As a constantly evolving industry, the video game industry produced a multitude of trends in 2017, which are sure to catch the eye. We report on a shift to virtual reality, toa normal team mobile gaming and which genres actually have the greatest potential for the future.
Strong growth in mobile gaming
Video games are a growing factor in the entertainment sector. Industry revenues rose to $91 billion in 2016, while a further $17.9 billion increase is expected in 2017. While PC and console games were the most important games on the market in the past, it is now mobile games that are outpacing the old-established games. A total of 42% of the gaming product market is covered by the mobile sector, while consoles account for 31% and PC games for only 27%. Since mobile devices also accommodate other developments, such as virtual reality, a further strengthening of the current trend is to be expected in the coming years.
Experts expect VR growth of 104% this year, which is mainly due to the ever higher-quality smartphones, which stand out due to their simple and above all low-cost VR technology. In addition to virtual reality, the eSports market is experiencing strong growth. Turnover here rose by 26% to $1.1 billion. The increasingly popular eSports events together with the games themselves are contributing to the fact that the popularity of online games is greater than ever before. Without free browser games, the number of online gamers would be 575 million. This number is expected to grow significantly – by almost 100 million – by 2020.
Which genres attract people?
As far as genres are concerned, there is an overview that most people would have expected. For example, the Shooter-Games came up strongly and profited from titles like Overwatch or CS:GO. The latter is the highlight especially in electronic sports at the moment and attracts players and viewers for example on the streaming platform Twitch. Also the Battle Royal title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds could inspire the eSport scene and surprised with a record value of 2 million simultaneous players on Steam and even trumps the classics Dota 2 and CS:GO with it. This is mainly due to MMOs, MMORPGs and MOBAs, which make up the remaining lion’s share. MOBAs include games like League of Legends (about 100 million players a month), Dota 2 and many more that are high on the international popularity ladder. Mobile games further reinforce this trend. As far as MMOs are concerned, a distinction can be made between products that are free of charge and those that are subject to a charge, both of which can show an increase in their sales. Together, they have a turnover of around $25 billion. Meanwhile, classic games can be found among the most popular MMORPGs: There are still many fans for games such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy XIV. As an overall trend, it can quickly be seen that the trend is towards modern technology such as virtual reality, while stationary gaming is declining. Instead, mobile gaming is on the upswing and, due to the constant further development of possibilities and capacities, will not be clearing this place again too soon.
Game streaming is the future of gaming
The latest, it became clear that almost all major console manufacturers and game publishers were already eagerly working on various game streaming concepts in the background. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot also sees streaming technology as the future of gaming. After all, in a few years it would be possible to reach billions of players. Furthermore, he thinks it is quite possible that the PlayStation 5 and the next Xbox will be the last traditional consoles.
“I think the next cycle of consoles will come, but maybe there won’t be another,” says Guillemot. “What we hope for from streaming technology is that it will allow us to stream our games to TVs, mobile phones or tablets in the future, giving all our brands the chance to reach 2.5 billion players in five years and maybe 5 billion in ten years. We are very excited about this new opportunity.”
According to Guillemot, the technology also offers a lot of benefits for the evolution of video games: “We can use large server farms to create games we never dreamed of before. We could create a vibrant game world that responds to everything you do, remember everything you’ve done, and anticipate your needs,” Guillemot continues.