming as an opportunity to bond with their children, much like families bonded over board games years ago. We should also expect to see a rise in older gamers as tech savvy people begin to retire and find themselves with more free time to fill. This creates a full multi-generational span of gamers from young children up to recent retirees who want to spend time with their grandkids over games.
As coding and app development become more accessible to the general public, we should expect to see a rise in indie developers on app stores or in the PC gaming world. Many of these smaller development companies have more freedom to create affordable games thanks to having less overhead, which makes indie games desirable to people who are looking for a fun new game but don’t want to invest a lot of money.
Women in Gaming
While women have had an active role in gaming for many years, the gaming market is still largely untapped due to incorrect assumptions that women don’t play video games. Some gaming companies, such as Blizzard Activision, are ahead of their time with games like Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga®, and Hearthstone® for all genders under the leadership of CEO Bobby Kotick, but other studios still have a long way to go when it comes to tapping into a female-friendly gaming market.
Increase in Video Game Viewers
Thank to platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, some gamers are making a lucrative living thanks to an avid fan base who enjoy watching them play. This increase in video game spectating has not only changed the way these sites present content, but is also changing how developers create games that are not only immersive from a player standpoint but from a spectator standpoint as well.
As people continue to search for a personalized gaming experience, game developers should also continue to consider creating games that allow for additional customization so that they can stay relevant. A game that allows for the player to create their own characters, worlds, and challenges provides more playability and can increase sales, particularly if the game requires in-app purchases for access to certain customizable content.
Nostalgia is a huge market right now, from remaking movies and television shows to bringing back classic video games for diehard fans. Some companies are tapping into this nostalgia factor by revamping old systems, and if the sales success is any indicator, this trend will likely continue into next year.
With millions of gamers across the world eager for the latest trend, it’s likely that the gaming industry will continue to see success in the coming year.