Gaming has been on the rise in the last few years, and here are the numbers you need to know to start with:
- 75% of US households have a gaming device
- 64% of adults in the country and
- 70% of individuals under 18 play online video games regularly.
The launch of next-generation gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X and PS5, have set up the gaming scene for the next few years. Consumers can expect several changes to mechanisms and realism in gaming graphics over the years to get started.
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So, here are the top trends in the gaming industry that you need to be aware of in 2021:
Diversity is increasing
Most gamers are male, and it is no big secret. But slowly, gaming is starting to appeal to females as well. According to studies, 65% of women in the USA play mobile games. Certain titles like Animal Crossing have also helped reel in more women into the gaming world.
Overall, it is estimated that 46% of the gamers in the world are female. As you can see, the ratio between the two genders is slowly approaching 50:50. Gaming is an industry that mostly consists of males. But, it is key to note that only 21% of people that work in this industry are female and this number will slowly rise in the future.
As ironSource writes, many game developers with IAPs (those that are monetised through in-game purchases with real money) are beginning to adapt to in-app advertising. With stiff competition, the quality of advertising is increasing, engaging formats and user benefits such as Offerwalls or Rewarded (viewing ads for in-game rewards) are being used, and for many players the Rewarded format is preferable to direct in-app spending.
Steam’s Monopoly is challenged
Steam is published by Valve and is a one-stop solution for gamers to buy, sell and review games at the same place. Almost half of the world’s game publishers have put out their releases on the platform as a result of its popularity in the community.
Not only do they play games themselves, they also watch others do it. 71% of gamers among millennials have watched online streaming games across platforms, according to AppSamurai. The trend is expected to grow in 2021, too.
Other platforms like GOG have risen to the occasion to challenge Steam and compete with them. GOG initially focused on games that are older and not found on Steam. And now, it has opened its doors to new releases as well. Several titles such as the Witcher 3 can be found at GOG, while also being DRM-free. This means that the games won’t check for a legitimate purchase in the beginning.
But while GOG is slowly becoming popular, Epic Games is the biggest competitor for Steam. They have exclusive titles such as Fortnite and Metro Exodus that shows their unique offerings in comparison to the library that Steam has.
Cloud Gaming is on the Rise
Instead of having to download games which can take a lot of time, you can stream games in real time. Previous games from old consoles can also be revived by developers through this mechanism, and it allows gamers to experience online gaming without having to download or install any software.
This eliminates the performance issues that can be faced due to hardware, or storage issues on your console or PC due to a lack of memory.
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The Crash Bandicoot reboot garnered many positive reviews in 2020, and was among the best-selling games of the year, and so did Final Fantasy. As a result, developers are now working on reviving old titles and making them workable on newer devices.
This eliminates the need to build an audience from scratch since these titles are less likely to flop. The revenue generated through sales also meets expectations more often than not, since the fans already know the game through its initial release. The ability to reprogram old titles also allows developers to fix issues that their fans faced in the past, and to offer them a polished experience.
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Giving out titles to gamers in advance works positively for both parties. Not only do the players get the chance to have an early look at the new release, but the developers can take the feedback and make improvements accordingly before the official release.
15% of all games available on Steam are given out through Early Access, and this is set to grow in the years to come due to the advantages it brings to both the gamers and the developers.
These are all the trends present in the gaming industry right now and are expected to grow in the coming years. The gaming market is always changing, and these trends will surely evolve into something new.
MMOs with an open world have become, for the first time, the No. 1 game in terms of earnings on mobile devices. An important factor will be the quality of such games. Top mobile phones are already capable of console-quality visuals.
All notable trends in 2021 are related to Asia. Among the successful new games of 2020, 75% of the revenue went to Asian games. Next year, the difference will be bigger. All that remains is to choose a niche in which the big Asian studios are not planning anything yet.
And there is an explanation for the fact that it is through advertising that monetisation will begin to grow. The acquisition cost for a user who will make an IAP purchase is increasing every year. In 2020, according to ironSource, it has increased by 24%. For many marketers, it will be more profitable to monetise through advertising rather than IAP.