Whether you’re an occasional gamer or someone who lives and breathes it and possibly even works in the arena, it’s good to keep up to date on the latest trends.
While 2020 has undoubtedly had many high-profile events and issues for us to be distracted by, gamers might also like to check out new developments related to their passion. Here’s what you need to know.
More User-Generated Content and Sharing
In the last decade, user-generated content has grown massively in many areas, including music and video. (Look at YouTube, for example). However, gaming has been lagging behind on this trend – until now.
It seems the sector will play catch up soon, as game developers look to get users involved in content creation. An increasing number of studios, large and small, are working with influencers to create user-generated content.
Audiences tend to be very passionate and form their own online communities on social media sites and forums to discuss games and talk about ideas. It’s therefore not hard for developers to locate, connect, and build relationships with these users.
Plus, there’s also an increasing social aspect of gaming happening, as more players choose to socialize within their games and even share live streams of their play time. Controllers sometimes include share buttons to make capturing and uploading gaming content easier than ever, too.
The growth in the social side of things is evident in the fact that Twitch, the world’s leading live-streaming platform for gamers, generated more than $1.5 billion in revenue in 2019, overtaking YouTube Gaming.
The site provides thousands of hours of user-generated content and is demonstrating how gamers care about broadcasting almost as much, it seems, as about hardware and game releases.
With 5G rolling out now and mobile internet speeds ramping up in turn, it’s going to be easier for people to stream games, too. There will be less reliance on purchasing games in-store and a trend to people simply downloading or streaming them instead.
If you want to get in on this gaming trend, keep in mind that when you access other people’s content or communicate with other gamers within products, you leave yourself open to more risk.
You don’t know that people are who they say they are, or if shared content is infected with viruses or malware. Stay safe by using a comprehensive security suite on your devices to block threats.
Well-Known Franchises Moving to Smaller Screens
With so many billions of people worldwide owning a smartphone now, and most of them using their devices throughout the day, it’s no wonder that developers are focusing intently on mobile gaming right now.
A growing trend is for the big franchise brands we’re all so familiar with, such as Call of Duty, to shrink their hit games down to smartphone-friendly versions.
As developers work out how to better replicate a console experience on mobile devices and make it more intuitive and innovative, we’re sure to see more and more franchises following over to mobile in the future.
Rise in Handheld Consoles
On the other hand, since trends often come back around again, it’s interesting to note that there has also been a rise in handheld consoles. They died out in the 2000s when things like Xbox and PlayStation took off, but they’re set to make a comeback.
Look to Nintendo Switch’s success in recent times, for example. This device showed that a section of the gaming market is still interested in using dedicated handheld mobile gadgets specifically made for video games rather than playing on tablets or smartphones.
As console manufacturers find new, creative ways to create the next generation of consoles, we may well see a fast rise in the popularity of such products.
Inclusivity, diversity, and representation have been important words on the lips and thoughts of many in 2020. The world of gaming is just one area where consumers are demanding that it’s high time for a “new dawn,” with better representation in games for all ages and tastes.
Inclusivity has been an issue with games forever, really, as most big franchises have been dominated by white, able-bodied, cisgender, straight (usually male) characters, with the addition of only the occasional token character that sits outside these boxes.
Today, though, with gaming so international and diversity crucial to so many, developers are beginning to incorporate a broader range of characters.
These are just a few of the key trends starting to impact the world of gaming. Keep an eye out for new developments as they happen, and you’re sure to see the sector move ahead in many interesting ways in the next five to ten years.