Video games have been popular among people of varying age groups for several decades. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic saw people worldwide spend most of their time indoors, eager for different forms of interactive entertainment. 2020 also saw one of the most significant increases in the adoption of playing video games for entertainment.
The video game industry has grown and developed steadily over the past 40 years, and now, gamers everywhere can find video games that cater to their interests. This industry is also one of the most prominent players in the entertainment sector, and market analysts predict that it is only going to continue growing exponentially. In addition to global giants taking advantage of opportunities in this entertainment sector, startup gaming developers and players also benefit from various lucrative opportunities that allow them to whet their appetites for online gaming. Smartphones are contributing to the significant growth of the gaming industry well.
This article will be looking at some of the biggest online gaming trends and innovations for 2021.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality, or VR and AR, have developed in their capabilities and popularity over the past few years. Now, we have reached a point where the features, gameplay design, and design quality are easier to interact with and use.
While the pandemic may have caused a lot of pain globally, it has brought about various reforms in the gaming industry! In addition to VR technology being easier to use and interact with, facial recognition technology is used in many fields, including gaming. The development of VR technology in the future could lead to the possibility of the players’ faces being scanned and projected on their screens. Changes are also expected to be made in terms of the development of human voice recognition.
In 2021, the gaming technology behind AR and VR will transition into offering gamers a more realistic visual experience without a video game monitor. Revenue in the industry is expected to increase by around $20 billion.
Mobile Phone Gaming
Over 50% of mobile phone users play games. A significant trend in the online gaming industry is the continued expansion of mobile gaming, as mobile phones are the most preferred gaming device, followed by computers or laptops, gaming consoles, and tablets.
In 2020, the gap in preference for mobile phones widened, increasing by 13% from 2019. Mobile phones are much more accessible to users than consoles and computers, so we will see developers creating games and other content fit for mobile gaming.
Gaming and Spectatorship
The popularity of social gaming and spectatorship has grown steadily over the past few years, and it seems as though this trend is only going to continue to grow in 2021. Until the past few years, e-sport and spectatorship games were seen as a niche sector with a limited appeal to audiences, but nowadays, e-sports bring in millions of views every day.
In addition to e-sport, there are social gaming platforms like Twitch that allow gamers and content creators to livestream their gaming while also interacting with fans and earning a significant amount of income at the same time. Streaming is so popular that politicians even use it to engage with voters and discuss political problems! In 2021, this industry is going to go from something obscure to something mainstream.
While some people like to play video games for fun, others like to gamble in online casino games to take a load off, relax, and make some money. Before online gambling gained popularity, people played card and dice games in person by wagering a certain amount of money at a regular casino. However, now that online casinos and online gambling is getting more popular, casino and gambling regulars can play their favorite games from the comfort of their own home.
More Payment Options
Ever since PayPal launched several decades ago, an online payment revolution began. Companies like Wise (previously known as TransferWise) and Stripe are changing up the industry in the world today. Online banks and micro-payment platforms are changing the way that gamers process online transactions between each other. Additionally, cryptocurrency payments are slowly gaining more and more normalcy and are even taking over traditional bank transfers.
The biggest names in the world of gaming production are beginning to alter how their games are monetized. Producers are starting to move away from asking users to pay a lump sum upfront and instead are moving towards subscription models and in-game purchases.
In 2021, gamers want a realistic gaming experience in addition to good quality graphics. As artificial intelligence generates behavior for non-playable characters or agents in a game, the characters can learn from the players’ actions and modify their behavior accordingly. This year, we are likely to see game developers create more interactive and visually appealing games and user experiences. Game developers are moving towards designing robust systems within their games that can comprehend noise and speech and a variety of other sounds. They are using pattern recognition and reinforcement learning, therefore allowing the characters within the games to self-learn from their actions and evolve accordingly.
The creative minds of the industry and the scope of innovative technology are beyond human comprehension! By applying these technologies to the gaming industry, it is hard to imagine how much further the world of video games will go in the future! The trends in online gaming and the industry’s innovations are something that we are all excited to witness as the year progresses.