Gaming has grown into a huge entertainment industry in recent years. Today it is deemed to be worth more than the sports, movie and music industries combined.
During 2020 the gaming industry made an estimated $180 billion. This success can be put down to gaming now being a central part of entertainment culture.
Whereas in the past gaming was on the peripheries of the entertainment world, today it is essential to it. Youth culture is an important part of this as gaming has supplanted music and movies as the number one pastime.
But it’s not only the young who are enjoying gaming. The industry stretches across the whole world to offers entertainments in a variety of ways.
As the lines between entertainment experiences and gaming continue to blur, the success of the industry is expected to continue.
With that in mind, here are the gaming trends to look out for in 2021.
Online casinos are a growing trend in the entertainments world. Online casinos offer players an immersive experience using graphics, sound and video. Online gaming taking in virtual casinos looks set to continue its rise during the next part of 2021.
Players make use of a social aspect to communicate with fellow players who they may or may not know in real life. Themed games and experiences add to the fun for players taking part.
A significant update in the online casino world is the level of sophistication and involvement offered. A wealth of options is available for players, with huge multi-player contests joining fast single games among the available ways to play.
The crossover between gaming and other entertainment industries is set to continue in 2021. The spectatorship of e-sports is a major part of this. There are now a huge number of gamers who are described as professional esports players.
Related to this is the huge success of the online platform Twitch, which allows gamers to livestream their playing. The site is so popular that artists engaged with other entertainments such as DJs and musicians use it to interact with fans.
As the popularity of e-sports continues, new ways to monetize the experience will inevitably follow.
Cloud computing has been around for some time, but last year saw significant progress. 2021 could be the year when the cloud takes firm hold of the gaming industry.
The major industry players such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have all launched cloud gaming services. This will lead to an increase in subscribers making use of the new games applied with cloud services.
A high-end game such as Cyberpunk 2077 makes use of services such as Google’s Stadia to offer player fast streaming and gameplay.
This is a significant trend for the future of gaming. By removing the need for expensive handwear, game companies can offer players the experience via the cloud.
Open world gaming
Open world adventuring is another gaming trend to watch for in the next part of 2021.
Games using a ‘free roaming’ aspect or ‘sandbox’ format have prior form.
Some famous titles of the past using an open world influence include Grand Theft Auto and The Legend of Zelda.
As well as Cyberpunk 2021, this year will see a fine array of other open world releases. Advanced AI and well-developed non-player characters will provide a greater immersion in the storyline.
This, plus a well-developed sense of freedom and decision-making, will offer the player a wide range of options on how to progress in the games.
In some ways Open World Gaming is a sophisticated take on the older graphical adventures genre of computer games. But in the past, players were restricted to a strict linear plot.
Sherlock Homes Chapter One is a fine example of a 2021 game using an open world format in sophisticated detail. Players take on the role of Holmes and are free to explore and engage with just about everything and everyone within the game universe.
Extended reality, or XR, is a term encompassing virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality formats within gaming.
By combining the ‘real world’ with additional augmented elements, or by creating a completely new virtual universe, gaming experiences can be dramatically heightened.
It is a type of experience that is rising to prominence in 2021. As technology has become sufficiently powerful enough extended reality, we are at a point where it can become more widely enjoyed.
Equipment such as headsets have become less expensive and more reliable. Remote technology has freed up space to play without cords and power points getting in the way.
The global XR market is expected to worth around 31 billion US dollars in 2021. This is projected to rise to around 300 billion dollars by 2024.
2021 is sure to be a significant year for the gaming industry.
Gaming shows no signs of slowing down in its ongoing journey to becoming the most widely enjoyed form of entertainment on Earth. As technology continues to improve, games will develop and grow ever more sophisticated.