The gaming industry is always evolving, and developers must tread the fine line between second-guessing the demands of the future while catering to the needs of today’s gamers.
Trends can disappear almost as quickly as they arrive. For example, the Nintendo Wii appeared in 2006 to mixed reviews and went on to sell more than 100 million units before fading into obscurity less than five years later.
This lack of preservation in the fast-moving world of video gaming world makes it tough for companies to stay ahead of the curve. The Wii was a massive gamble, but it paid off for Nintendo. However, they struggled to build on that success and shipped far fewer units of their subsequent consoles (until the Switch, that is).
So, what will be the next big trends in the gaming world?
Augmented and virtual reality
We’ve already seen how augmented reality can appeal to a mass market with the success of the Pokémon Go series. However, developers seem unsure about where to take it next. The natural progression would appear to be virtual reality (VR), and that is one area that is set to really take off in the coming years. VR gaming centres have already popped up in major cities around the world, and affordable headsets for home use are well on their way.
VR is also set to hit the online casino world as top games developers and providers look to deliver a more authentic experience to online casino players. The success of the live dealer games at Magical Vegas shows that online customers still enjoy the interactive element that you get from a land-based casino. VR could take that a step further by opening the doors of virtual casino lounges to online players, which could pave the way for a fully customizable casino gaming experience.
Thanks to the success of eSports, professional gaming will become a genuine career option for the next generation of gamers. Competitive gaming is by no means new, but the fact it has stuck around has proved that it was buoyed by more than just the novelty factor. The industry has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last two or three years, and its success could have a big influence on games of the future, with many games developers looking to create titles that are eSports-friendly to help boost sales and longevity.
Thanks to improved mobile device software, there is very little difference in the gaming experience that can be delivered across different devices. Reaching a situation where players are able to pick up a game where they left off on different devices could be the holy grail for game developers. Players will be able to play at home on their console or PC and then carry on playing on their tablet or mobile when they are away from home. The Nintendo Switch offers a similar concept, but future cross-platform gaming will not limit the player to one hybrid device.
These are just a few of the trends we can expect to see over the next couple of years. The big questions are: What direction will developers steer the technology? And what will resonate most with gamers? Watch this space in 2019 and beyond to find out.