If you follow the latest gaming news here on XNVR, it’s not that hard to tell which trends will dominate the next decade in gaming. From overt game-changers such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), to less obvious factors like the larger impacts of the 5G network, the next 10 years will see a whirlwind of changes for the global gaming industry.
In fact, the rapid development of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) have established many of the precursors for these dominant trends. And some of the most successful businesses on the planet have already leveraged the rapid improvement of online technologies, which brings us to our first point.
The Rapid Growth of Online Gambling
The world of online casinos, poker, slot games, betting, and other forms of online gambling is currently an unstoppable economic and cultural force. Its growth has also been accelerated by the pandemic, which prompted more and more gamers to look to online entertainment. Statista notes how this year, online gambling raked in an estimated $59 billion (£44.48 billion). And by 2023, its total market value will grow to more than $92.9 billion (£70 billion). In short, while online gambling is still not as big as the video gaming market, it’s getting there fast.
It’s easy to see why, considering the graphics, gameplay, and sheer variety of games that can be found on today’s top online casinos. Online gaming portal Tuxslots has a slew of digital slots featuring everything from MCU and DCEU characters to beloved classic movies and series. Developed by companies like NetEnt, IGT, and Microgaming, these modern online casino games are a far cry from the shady poker rooms of online gambling’s early days. The audiovisual development that has gone into online casinos has caught up to the standards of next-gen video games. And it’s propelled by a well-developed gameplay model that’s essentially pay-to-play, which is something that even next-gen online video games are yet to perfect. Furthermore, online casino players are only getting even hungrier for new content. This will push development in VR casino table games and other next-gen digital casino offerings.
Improved Localisation in the Unified Gaming Ecosystem
Another massive way that 5G and other IoT technologies are changing gaming is the current development of a unified, omni-platform, and fully integrated gaming ecosystem. The emergence of this ecosystem has already introduced improved localisation, like how popular online FPS PUBG Mobile is being remade specifically for the Indian market. In addition, customer support has never been better, and gaming communities through online forums and social media continue to contribute not just advice but actual in-game resources, modifications, and other elements to the market. The constant output from players is making it easier for developers to create truly multi-platform games, aim for localisation, and unify their technologies.
“We’re seeing the initial move toward cloud-based gaming now and I’m confident it will be complete by 2030. Already we’ve moved away from physical media to digital distribution; by 2030 I doubt we’ll be spending much time worrying about what gaming platform we’re on,” explains lead designer for the Civilization franchise Ed Beach. “That will mean a bigger, more unified potential audience for every game and I’m sure it will be a very, very competitive environment. That will place the emphasis firmly on making sure developers are delivering the most compelling and innovative content.”
The Rise of Independent and Targeted Games
Alongside increased and more affordable access to VR, AR, and other emerging gaming technologies, gaming development itself has become more democratised than ever before. The slow rise of independent game developers has been going on for the last couple of decades, and the next 10 years will be ripe with opportunities to dominate. “Independent game development and the growth of online stores have been one of the biggest changes in gaming. Developers can market directly to gamers without limitations from large publishers on creativity and direction,” explains Sony Computer Entertainment’s Jack Tretton. “Developers can communicate directly with prospective buyers, and enlist their help in creating a game that will be positively received by the largest possible audience.”