Gaming is undergoing rapid changes. Firstly, there is a change in the diversity of players. This has seen the majority of players falling into the 25 to 40 age group and no longer the under 21s. Women are also finding games more entertaining so that it is no longer a male-dominated form of entertainment. Secondly, technological growth is changing the face of gaming. These advances will continue well past 2022. We highlight the most important progress here.
While, historically, players have had to upgrade consoles continuously to keep up with the latest games, the Cloud is set to change that.
The big names in the video industry (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, Sony, and Tencent) have started offering games via cloud-based subscription services. This does away with the need for hardware such as GPUs and consoles. Streaming devices like FireTV and Smart TVs are bridging the gap and 5G networks will improve speeds. Whatever the power of a device, it will be sufficient to provide uninterrupted gaming in conjunction with the Cloud, making gaming more accessible to everyone.
This is just the beginning of this trend, which aims to evolve into a fully cloud-based gaming world.
The Metaverse is no longer ‘out there’. Gaming worlds have become familiar to most gamers. This could include joining players from around the world for battle scenes in virtual universes or playing a game of chess in another part of the metaverse.
Fortnite takes this to a new level in 2022 with music concerts to keep gamers on their platform when not engaged in a game. The concept of creating platforms is huge. It allows franchises to offer many more virtual experiences than simply gaming. Users will have the opportunity to participate in the creation of the metaverse, such as their avatars.
Advertisers will also get involved by creating their brands in various virtual universes. More investors will provide the money to take this to the hoped-for level.
Virtual Reality (VR) And Artificial Intelligence (AI)
VR has long been the domain of gamers prior to the military and the medical field finding ways to use it to their advantage. Franchises like Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto have been able to provide access to VR gaming using headset technologies. These headsets have fallen in price along with most hardware, opening VR to more gamers. Apple boasts of a VR headset that will up gaming in the same way iPhone did for mobile games.
Cloud VR is also on the cards in 2022 and beyond.
IA will promote machine learning to add more excitement to defeating a challenging enemy or providing new and changing storylines. This is achieved by neural networks.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) And Blockchain
In 2022, we can expect NFTs to come into play. These will still be in their infancy due to the processing power needed for blockchain algorithms to function. NFTs will be traded, earned, or won. These will be items particular to the specific game.
Currently, gamers do not find them appealing as they detract from the core aspects of the game. However, the likelihood is that they will become bigger over time with the investments being made to develop them.
A recent trend is P2E. Gamers are paid with cryptocurrencies when they play. One company, Axie Infinity, is rewarding some players with $250 or more per day. With 2,800,000 daily players, this game has taken off in developing countries.
P2E also uses blockchain technology and can earn its users a real income that can even be sold. This is kept in a crypto wallet. This can be used to upgrade aspects of the game, but more importantly, it can be traded for cryptocurrency and changed into real money to be used in an online real money casino or anywhere else gamers like to play.
Esports mimics traditional sports with leagues, tournaments, earning players with sponsorships, and live audiences. It will have its first official event at the Asian Games in 2022, a live sporting event, and is the biggest multi-sport occasion barring the Olympics. It is held every four years for athletes in Asia to compete.
In the previous year (2021), Esports garnered an income exceeding $1 billion. This was made up mostly of sponsorships and media rights and is expected to nearly double in 2022.
Esports became popular due to the Covid pandemic. Its 2021 performances were watched by 73 million viewers. This was up 60% from 2020. In 2022, record figures are likely. Prizes and sponsorships will increase and raise competitive levels even more.
Gaming has changed from a private form of entertainment to a sport with millions of spectators.
What with the Cloud, the Metaverse, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, non-fungible tokens and play-to-earn supported by blockchain technology, and Esports, gaming has undergone some game-changing transformations.