February 20, 2024

4 min

Video games

Juan Jimenez

Marketing Manager

10 Video Game Trends You Should Know In 2023-2024

The video game industry is constantly moving in leaps and bounds. Technological advances in hardware, lower production costs, and a momentary respite in the efficiency of supply lines have allowed gamers worldwide to experience, at least for now, a new golden age in gaming.


Moreover, the massification of high-speed Internet access and price reductions in traditionally expensive or inefficient technologies such as augmented reality gadgets and cloud gaming means the gaming landscape has changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic.


So whether you're an active game developer, a student thinking about your first vertical slice, or a future entrepreneur looking to invest in today's fastest-growing entertainment sector, it never hurts to shed some light on what the industry trends will be this year and next.

Augmented reality will rule over social gaming.


While the metaverse and the playable experiences that will fuel it are likely to spend a few more years in themaking, the technology that will make it possible to interact with it will continue its meteoric rise. Although VR headsets and controllers are still expensive gadgets, their price has decreased considerably compared to decadesago, making them more prevalent in public and private recreation rooms and spaces.


For instance, investments made by the private and educational sectors mean these devices will be frequent in universities andtraining centres. Console makers are already considering them as added value, and the rumor that Apple may be developing its own VR headset indicates thatthe mainstream tech industry is opening itself to the idea.


We will see more and more augmented reality experiences, not just in schools and living rooms but in bars, restaurants,parks, and even in our jobs. The development of apps and video games for these experiences will skyrocket like never before. And fitness gaming will make acomeback for the ages.


Don't believe us? One of our clients may end up proving you wrong.


Artificial intelligence will impact game development in unforeseeable ways.


It is now impossible to ignore the pink elephant in the room: artificial intelligence, for better or worse, is makingits way into several business sectors. And the video game industry has already made some moves to try the trendy new tech toy out.


Ubisoft announced at GDC 2023 that its development teams are already experimenting with a proprietary artificialintelligence that will allow them to produce narrative assets - such as object descriptions, menus, in-game letters, and documents, among others - faster andsmoother. Meanwhile, Blender, the free, open-source alternative to Maya and ZBrush in animation and 3D modeling, already has AI-powered plugins that ease the process of making complex models.


Of course, not all is rosy in Skynet's realm. Epic Games and Artstation barely escaped a PR scandal at the end of last yearfor sampling users’ portfolios to train artificial intelligence by default. Likewise, the creators of the well-known machine learning models, DALL-E and table Diffusion, are currently facing legal action from renowned illustrators and art directors in the industry for what is perceived as the illegal use of creative work and the eventual disappearance of jobs that this could mean.


Our opinion? There's a lot to cut through and hard edges to iron out; nevertheless, the developer or company that manages toconvince others that artificial intelligence can be used ethically and smooth the already chaotic development of video games will gain the upper hand.


Console exclusives will lessen their impact and will eventually disappear.


Just over two decades ago, the industry position on exclusives was unanimous: the console with the best exclusives andgames would inevitably win the console wars of the day. This perspective was kept at every generation, creating, at times, genuine polarisation and bitterbattles between two or more camps of video game fans.


Nowadays, an overwhelming reality defeated the old ways: video game development, especially in the AAA space, is becoming increasingly expensive. The more people who can pay for a video game, the better the profits, and the more comfortably publishers and developers can recoup the enormous marketing and development expenses that have become commonplace today.


The emergence of a time exclusivity model a few years ago -— where games enjoy an early release on a specific platform fora minimum of six months to a year before appearing on all other devices — has been gaining more and more traction among the big players in the industry.


Games that were never thought to leave the console space have begun to appear on PC thanks to Steam and subscriptionmodels such as Xbox Game Pass. On top of this, the emergence of cross-platform gaming models reduced the vitriol among fans and expanded audiences for a widevariety of games.


Audiences win. Developers win. Everyone wins.

E-Sports will grow and attract larger audiences.


It's no mystery that eSports is a fast-growing sector within the gaming industry. With a projected market valuation of between$4.47Bn and $12.49Bn in 2030 and a global audience exceeding 640.8 million users by 2025, this market could soon surpass several other established andtraditional sports.


As a result, we expect an increasing number of competitive games to be developed with regional, national, and global leaguesor events in mind. The multiplayer components of these games will become more and more comprehensive and standalone, and their level of customisation willmake hosting tournaments easier than before.


Naturally, this will not transpire if developers and publishers do not support the organic growth of these contests.But if the previous experiences of Riot Games with VALORANT and League of Legends, Valve with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and BlizzardEntertainment with Hearthstone and Overwatch become the norm, we could be looking at a new era in competitive gaming.

AAA studios will make it big in blockchain gaming.


While the post-COVID19 pandemic gaming landscape was not as revolutionized by the emergence of blockchain-based game sand NFTs as it seemed — with big hits at the time, such as Plant versus Undeadand Axie Infinity, in something of a "creative hiatus" and with a market cap that is not even a shadow of their blockbuster beginnings — there is still a significant sector of the industry developing games and experiences around these decentralised monetisation systems.


In addition to current in-development games such as Star Atlas, SHRAPNEL, Illuvium, and Guild of Guardians, AAA companiessuch as Epic Games and Ubisoft have already announced their intentions to enter the NFT and blockchain gaming market. But the success of these initiatives, asalways, will depend on their developers being able to create stable, organic economies within these systems — something that, taking Neal Stephenson’s latest keynote at D.I.C.E 2023into account, might be further away than anticipated.


Each console generation will be shorter than the previous one.


We have already delved into the dizzying speed at which the technology industry is advancing and how this has influenced the development of increasingly realistic and graphically demanding video games. Unfortunately, this speed is uneven in its approach to some sectors, and nowhere is this more true than in the console market.


While Xbox X Series and Playstation 5 have managed to bring couch gamers closer to mid-to-high-end PC gamer-like performances, there’s also the curious case of the Nintendo Switch, which remains virtually unchanged on its graphic capabilities apart from its OLEDversion … and we're talking about a product that's over six years old.


For these reasons, we believe that, in the years to come, console generations will shorten their lifespans to mitigate the technological obsolescence of processors and graphics cards. Another possible solution to this problem would be to give them increased modular capabilities,facilitating the replacement of some parts as with custom-built desktop PCs.

We will see even more remakes of classic games.


The enormous increase in video game development costs today will not only result in a considerable reduction ofconsole exclusives. Similar to what has been happening in the film industry for a few decades now, the high risk-reward ratio of bringing entirely new ideas to market has made video games the next fertile ground for remakes, reboots, and sequels that came from nowhere.


This trend has a good chance of succeeding as the technological gap between the most classic and revered games in gaminghistory and today's devices and platforms grows ever wider. Proposals such as 2016’s DOOM remake were universally acclaimed thanks to how their technologicaladvances, coupled with a significant refreshing of gameplay and narrative, were noticeable compared to their predecessors.


Let's hope this does not lead to another version of Skyrim on PlayStation 6...

Diversity in the industry will keep growing.


The inclusion and representation of minorities in video games have grown significantly since their inception, particularlysince the late 1990s and early 2000s. Like all human activity, video games reflect the society that creates and plays them, and today’s political and social sensibilities make those times feel like antiquities.


Compared to the teams of yesteryear, the rosters of competitive games such as Apex Legends and Overwatch include anunprecedented amount of race, ethnicity, morphology, and sexual orientation. Likewise, the success of video game series such as Life is Strange and The Lastof Us and indie titles such as I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Hades, GoodbyeVolcano High, and Tell Me Why, among others, demonstrates that both theindustry and its audiences continue to evolve.


More games developed by multicultural teams, with women in leadership positions, and stories that make us re-evaluate ourhuman condition? Yes, please.

The early-access release model will overtake the indie development scene.


One of the biggest challenges indie developers face against massive AAA studios is budgeting. Although crowdfundinginitiatives, studio incubators, and gaming-centred venture capitals have done their part to level the development field, for the youngest creators out there,funding their games is not exactly a piece of cake.


As a result, development teams are slowly publishing their games in an early-access fashion. While this model stillrequires a pitch of outstanding quality and excellent relationships with your fan base, the possibility of having your audience be part of your quality testers, coupled with the ability to fund the development process early, brings considerable benefits.


The best thing about this? Several examples of released games becoming overnight masterpieces and market sensations.Supergiant Games’ Hades, Stunlock Studios’ V Rising, and Iron Gate/Coffee StainStudios’ Valheim are excellent examples of why we might see these productionsmore often.

Video game movies will become the next superhero movies.


Finally, it is common knowledge that all good things come to an end. The near-total domination of the film industry's boxoffice by Marvel and DC superhero productions stumbled over the past few years thanks to the industry's massive creativity crisis and the inadequateleadership guiding new ways of doing things.


Fortunately, if productions like The SuperMario Bros. Movie in film and The Last of Us on television have provedanything, it's that the king is dead. Long live the king. The relative demise of superhero movies freed space for video game-themed entertainment projects that will bring players plenty of enjoyment in the years to come.


With projects in development based on franchises such as Borderlands, Minecraft, Silent Hill, Ghost of Tsushima,Fallout, and Twisted Metal, combined with sequels to Sonic The Hedgehog, The Last of Us, and Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, among others, it looks like the era of video game movies and TV series is here to stay.



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