Forecasts about technology tend to pitch far ahead of their time. When Back to the Future came out, the 2020s were supposed to have flying cars. Even as recently as five years ago, Polygon predicted that the year 2022 would see thousands of techies wearing AR-based glasses.
In reality, even the biggest tech fans still might not own a VR headset, and self-driving cars have replaced any notion of a flying vehicle. One of the biggest booms instead has been the rise of eSports, which has led to dozens of tech companies pivoting toward gaming.
The global industry is now worth $1.8 billion, according to Newzoo. Many experts consider this the golden age of eSports, as leagues proliferate around the world and top gamers get scooped up by elite, intercontinental teams. Clearly, eSports are here to stay—which means some groups have swooped to focus on which gaming trends will evolve in the coming years.
In the next five years, keep a look out for developments in these gaming sectors.
New Casino-Style Titles
Though discussed less frequently than the booming eSports business, online casino gaming has been around longer—and the industry sees just as many advances as traditional video games. For example, Chumba Casino is one of the latest companies to switch up the standard platform for virtual gaming.
The company offers over 80 slots online which are part of a social casino experience. Players can join over one million other users to choose from an extensive list of casino-style games. These will continue to diversify in the coming years, from game show-inspired titles to new variations on classics like roulette.
The same Newzoo study that covered eSports also predicted that the mobile gaming market would balloon to a net worth of over $100 billion. That means over half of 2022’s gaming-based revenue will funnel straight toward mobile game developers—and this isn’t likely to change in the next five years.
The report focuses on a growing number of mobile users throughout Asia, who have helped boost mobile titles in recent years. Additionally, the variation of games on offer has also contributed to the rise in participation. Though games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Subway Surfer have millions of users, lesser-known games like farm simulator Stardew Valley and Covet Fashion also contribute to the mobile gaming boom.
A New Hardware Approach & the Rise of Cloud Gaming
Analysts working in gaming development have also shifted focus to the future of gaming hardware. Today, companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Sony are looking to create the first truly accessible VR headsets with projects like PSVR2. This accessibility effort covers both affordability of the hardware and understanding of how to use the devices to their full capacity.
At the same time, Microsoft and Sony are also looking to maintain their Xbox and PlayStation consoles, respectively. The future of console gaming remains uncertain, especially as some analysts predict the future of video games lies in streaming, also known as cloud gaming. Rather than downloading a new release or purchasing a physical CD, gamers can instead stream the title on apps like Steam.
To stay relevant, Microsoft and Sony have rolled out brand new streaming capabilities for their consoles. The PC Game Pass for Xbox looks to bridge the hardware gap for its top titles to allow PC gamers to also join Microsoft. Meanwhile, PlayStation’s PS Now looks to tackle a similar problem by providing on-demand Sony titles straight to a PC.
Whether these attempts pan out in the long-term remains to be seen. For now, mobile gaming still requires users to download the app to their device, which most are happy to do. Meanwhile, handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch, which brought in $4 billion in 2021, also indicate the ongoing health of hardware sectors.