The video entertainment industry has changed a lot in recent years. From bulky arcade machines to individual computers and consoles, today it has grown into a multibillion-dollar business. It is important to be aware of the upcoming innovations that are driven by technological advances and social values to be able to easily adapt to them. In this article, we will have a look at the main video gaming trends that will determine the gaming industry in 2022.

9 Big Trends in Gaming

1. Mobile Gaming Will Keep Evolving Rapidly

This industry is a huge and dynamic market. Have a look at these statistics:

  • In 2015, the gaming population amounted to 2 billion people.
  • While in 2021, the number spiked to over 2.80 billion.

According to predictions, 2022 will witness yet another explosive growth to almost 3 billion gamers. With that, the market size is going to amount to over $190 billion.

Undoubtedly, coronavirus has contributed to the latest surges. People have to spend a lot of time at home and look for other ways to pass it. That’s why digital adventures have become a go-to hub and a new hobby for many people.

 The biggest segments within the gaming industry are mobile, console, and PC toys. They built 46%, 31%, and 23% of the industry in 2020 respectively. These figures are predicted to grow for mobile to 49% in 2022. Others won’t change or will even experience a slight decrease.

The mobile gaming boom can be rooted back to 2008 when Apple Inc. developed its legendary App Store for iOS and made digital adventures more available. Previously, they could only be downloaded from web stores and were overpriced. But the Store offered titles for under $5 or free. Additionally, it was easy to download them with one click. As other systems emerged (e.g. Android), they implemented the same model which made entertainment on smartphones extremely accessible and boosted the growth of the industry.

2. Cloud Technologies Will Revolutionize Our Playing Experience

Games as a Service is a recent concept that will change the way we enjoy video adventures. Gamers won’t need to have hardware at home, instead cloud providers will emerge to make gaming even more accessible. How does it work?

The title itself is installed on remote hardware. Users access the content via the Internet, with the video frame responding to their input. The picture changes the same it does when adventures are installed on clients’ devices. Data must be transmitted very fast to avoid any lags and jitters. For this, one needs a better Internet connection.

4G is a great technology. However, something better is on the way. 5G is an advanced generation of networking, several times faster than its predecessor. Compared to the previous average download speed of 15 Mbps, the invention reaches 50 Mbps. Such an upgrade removes most technical limits and allows for high-quality video streaming.

This technology is spreading fast and by 2024 it’s expected to be used by 40% of the world. It means more people are going to have access to fast networking. This is sure to boost cloud-based entertainment, dramatically accelerating time-to-market standards. Users will buy them faster and get add-ons and expansion packs automatically.

The biggest cloud providers right now are Xbox Cloud Gaming, Shadow, Amazon Luna, etc. Even more of them will pop up and offer a better experience. 

Read more: Games as a Service (GaaS): What It Is and How It Works

3. HTML5 Will Offer New Opportunities

WebGL-powered HTML5 is a state-of-the-art technology for rendering high-performance graphics. It shows dramatic improvements in the video adventures’ loading times and operation. Paired with the cloud concept, it can create ground-breaking opportunities to access top-notch AAA titles. Just imagine playing something like Cyberpunk 2077 through a browser! HTML5 can reduce the cost of maintaining cloud servers and game development.

Browser adventures have a very bright future. Big players on the market sense it and do everything to benefit from it. Thus, Enthusiast Gaming digital media company has bought Addicting Games publisher for $35 million. The deal reflects the desire to scale up and offer different genres through browser-driven technologies.

Browsers become more powerful in different aspects. Instant page loading, voice-driven tools, AI-based browsing, etc. This is great for those who use the Internet every day. It’ll further improve the quality of interaction with sites and services.

4. XR Marvel Will Mix the Realities

The abbreviation means Extended Reality. XR can be simply explained by the following equation: XR=VR+AR. It’s a mixture of virtual and existing reality. The advanced technology creates a deeper immersion. It builds a world from scratch by using your surroundings and generating new elements simultaneously. 

By 2022, the XR segment will amount to $209 billion, 8 times more than in 2019. It can be used in different spheres:

  • Training. It’s especially vital for people who risk their lives at work. Firemen, soldiers, pilots can live through hyper-realistic challenges and learn to make the right decisions.
  • Retail. Customers will try products before buying them. It’s better than relying on images and someone else’s reviews. IKEA and Rolex have already implemented similar projects to attract clients.
  • Real estate. What about visiting several houses or flats in one day without going anywhere? You’ll walk through rooms and have the same experience as if you were physically there.
  • Entertainment. It’s the most promising field, with better consoles soon flooding the market. They’ll also be affordable for the gamers to buy.
  • Etc.

5. Old Classics Will Come Back

Developers do everything to profit from old projects. Appealing to users’ nostalgic feelings is a powerful tool that has proven to be effective. Remaking doesn’t only concern much better graphics, developers also add features that reflect the needs of modern society.

There are going to be more remastered titles in the future. They’ll focus on those who have enjoyed them as kids. Younger generations will also find these enhanced versions interesting to dive into.

The remake of the horror Resident Evil (2002) was a successful return of the legend. The developers improved the visuals, sounds, and mechanics to make it playable for younger generations, and encouraged older fans’ emotional and nostalgic memories.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered is another example. The FPS got its second life in 2016 and once again proved to be a successful project. The refreshed content was generally well-received by the audience and critics. 

Find more classic adventures to fuel nostalgic thoughts and check out what cool surprises are waiting for you in 2021-2022.

6. Developers Will Use More User-Generated Content (UGC)

The idea of involving fans in game creation has taken the industry by storm. It opens room for creativity and makes people passionate about the project. Additionally, one is always excited to play something created by a non-professional.

A balanced ecosystem is what many developers are striving to achieve. There are a few challenges in controlling the generated content and supporting high-quality standards. First of all, there shouldn’t be any forbidden elements, such as extremism, symbolism, or pornography. Secondly, the majority of user-generated content is of lower quality. You’ll need teams to constantly monitor the flow of the UGC.

The opportunity to build something appeals to users’ creativity. However, there are advantages for the developers as well. They see what type of content their fans want to see. Analyzing the tendencies, they process data, act proactively and design better products made by professionals.

Studios are going to allow more UGC as it fuels the adventure’s marketing, recognition, and popularity.

7. ESports Will Get More Attention

The video gaming industry’s growth has also influenced the niche of international competitions. ESports is an entertainment type, similar to watching the physical one. It’s a profitable business, with worldwide tournaments and big prizes. Check this out: Kyle Giersdorf won Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 (SOLO). The 16-year-old esportsman received $3 million! A cool reward for a hobby, right?

Fortnite is a shooter, but this kind of challenge covers all genres. One of the greatest competitions to expect in 2022 is the Asian Games. Held in China, it’s the 19th multisport event that includes 37 titles. ESports is one of them.

The industry’s revenue achieved over $950.3 million in 2020 and it will only continue to rise, generating millions of dollars in profit.

8. More People Will Watch Game Streaming

There are a lot of people who enjoy watching and would never play themselves. In the first quarter of 2021, 8.8 billion people watched live streaming video game content. The survey analyzed the statistics, taken from YouTube, Twitch, and other popular platforms. The numbers are more than 2 times bigger than in the same period in 2019.

Streamers don’t have to act professionally. Unlike in eSports, fans stick to their charisma rather than extraordinary reaction skills. One of the most popular ones is PewDiePie who earned $20 million in 2021.

9. Social Elements Will Prevail in Digital Worlds

Take 50 top-ranked entertainment applications in the App Store and you will see that they all have social features like multiplayer rounds, chats, guilds, etc. integrated.

  • For users, it’s a perfect way to satisfy socializing needs, especially during pandemic limitations.
  • For developers, it’s a way to attract and retain clients. If you have found like-minded people while playing, you’re likely to stay longer. You’ll spend more time online, make purchases and buy a subscription.

Take a look at the social elements that are popular in modern titles. This tendency is sure to continue, with titles offering extra opportunities for cooperation and interaction. One of the best social simulators is Animal Crossing, its latest installment – New Horizons – was released in 2020 and has become extremely popular. Their sales reached 5 million digital copies in a month. 

These were the gaming industry trends that will get an extra boost by 2022+. Keep them in mind when creating your next game or looking for ways to improve an existing one. This will help to stay ahead of the competition and bring user engagement to a new level. Good luck!