Future Trends and Predictions for the Gaming Industry
- 1 Future Trends for the Gaming Industry
- 1.1 1. Virtual reality (VR)
- 1.2 2. Augmented Reality
- 1.3 3. Artificial Intelligence
- 1.4 Generative AI in Gaming
- 2 FAQ
Video games have increased in popularity for years, increasingly growing even while doing little for social status outside their target demographic. With VR games’ health and social benefits becoming more precise, the trend has accelerated, and gaming is now a more significant industry than movies and sports.
Gaming revenue has been up to $184 billion in 2022, with the count of gamers expected to reach 3.6 billion by 2025. It’s not just kids: 38 percent of all gamers are aged between 18 and 34 years, and 16 percent are older than 55.
Future Trends for the Gaming Industry
So, what’s next? Culturally speaking, gaming is only on a trajectory to become more mainstream. But where does tech innovation come into play in the future of video games, and how will it influence the gameplay experience?
1. Virtual reality (VR)
Virtual reality (VR) – three-dimensional simulations accessed via a headset — has tantalized players with the possibility of a total immersion experience for decades. But the technology has been slow to deliver on that promise.
As Polygon’s Ben Kuchera breezily put it in 2020, “VR has been five minutes away from some kind of breakthrough for about eight years.”
Even though VR faced a few hiccups, tech and gaming companies are making ends meet to push the industry forward by investing many resources into developing VR hardware and games. In previous years, companies like Meta, Valve, PlayStation, and Samsung joined the VR industry. Apple has even been said to set up a VR/AR system, though it has been laden with delays and problems. This investment trend is likely to continue, with the VR game industry projected to grow 30.5 percent by 2028.
Promising developments ahead for VR. Two hurdles, though, are still to be crossed. Bulky headsets and their high prices.
Most VR headsets weigh over a pound and must be strapped tightly to the user’s face. It’s not comfortable. You get sweaty, and your energy is sapped after a half hour of play.
This experience chafes against that playing mode typical for gaming enthusiasts — spending hours comfortably sunk into a couch. Will the VR hardware survive if it cannot align with the gamers’ preferences?
So, companies are busy making VR more appealing to a broader audience, and hardware prices are dropping. But even when those hurdles are cleared, the fact that the typical VR experience is so socially isolating might limit its upside.
“[VR] is a solitary experience. It’s nothing you do with somebody. It’s a thing that you’re doing on your own and it’s a thing that you choose to do to the exclusion of anything else,” Mack said. He loves playing VR games, but he thinks twice before strapping the headset on if someone else is around.
Though he recognizes the limitations, Mack remains optimistic about VR’s future.
“VR, I think, will remain niche but potentially it could turn into a big niche,” he said. “I think we’re going to see some very impressive stuff and very compelling stuff come down the pipe in the next couple of years.”
Some VR games offer social experiences, such as with Rec Room and VRChat, where users can join in to hang out with each other in real time. If that’s ever going to be a possibility, VR will manage to unlock more connections with other people, and it will surely earn itself a prominent place in the future of gaming.
2. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR), the gaming tech that overlays digital images over the physical world, usually by smartphones or special glasses, burst into the gaming world in 2016.
That’s when parks and plazas swarmed with smartphone-wielders playing Pokémon Go, an AR mobile game on which digital objects — in this case, the colorful critters called Pokémon — overlaid a person’s natural field of view. The game, which has generated around $1 billion in sales each year since its 2016 release, was most people’s first brush with Google creating AR headsets and is still one of the technology’s greatest success stories.
But the long-term success of Pokémon Go is due, in part, only to its beloved intellectual property. There are plenty of other games, books, and movies to spend time with Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. The authentic secret sauce is the game’s blend of virtual and real.
For all the hype, AR gaming is most apparent on mobile phones, but the likes of Meta, Snap, and Magic Leap are pushing into AR glasses. The lightweight, glasses-style headset from Magic Leap is made explicitly for enterprise applications such as healthcare, design, and manufacturing.
3. Artificial Intelligence
During the last few years, game-makers changed their approach to NPCs. Many of them have been given a behavior tree that removes a lot of planning from the level designers’ hands and allows for more involved decisions. For example, the enemy aliens in Halo 2 can coordinate their attacks together rather than heedlessly beeline into gunfire one by one like that in a cheesy action movie.
Still, the NPCs can only do what is written in their code. The way they act, however intelligent it may seem, is still precisely determined in advance by the game designers.
So, were we looking at the next step of artificial intelligence making its impact even in commercial games in the future? Experts said it would be possible, though not all are convinced it will happen anytime soon.
In other words, even if we could give the NPCs their minds and let them roam free in the games, the odds are good that their autonomy would result in a less fun experience for the player. A rogue NPC might not fulfill his duty of helping the player advance toward the next level or might not make sense to take the player on a quest where nothing would get accomplished.
It may be possible to put more sophisticated NPCs in games. However, when it costs a lot of money and doesn’t improve the player’s experience – studios lose one of the incentives.
However, some designers insist on NPC enhancements, especially finding ways to make human-like NPCs more realistic.
“It is arguably the single biggest challenge facing AI, to recreate what is likely the most sophisticated and enigmatic function of the human brain: imagination,” Julien Desaulniers, the programming team lead of AI and gameplay on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, tells GamesRadar. “Having AI generate these narrative contents is taking this on a whole new level, one that even not all human beings can perform well.”
Generative AI in Gaming
The AI is not part of the gameplay experience, though. It’s part of the experience of making the game. Designers have been using AI for years to help them generate game assets, freeing them up from drawing each tree in a forest or rock formation in a canyon. On the other hand, designers can offload some of that load to computers using procedural content generation, which is pretty much industry standard by now.
Some game-makers also rely upon neural networks to tailor-make game levels for players through NYU professor Julian Togelius’s calling experience-driven procedural content generation.
For example, in 2009, Super Mario was used to collect player data where the quantity of preferences of each player was being made as they played. Maybe a level had too many jumps and not enough sewers or coins inaccessible to bad guys who were too easy to defeat. Researchers would put player data into the computer. Once the laptop digested the information, it spat out new levels that reflected the player’s preferences.
What are the future predictions for the gaming industry?
Deloitte’s projections for 2024 do not falter short of expectations for an eventful future of gaming. In the report, Generative AI gets a special mention for its burgeoning role, which is forecasted to add significantly $10 billion to software revenues by the end of 2024.
What is the next big thing in the gaming industry?
Metaverse, Blockchain, NFT, AR, VR, Esports, Hyper Casual Gaming, AI, ML, etc., will be the following big things in the gaming sector. These will take the industry further while simultaneously providing more interlinked and player-focused gaming experiences.
What game trends will change the future of the industry?
As we look ahead to 2023-2025, the gaming industry is poised for exciting and transformative changes. From the shift to cloud gaming and the taking over of virtual reality to the integration of augmented reality and the continued dominance of mobile gaming, these would now form the trends that would mold this industry.
What is the future scope of the gaming industry?
Working for the gaming industry may be among the high-paying career options in 2023. There will always be games that will need building, updating, or even maintaining daily. Game developers are some of the best-paid professionals. They get clients from all over the world because they have high payrolls.