A couple of years ago, a very interesting fact came to light – the gaming industry is larger than Hollywood. It turns out that the growth rate of the gaming industry is the highest compared to other entertainment branches. Thus, it bloomed from $8 billion in 2006 to $160 billion in 2020.
The demand for video game developers skyrocketed accordingly. CareerExplorer reports that the game designer job market is projected to increase by over 9% between 2016 and 2026.
These positive dynamics have mapped out an upward tendency for further proliferation of the game industry as well as cultivated an ever-evolving loop of video game development trends. So what are the current trends in video game development? Let’s find out.
The craze in mobile games is a resilient trend that remains at the top of the list for a few years in a row. According to Statista, smartphone games accounted for almost half of the global video gaming revenue in 2020. By 2023, this share is predicted to hit $100 billion, bolstered by mobile penetration rates. The rapidly increasing craze in mobile games is also justified by the robust smartphone computing capabilities we have right now as well as advanced technologies like augmented reality.
The powerful duo of augmented and virtual reality is among other video game development industry trends. The need for an immersive gaming experience is currently the status quo for successful game projects. Whether it’s a VR headset or Pokemon Go-like experience, users are now looking for a realistic experience where physical and digital objects merge. Considering the metaverse race, mixed reality will stay among game development trends in 2022 and well beyond.
Cloud gaming or GaaS
Back in the day, it took a massive investment in technology like gaming consoles to have fun. In 2022, cloud gaming is changing that by making video game streaming possible from any device to any other device. Cloud gaming is a relatively new kid on the block with a solid potential of over $21 million by 2030.
As such, it is a type of Internet-based multiplayer video game that uses cloud computing to stream the games, instead of running them on the users’ devices. This allows for high performance, low latency streaming, and more availability to the general audience. LiquidSky, Playkey, and GeForce Now are some examples of cloud gaming services.
The rise in full-scale technologies like extended reality has also given way to a large number of coding languages used for game development. Along with time-tested greybeards, the market has seen a peak in new languages and frameworks adopted for game development. Thus, C++, C#, Python, and Java are still considered among the best coding languages for games, while Lua and Rust are lesser-known options, yet are able to topple the older ones.
Blockchain-based games are, perhaps, among the most popular trends in game development. Although the era of CryptoKitties has passed its culmination, the new iteration of non-fungible token games has taken its place.
NFT games use unique tokens to represent game assets and allow these assets to be traded or sold between players. Unlike traditional games which only use one set of cards or pieces, non-fungible token games have an infinite number of combinations that can be generated based on the users’ actions. To demonstrate the magnitude of this video game development industry trend, the player count of NFT metaverse Alien Worlds is around 1,160,000 players.
Next on our list of video game development industry trends is video game live streaming. According to NexZoo, game-related streaming will equate to over $920 million by 2024, whereas the number of attendees will grow by 10%. Streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming allowed streaming to take a huge leap forward with other popular social media platforms facilitating this capability.
5G for gaming
Speaking of the latest trends in game development, 5G networks also hold a unique position in the market. 5G is the next generation of wireless technology, and it promises to have a dramatic impact on gaming. It has the potential to enable high-quality streaming experiences, where latency is practically nonexistent (from 20 milliseconds to 5).
It means that the user experience will become more seamless than ever with no other problems to derail your gameplay experience. This technology also bodes well for other next-gen solutions like augmented reality due to its processing power.
AAA games refer to an informal type of games with an impressive production and marketing budget. These high-profile games boast top-level gaming quality that relies on excellent graphics, audio design, and a minimum number of bugs. As player tastes and preferences shift, they are now spoiled with an influx of new gaming products.
Therefore, AAA games have stepped in as an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a best-of-breed playing experience. Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and God of War are some prominent examples of top-ranking games with evocative characters and movie-like experiences.
Voice and face recognition are budding trends in game development that stepped out of the software development world. Voice-controlled games are expected to enhance the user interface of the game as well as allow the player to command their character and interact with other players through speech. In ‘There Came An Echo’, for example, users can command their squad to victory.
At the same, face recognition has already been used as a preventive measure by Tencent to prevent kids from breaking a gaming curfew. Emotion recognition is also a promising area that can significantly contribute to analyzing user feedback first-hand.
The Bottom Line
The gaming industry is a never-stopping wheel of innovation that has already gone a long way to the tech-savvy present. So what are the current trends in video game development?
In the coming years, we’ll witness more massive applications of cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality, 5G, and cloud gaming. Altogether, this innovative set can make gaming more mainstream, gripping, and bespoke.
In 2022, the gaming market will continue to gain traction with projected demand for experienced game development talent.
Yuriy Denisyuk is Game Production Lead at Pingle Studio. He’s responsible for successfully managing the Game Production pipeline. Yuriy is this lucky person who plays the best games for work in order to keep up with trends and create new ones. He likes writing, reading Manga, fantasy and professional literature in his free time.