According to Yahoo Finance, the gaming industry witnessed record revenues in 2020. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent stay-at-home orders, many people turned to online games to kill boredom. VR and social gaming also soared in popularity.
In 2021, the pandemic is still here, and the gaming industry seems to be growing by the day. A recent report published on Research and Markets indicated that the global gaming consoles market will be worth $67.1 billion by 2023. That said, here’s a look at the top four trends that are defining the gaming industry in 2021 and the coming years:
- The Growing Popularity of Social Gaming
Before 2020, social gaming was taking root, albeit at a slow pace. However, it took off when the pandemic hit, and most people were forced to stay at home. As a result, many people turned to games that could allow them to maintain a semblance of social interaction with their peers.
Previously unknown social games such as Among Us witnessed a significant rise in average use. The popularity of online casinos also grew, thanks to attractive opportunities such as the Casino Planet bonus. Although things are gradually returning to normal, social gaming and online gaming, in general, remain popular and will stay as such in the foreseeable future.
- The Explosion of Gaming Platforms
One of the things worth mentioning is that currently, there are more gaming platforms than at any other time. For years, consoles such as PS and Xbox were a hit among gamers. However, things have since changed, thanks to the growing popularity of mobile games. This has led to the introduction of more advanced consoles like Switch. In addition, VR has become an essential aspect of the gaming industry.
- Gender Diversity in the Gaming Industry
Indeed, most gamers are male. Even so, there has been an impressive uptake of gaming among females. 65% of women play mobile games. Perhaps, this growth is what has led to calls for developers to make their games more inclusive.
Developers of games such as Animal Crossing have taken heed of the gender diversity clarion call to bring more females to the e-sports, console, and PC gaming world. Today, females account for nearly 46% of gamers, which shows that the industry won’t be male-dominated anymore in the coming years.
- Indie Games
Indie gaming isn’t new. However, it has only taken off in the past year, thanks to platforms such as Steam, which allow indie game developers to distribute their content. Consequently, indie games such as Stardew Valley have become a hit among gamers. Likewise, Social gaming platforms like Roblox have taken a cue from this to profit by combining game development and distribution in one platform.
With developers receiving more funding to release even better games, this industry segment will grow even more. The best part about indie games is that gamers are directly involved in the development process. This comes at a time when the industry is getting more disconnected from the audience as it becomes more corporate.
If developments in the gaming industry are anything to go by, creators no longer target the casual gamer as it was in the past. Indeed, most people play games for fun, but an increasing number of gamers see it as a social activity. As a result, the future of the gaming industry looks even more exciting.