In recent years, the content of video games ranked second only to the music videos on “YouTube”. It is not too hard to see the biggest changes in the video game industry in this decade, even it has become a hot topic for many years: Virtual-Reality (VR). We have had a lot of discussions about how to make quick money in the game industry, but there are also interesting discussions about the future of the industry. 16 trends below which change anything about the game in the future:
1. Parents as gaming advocates
We have a chance to make a conversation with “Alison York”, who is research director at “Nickelodeon”. Around the problem of the gaming habits of modern teenagers, she shared that how we’reknowing parents playing games themselves and are passing that passion about their children. Based on a recent survey of UK-families, we found that there are percentage of 75 of parents who play video games with their children.
Simultaneously, many families are spending more time together in the living room to reduce the number of children with TVs in their rooms. Each member may be on different devices (based on a survey result, each household has approximate 9 digital devices on average), but they become closer than they’ve been for years. This matter could lead to a rapid growth of titles that combine entertainment and challenges for both parents and their children.
2. 360 degrees of freedom
Based on “Nickelodeon’s research”, there are nearly 33% of under age 11 children owned a tablet, who will get a newest smartphone when enter the secondary school.“As a result, this ‘swipe generation’ seamlessly navigates between the digital and real world,” York saids. “They expect 360 play, where each platform adds something to the experience.”
There are many famous brands, which are making physical toys games and merchandise like “Moshi Monsters”,“Angry Bird” or “Bin Weevils”. However, there is a trend about strongly increase of 3D toys and games. And “Disney” is the one of a lot of company that leading this way. We can expect more of the advertising network because the children use more and more electronic device to entertainment now. From year 2015, we are witnessing the explosion of mobile advertising networks again, with in-game ads delivering enormous revenue to developers. This boom will promote a broad united mix of large ad networks, acquisitions and mergers that will narrow the audience to the most potential player.
One of the biggest problems that developers are facing is the choice between a myriad of ad networks, so if anything can narrow this down will be useful. However, as the networks are now merging, it’s likely that big ones like Google and Facebook will have more power than they are now.
Both of them are dominating mobile advertising, according to data from eMarketer. Google and Facebook, which account for more than half of the $28 billion spent on mobile advertising in the United States in 2015 (over 17% of total budget). And it is predicted that this dominance will continue at least until 2017.
3. Indies get physical
Nowadays, creating toys that can interact with games won’t be too difficult and limited anymore. To major publishers like Activision and Disney, 3D printing is getting cheaper, allowing the manufacturing of action figures. With the growth of companies like Sandbox, it’s more convenient for game developers to create and distribute models based on their titles, while Amazon has launched a 3D printing store for customers.
NFC is near-field communication technology, which is also becoming more affordable, so it allows game-makers to develop and produce widely of toys-to-life experiences. Another example is Hi-Rez Studios that has a service allowing players to buy 3D printed figures based on its game Smite, but it has bigger plans.
4. Blurred lines between games and social media
Along with the non-stop development of gaming services, more and more new social media are emerging. There are lots of virtual worlds that we can see such as Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin, which operate both as games and social spaces. But besides that, many new games are made with modern features. For example, now, Minecraft is designed as a small social network, where every gamer can meet and talk face to face when they play, and bring to players the sense of socializing, sharing and connectivity. This is very useful to the gaming community as it will help teams, sponsors, caster, organizations … easily connect with each other to bring an active network. And now, with the improvement of app games, it’s so easy for player to take a screenshots or record a video in order to share them on social network like Facebook without leaving the game. Players can immediately share their achievements or status on Twitter, Facebook, etc… – perfect word-of-mouth marketing feature.
5. The spectator experience
Celebrity YouTubers and Bloggers have a great amount of followers on social media. In this era, well-known YouTubers and Bloggers is very important for game developers. This means that, if developers want their games rise to the top, they must have reputation, use a game that is already pre-eminent to promote other games to attract players or YouTubers and Bloggers will help them review and play games. Then, followers may feel interesting in games and keep playing it.“The statistics in terms of the hour people spend playing games and watching games, are beginning to tilt toward the latter very quickly,” said industry veteran Ian Baverstock, founder of small publisher Chilled Mouse. “It’s like the MTV moment for the music industry – suddenly you have to have something that is enjoyable to watch. Over the next 18 months, we’re going to see more developers trying to exploit that, specifically aiming their games at YouTubers.”
6. The era of transparent game design.
Nowadays, game developers must improve their games that become more efficient and simple but still enjoyable and attractive. On mobile app pages like the App Store, players can find that self-developed games with a lot of different content, each with its own characteristics, so they have many choices. For example, Flappy Bird, which is designed by Nguyen Ha Dong, proves that there is no need for prestigious sponsorships, investment, money; just have unique ideas, differences can make that game become famous.
7. Players as creators.
As mentioned above, players are not only immersed in the game but they can contribute to the creation of the game now. If they feel dissatisfied or want to improve any part of the game, they can send feedback to the developers through evaluation and creative software. Moreover, they can directly participate in the process to create the new games.
8. Co-working creatives.
Because of an increasing number of smaller game developers set up without the funds to rent their own offices, dedicated spaces like the CoPlus or the Bristol Games Hub, etc… can offer cheap shared working space to developers, who are also able to share ideas and resources. This thing will lead to a combination between new generations of game designers. They still can make a quality perfect game with a lowest cost.
9. Minor Indies becoming major players.
We are seeing the great era of digital technology, now, as an alternative producing these games for small audiences, many game-makers are using the completed console platform to create genuine crossover smashes in large communities. And in his speech, Peter Heinrich has said “There’s been a democratization of development, so now those one- and two-person teams are armed with the resources they need to bring their games to a much wider audience.”
10. Mainstream games become services and platforms.
There are many smartphone brands turned their games into platforms by reacting to metrics data, tweaking difficulty accordingly, and then adding downloadable additions to their big brands. And this sensibility being put into mainstream console and PC development to make the system works smoother and more efficient.
11. eSports becomes Sky Sports.
Electronic Sports is continuing to affirm its position and scale and in 2016 witnessed a dramatic rise with the emergence of games like CS: GO, Overwatch and Street Fighter V on television; The League of Legends broadcast license for the Major League Baseball (MBL) media company worth 300 million USD or the total prize money in the DOTA 2 gaming tournament increased to 11 million USD.
Analysts predict that total eSport revenue in 2017 will double, estimated at $ 1 billion coming from over 500 million viewers. Many studios, entertainment companies, tech giants are also looking to invest in this new and exciting gaming sector.
Overwatch, a Blizzard shooter, is promised to be the new “horse of the year” in 2017, with strong momentum in the number of players as well as the number of tournaments. Professional gaming teams have been established over the years and a major, nationally-themed tournament is promised by the publisher in the future to bring the game to par with the bombs. Other tons like DOTA 2 or League of Legends.
12. The evolution of crowdfunding: first deviation then regulation.
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter being used as a way to gauge interest in a product before full development begins through large projects such as Elite. For example, major eSports games like Dota2 and Smite have both used crowd funding to boost the value of prizes offered at pro-gaming tournaments. Then, they make a huge-profit beyond imagination.
On the other hand, may be this offered crowdfunding will become a topic which are discussed more deeply. And it’s believed that this matter will become increasingly common in the future.
13. Rise of the silver gamers.
According to the population ages in the world, because of the distribution in aging population, there is an increasing number of people either carrying on gaming into retirement, or perhaps discovering gaming in their later years. This is the profitable market for developers to explore.
Playing games can help old people to cope with isolation. And this is a useful thing for the world in general and the gaming industry in particular.Games that exploit the facets of the world will appeal to the elderly and soon become a lucrative market for game makers.
14. The managing trolls.
When the interaction between developers and customers rises, the amount of anger and abuse which studios open themselves increase, too. The important thing of making games in the future will be learning to manage this influx. In the speech about this matter at the Develop conference in Brighton, Gearbox Software chief executive Randy Pitchford has said: “to get fuel from” haters as well as fans because, “if they tell us they love what we’ve done or tell us they hate what we’ve done, we’ve still moved them”.
15. The “platform dance”.
The next trend that can define the future of game industry is “the platform dance”. This is a rhythmic transition from one platform to the other platform of game makers. For example, the most typical that we can see is the transition from mobile devices to computers because of the lower cost it offers, the ability to negotiate very high and most importantly, to attract a large part of the players are children.
16. Virtual and augmented reality become commercial realities.
2016 is dubbed the “Year of the VR” and 2017 will continue to be the time to witness significant changes in the virtual reality technology movement. However, unlike mobile peripherals, the next move is expected to be heavily dependent on price and support contents.
Superdata research shows that one-third of console gamers want to buy a virtual reality device. However, relatively high prices of products are in the market is a major barrier that they are not accessible yet.
Technology firms have come to realize this and have a new strategy for themselves. More and more technology companies involved in the development of VR devices such as Google, Facebook, Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Microsoft… will increase competition, resulting in lower product prices. Integration with mobile technology such as Google’s Daydream or Samsung’s Galaxy VR promises to make the virtual reality game market more alive. More importantly, the hassle and complexity of cable systems, cables in existing VR devices will not be a problem in the future.