January is here, and 2023 is finally behind us. It was a difficult year for the gaming industry, with all the layoffs and studio closures affecting the lives of thousands of developers across the planet. However, now it is time to turn a new leaf and see what the following year will bring.
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Integration of AR and VR
Augmented and Virtual Reality have surely revolutionized the landscape of the gaming industry. The launch of Pokemon Go undoubtedly gave rise to AR gaming’s popularity, and now we can expect that other popular games will get their AR updates. For instance, augmented reality improvements are very likely to improve the gameplay experience of MOBA games like LoL and Dota 2, while virtual reality integration will greatly benefit the MMORPG genre.
Just imagine playing World of Warcraft in virtual reality, where you will feel like you have been teleported into a new world. Although VR headsets are still on the pricier side, economists predict that in the following years, the cost of this gaming equipment will drop. Virtual reality will most likely revolutionize the gambling industry as well. For instance, while nowadays you can easily find a website where you can enjoy live dealer poker games, with VR you will be able to sit in a virtual casino at the same table as other players.
Generative AI in Gaming
Generative AI will have a significant impact on the gaming industry in the upcoming year. With the help of generative AI, developers will be able to create realistic characters that will interact with players without following a script. Furthermore, generative AI games will be able to create content based on the player’s actions, taking player personalization to a whole new level.
Franchise games will dominate
Brand new games that no one has ever heard of have a hard time piercing through the noise and reaching gamers on their own. Therefore, it can be expected that in the following year, franchise games will rule the gaming world once again. After all, large companies such as Warner Bros. and Playtika are focusing all of their resources on franchise games, as well as those that come from well-known gaming properties like God of War. According to popular belief, too many game developers are involved in creating franchise games on a regular cycle, and not enough talented teams are left to explore uncharted waters and test brand-new properties.
Developing something new from scratch is a huge risk, and leaders of game companies will always turn to safe options that will preserve their jobs, rather than gamble with something new. For example, Activision Blizzard has a large number of its employees working on Call of Duty, which is how it ensures that a new version of this game comes out every few years as a brand new, premium game. That means there aren’t a lot of team members left for lesser-known games like Skylanders.
The wants of the players directly influence the creation of new games. Game enthusiasts want franchised games, and the game companies are turning their wishes into reality. Therefore, we can expect that the calendar for 2024 will be filled with sequels and remasters.
Relying on indies for original content
Nowadays, when large gaming companies are solely focused on producing franchise games, we can be waiting for years for the launch of a new IP. Luckily, we can still rely on the indies for original content. Each year, indies produce new and original games, like last year’s Dave the Diver, Sea of Stars, Cocoon, Gorilla Tag, Jusant, The Last Faith, and more. In 2024 we can expect the launch of Light No Fire, which was announced by No Man’s Sky studio Hello Games.
More transmedia hits
TV shows and movies based on popular games are nothing new, and yet the undeniable success of The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie will nudge even more games to move to the silver screen. Many movies are already in the works, for that matter. For instance, the movie Borderlands, based on the popular video game set on the abandoned planet of Pandora, is set to be released by Lionsgate Films in August.
Fans of Arcane will be glad to know that its second season will be coming to Netflix this year as well. We may even be looking forward to new seasons of The Last of Us and Twisted Metal. Of course, not all of these will be smash hits. Some of these are going to crash and burn, while others will receive raging reviews. We just have to be patient and see which ones will be worthy of our time.
Rise of fitness gaming
Not that long ago, it was a popular belief that playing video games is for lazy people who hated physical activity. Times have surely changed, and nowadays there is a wide range of games that help people stay in shape. Fitness gaming has been around for a while, so why is its popularity skyrocketing now? Thanks to VR, players can now be transported to a fitness center or a gym while doing exercise. AR fitness is also becoming popular since it mixes physical exercise and interactive gameplay and is quickly taking its place as one of the most prominent video game trends in 2024.
Streaming video games
Cloud gaming is going to redefine the gaming industry. With it, players won’t be forced to own expensive hardware to enjoy state-of-the-art games. Instead, players will have remote access to gaming content. Thanks to 5G redefining internet speed, purchasing games is becoming a thing of the past, while streaming games is all set to have a lion’s share in the following years. The landscape of the gaming industry is always changing, and with new business models and technologies popping up every day, we cannot wait to see what the following year will bring us.