Over time, the gaming and gambling industry has undergone numerous changes over the past decades, while these changes remain and have evolved due to technological advancements. The key trend of 2022 is a radical change in attitude towards games, which are less and less perceived as entertainment that helps to spend the evening, but more and more as a platform for universal socialization, which can lead to the emergence of full-fledged vast virtual worlds that give players ample opportunities for creativity, socialization, and self-realization.
The online gaming industry is growing by leaps and bounds, maintaining its status of one of the most lucrative industries. With the advent of cryptocurrency in all new Microgaming online casinos last year, Casinority predicts that this year should be another exciting one, with new tech gambling trends to redefine and transform entire areas of this huge industry. Besides, players prefer to play at best Litecoin online casinos that feature a realistic live casino experience from home.
Hereunder are some of the top trends in gaming in 2022, along with key statistics that could impact the entire industry.
The idea of gaming as exclusively children’s entertainment that separates rather than unites families has long ceased to be relevant. Contrary to the conventional idea that gaming is a hobby of young people, computer entertainment is increasingly attracting people aged 25-40. For example, in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, the average age of players varies from 18 to 45+ years. The collected data shows that the region has the most players aged 25-34 (29% of the total audience) 45+ (26% of the total audience). The smallest segment is players aged 18-24 years, only 21%. For them, gaming becomes an option for rest from work and daily routine. It is worth noting that games are becoming more and more popular among girls, changing the stereotypes about computer games as an activity exclusively for men. In fact, we can say that games are entertainment that does not have a pronounced gender coloring, which has already become largely family-friendly.
One element of games that will remain important in 2022 is their ability to provide virtual social interaction. Social networks are increasingly blurring the boundaries between communication and games, especially mobile devices. Consumers want to participate in more live gaming events and share deeper and more meaningful social gaming experiences with others, leading to more games that support social platform features such as connecting accounts to social media platforms.
The gaming industry is huge and has no intention of slowing down, while the number of gamers is expected to grow to over three billion by 2023. Mobile gaming is the most popular form of gaming worldwide, outpacing both console and PC gaming. According to Deloitte, more than 2 billion people worldwide play mobile games, and mobile devices are the biggest driver of growth in the video game industry. During the COVID-19 lockdown, mobile gaming skyrocketed because it offered users greater access to video games as almost everyone has a smartphone with games. The growing demand for mobile gaming is driven by various technological advances and improvements such as AR, VR, cloud gaming, and 5G. This trend is not unexpected, given that the mobile gaming industry relies heavily on new technologies. Other trends in the industry include the rise of the hyper-casual game genre.
Play-to-earn (P2E) is the most influential and effective business model since free and paid games. Developed using blockchain technology, P2E games allow players to earn real income stored in a crypto wallet, and they can even resell their assets whenever they want.
In a free-to-play or pay-to-play model, users spend virtual currency to get upgrades, progression boosts or character skins, but the currency has no value outside of the game. So, when the user leaves the game, the currency disappears. On the other hand, in the P2E model, users buy or earn currency and resources, which they can exchange or sell to other players. Outside of the game, these assets can be traded for cryptocurrencies, which can then be converted into fiduciary money.
Many brands and celebrities continue to use video games as a platform for promotion and communication with a broad audience because of the COVID restrictions. And the success of collaborations between various companies and musical artists only increased the interest in cooperation with mobile products. For example, according to Statista, rapper Travis Scott’s performances in Fortnite in 2020 were watched by 27 million viewers, and in total, five online concerts of the musician gathered an audience of 48.8 million people. Such partnerships can take the form of a short-term event (like a Travis Scott concert) or a long-term collaboration with an app (like Tekashi 6ix9ine’s collaboration with Bead Blade). So, brands get new ways to promote their product, and developers get the opportunity to attract new audiences to their games.
Streaming has become another gaming-related socialization tool as the time spent by users on Twitch and Youtube has more than doubled during the pandemic. Users love not only to play games but also to watch how others play and to communicate with both players and other viewers. As for socializing tools, streams already exist on a par with online games.
In 2022, games will intertwine with the metaverse, creating more innovative gaming experiences like Fortnite concerts. Brands will also get their piece of the pie and develop their game worlds like Nikeland in Roblox. To support the infrastructure of the metaverse, and with the influx of investor money, startups will emerge that will provide users with resources to create the metaverse, for example, to create realistic avatars. There will also be more crypto and NFTs and new ways to use these assets.
The growth driver of the industry is cloud gaming, which provides fast and uninterrupted data transfer between remote computers. Cloud gaming allows users to run the most demanding games with minimal latency, not on the user’s device but a remote server that works according to the streaming model. Cloud technology helps to transmit audio and video streams to the gamer, who, in turn, controls the character from their device. In addition, gamers do not have to spend money on an expensive computer update as they can play the game from any gadget, regardless of its power.
According to Statista forecasts, gamers tend to continuously increase their time spent on video games. And cloud gaming helps transform games into more democratic and functional entertainment. For instance, major companies such as Google, Nvidia, Sony, and others are deploying resource-intensive applications without being tied to hardware capabilities, while their services such as Google Stadia, GeForce Now, Playstation Now, promise users complete freedom of virtual gaming without technical restrictions.
Enemies in games are getting more intelligent and unpredictable as they learn along the way, getting to know the player and making it fun to fight. Today, it is not enough for gamers to simply pass level after level to reach the final. Much more valuable than emotional rewards are the ability to defeat a difficult opponent, cope with an unobvious mystery, or find out what the player is capable of. In addition, the plausibility of game events and their variability is essential so that you can go through the scene again and again in different conditions. Artificial intelligence provides such opportunities, and the leading technology for its implementation is neural networks. They contain thousands of parameters, learn on the fly, exhibit increasingly complex behaviors, and challenge the player.
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