Video games offer an experience unique from other forms of entertainment, which is why they’ve played a huge role in our culture for many years now. Per Clairfield International, “From 2011 to 2015, the global video games market rose from USD 54.2 billion to 71.3 billion. It is predicted to grow to 90.1 billion in 2020.” The gaming experience is also evolving, with many exciting developments continuing in 2019. Many video game trends are pushing the medium forward in new and exciting directions.
Virtual reality continues to progress in the gaming world. Many companies such as Samsung, Facebook, and Google are investing in the future of VR, and Oculus and HTC have had success with their own VR headsets. As the platform continues to strengthen, gamers can look forward to many new games in 2019, most notably Insomniac Games’ Stormland; Population: One; Star Wars: Vader Immortal; Marvel’s Iron Man; and more. While VR systems are still pricey, the platform is predicted to become the norm, and the games will become more interactive than ever before.
Everything—including gaming—is slowly moving into the cloud. Google recently announced a cloud gaming platform of its own called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference. Stadia promises that you’ll no longer need a console or a PC to play video games with other people from around the world. Google and other companies are trying push away from physical media to give people an even more convenient experience in the form of a Netflix for video games. With Stadia, you’ll be able to play whenever you want, on any device, in 4K HDR at 60 FPS.
With competitive gaming events being broadcasted on national television and events selling out stadiums, esports is becoming more and more popular. Various leagues and competitions continue to grow with games like Fortnite and Overwatch. Massive esports events such as the Fortnite World Cup, the League of Legends World Championships, and the Call of Duty World League also make millions of dollars. Competition has always been engrained in the DNA of gaming, and now the best gamers are competing in front of the world.
Augmented reality has been around for years, but it really broke through with Pokémon Go!, which became a worldwide phenomenon a couple of years ago. The success of Pokémon Go! has inspired the development of various other games; later this year, Harry Potter: Wizards United will try to replicate the magic of Pokémon Go!. AR creates a gaming experience unlike any other, especially for mobile game users, and it will continue to enhance the experience with graphic imagery.
Cell phones have been vehicle for gaming ever since their creation. With the constant advancements in cell phone technology, mobile gaming has seen lots of growth. According to a 2017 Business Insider report, mobile games make more money than console and PC games. This is largely in part to the success of games such as Pokémon Go!, Fortnite, Clash of Clans, and more. The mobile gaming market is only expected to increase as more studios develop their own projects.
Over the past few years, one the top gaming trends has actually been health-related. Growing awareness of the blue light emitted by our screens has directly contributed to the use of computer glasses. Many gamers can spend hours upon hours playing competitively—which means staring at a screen for long periods of time. According to a Princeton Study, staring at a screen for too long can cause:
This is why gaming eyewear has increased in popularity. Using special eyewear is an easy way to prevent eye damage, which could potentially ruin your gaming experience. There are also plenty of different styles you can sport.
Video game film adaptations have struggled for years, but some of the most beloved games of all time are now moving into a new medium. Netflix is developing a slew of video game adaptations for television. Henry Cavill will star in a series based off The Witcher, while Showtime is developing a Halo series. Major video game franchises will continue to branch out into different mediums, and although the video game films have struggled, TV presents a new opportunity with long-form storytelling.
As games become more competitive, your equipment may require additional customization. Players can build their video game equipment around their skill sets in many ways. From building your own PC to customizing your controller or mouse, customization—or modding—has never been easier. Modding the games themselves is also trending as players add their own characters and skins. Players have more control in video games than ever before and will see even more options to tailor the user experience in the future.
Video game streaming has grown incredibly popular over the years thanks to services like Twitch and YouTube. More and more services have grown from the availability of streaming, such as PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass, and the previously mentioned Google Stadia. Gamers can interact with audiences and their fellow players like never before. The services are also evolving to make capturing, editing, and sharing components that much easier.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both launched in 2013, but the next generation of gaming consoles are already in development. The final wave of current generation games appears to be hitting the market, as the focus is already on the future. Not much is known about the next set of consoles, which won’t come for a few years. However, game developers are already looking to take the gaming experience to the next level in the coming years.
The video game industry has become one of the most rapidly growing industries in recent memory. Improved technology has taken storytelling, gameplay, graphics, accessibility, accessories, and more to a new level. The rise of esports has also cultivated the fun, competitive nature of video games as well. Virtual reality and augmented reality have expanded the possibilities of video games and made entertainment even more interactive. Expect more exciting video game trends in the future to keep the platform alive for many generations to come.