There is so much happening in the gaming world right now. Developers are already using technologies like augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence during game development and to improve gaming experiences. Next-gen consoles, including the PlayStation 5 and handheld consoles, are also changing how we experience gaming.
However, we have to look beyond these technologies to understand the trends that developers, players, and everyone interested in gaming should focus on in the next five years.
The Potential of Roblox
Even though it did not get a great start, Roblox has become a vital asset for scaling indie game development. It does this by providing functionality for game creation and distribution on a single platform. Anyone can develop their game on the platform and have a successful asset with adequate marketing.
Developers can also use the platform to iterate quickly and test games before opening them up to much wider distribution.
Roblox has been growing in recent years, with searches for “Roblox” increasing by over 85% in the last five years. Additionally, the platform has over 200 million monthly active users from all over the world.
Play-to-earn gaming uses the blockchain to allow players to earn in-game rewards for playing games. Once they earn these assets, players can trade them for other assets or exchange them for cryptocurrency that has real-world value.
Developers are starting to understand the need to elevate gaming rewards from something players use to enhance gaming experiences to ones that allow them to earn while they enjoy their favourite games. The ability to monetise skills, time, and energy in this way makes play to earn games a welcome addition to many players’ gaming catalogues.
Diversification in Gaming
Gaming has, for a long time, been a male-dominated affair. Gaming demographics have changed in recent years, with Google reporting that 49% of mobile games are women. Developers have access to these statistics and are starting to diversify into games that appeal to different demographics, including women.
A great example of a game that has recently showcased the viability of such a change is Animal Crossing. The game helped increase the number of female gamers, and other games are doing the same for PC, console, and esports.
Developers who create games for untapped or traditionally ignored demographics can establish themselves now and in the next five years.
Steam is Starting to Crack
Until recently, Steam was the game distribution and download platform of choice for developers and gamers. Steam is so dominant that about 47% of developers use it to distribute games. However, the first-mover advantage the platform has enjoyed for a long time is starting to fade.
Platforms like GOG.com are starting to take away some of Steam’s market share. Even though the platform originally sold games players could not find on Steam, it has expanded its catalogue to include games players can find on Steam.
All this means Steam might not be the dominant game distribution platform in the next five years, which is something developers and gamers should keep an eye on.
The gaming industry is always in flux, with advancements and developments shaping it constantly. Developers and gamers have to keep an eye on trends in the industry to keep enjoying the best that it has to offer.