The gaming industry is growing steadily, and there are no signs of stopping since it has even surpassed movie and music sectors combined. The reason is — as the social life is disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, people do not have as much access to entertainment as they used to, which gave rise to the upsurge of cyber reality. Games are seen as a great alternative as they offer both entertainment and socialization, which was also hindered by the pandemic. This situation benefits game producers because they are able to satisfy the growing demand for their products. As a result, more and more developers consider entering the gaming industry and tap into its potential. That is why it is important to know about the emerging trends that are shaping the industry’s future.
What is driving the growth?
The value generated by the gaming industry is impressive — over $300 billion with $200 billion in direct expenditures and $100 of indirect revenue. There are several trends that are constituting the explosive growth of the industry in particular.
First things first — smartphones are becoming more affordable than ever leading to a constantly increasing number of mobile users and potential gamers. Coupled with the lower availability of console and PC games because of high prices, the mobile gaming community experiences an unprecedented growth due to its freshness and availability.
COVID-19 struck the world to its core and limited the ability of people to interact with each other and enjoy traditional entertainment. However, games are able to become a feasible solution to this problem as more and more games have an online presence and provide users with new means for socialization.
From this perspective, the social aspect of gaming creates new levels of engagement. Statistics show that users are favoring such genres as Battle Royale, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and fighting games. The online component is the common feature of these genres.
Traditionally, the word “gamer” was associated with males only, but the situation is changing. According to the available data, 41% of all gamers in the United States are women while 45% account for Asian gamer population. Such a demographic shift is attributed to the increased availability of gadgets coupled with a greater engagement of women in games.
The social aspect of gaming is being further reinforced by an active adoption of cross-platform interactions by the developer companies. Now, it is possible to play mobile games together even if one player is using Android and the other has an Apple device. The same works for console and PC games thus further solidifying the gaming community as a whole.
The importance of gaming trends for developers
The unprecedented growth of the gaming industry is a positive sign for developers who work with different platforms. As the market growth rate is only increasing, developer companies can easily tap into this market.
The changing demographics of the consumer base offer more opportunities to companies to reach out to specific audience groups based on age, gender, or combination of both through the features presented in games. Targeted content is one of the best ways to acquire and retain consumers. Coupled with an ability to play and communicate online, a game is highly likely to become popular and successful.
Even though one might consider this market to be saturated with different companies, Genshin Impact is an example of how a business can quickly gain market presence. The game generated more than $1 billion in six months after being launched. The secret of its massive success is in the fact that it was released on all the platforms for free. The company effectively engaged gamers across platforms while providing them with an experience that is free of any initial charges.
Things to consider when creating a game
As gamers can enjoy a large plethora of options, especially when it comes to the mobile gaming market, developers should consider several things if they want to create a game that will capture the attention of consumers.
1. Understand your audience. Before beginning the development process, it is important to perform research and find out your potential target audience’s expectations. Some people are looking for a challenge while others are looking to build mastery. A well-crafted game is a combination of intrinsic pleasure and extrinsic scaffolding.
2. Continuously engage with your audience and update experiences. Modern gamers have high expectations, and developers want to deliver a fulfilling experience by constantly updating their product with new features. This is why an effective feedback loop is mandatory — you will be able to detect and fix bugs as well as add new features and content to keep the game going. Mobile game development companies know about this trick and effectively use it all the time.
3. Visual presentation matters. As gamers gain access to advanced gadgets, they want to see a beautiful game that pleases an eye. That is why game developers should allocate enough resources to this aspect of their product.
4. Consider enabling cross-platform experience. The social aspect of gaming is becoming central for the users across the world, and game developers should enable their audience to have cross-platform experience. This way, it will be possible to achieve higher monetization and retention rates.
As the COVID-19 crisis has changed social life around the globe, the gaming market is going to experience a stable increase in value. All the platforms — mobile phone, console and PC — are thriving, and new products are continuously developed. While the target audience is becoming larger and more inclusive in terms of different demographic groups, player expectations are getting more diverse as well. Therefore, game developers have to adapt accordingly if they want to tap into the growing market.