Indie Games like Among Us, Delayed Game Launches Dotted the past year.
While 2020 was a mixed year for various industries, the gaming industry continued its meteoric upward trajectory. As people were forced to follow social distancing and lockdown protocols, they turned to gaming as a source of entertainment and for creating social interactions. According to GameAnalytics, last year, 21% of Android and 25% of iOS apps downloaded were games. This also implies that soon mobile games will replace computer games in the future. This sounds more probable since computer games are spatially and geographically restrictive.
However, even when computer-based video games are projected to go on a dry purchase spell, their market value would not decline. According to a report from Juniper Research, the video games industry’s value will exceed US$200 billion in 2023, which is around one-third larger than its then 2020 estimated US$155 billion worth. In the Video Games: Industry Trends, Monetisation Strategies & Market Size 2020-2025, report by Juniper reveals that free-to-play games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Mobile will “intensify the move to in-game monetization” meanwhile 99% of mobile game downloads in the next three years will be F2P. The report also projected that cloud gaming and other video game subscriptions, like Xbox Game Pass (and, apparently, Google Stadia), will grow at an average rate of 9% per year between 2020 and 2023, thus accounting for US$8 billion of industry revenue.
Looking forward to the gaming future, virtual reality and augmented reality will also dominate the gaming industry. The proven popularity of augmented reality games like Pokémon Go and the massive comeback of virtual reality games and headsets highlight an increasing demand and expectation from these two technologies in gaming. Using VR headsets, associated hand controllers, we can see ourselves experiencing real-time gaming, which also allows for flexible body movements. Leading gaming companies such as Epic Games and Roblox will continue to fuse music and film with virtual game worlds, ushering in a new era of innovative experiences.
One of the most anticipated releases of 2020 was CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077. However, it was not without glitches and bugs. Ultimately, Sony had to pull the game from PlayStation entirely and multiple retailers started offering full refunds for the game. While there are plenty of promising games lined up for 2021, it is also possible that some of them will share the fate of Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine. These games were supposed to come out during 2020 holiday season but now have undefined 2021 launch windows. Currently, gamers are anticipating the launch of Hollow Knight: Silksong, Total War: Warhammer, Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game, Nier Replicant, Hitman 3, Battlefield 2021, Horizon: Forbidden West, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Dying Light 2, Hogwarts Legacy, Mass Effect, Back 4 Blood, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, God of War: Ragnarok, Halo: Infinite, Gotham Knights and more.
Last year also saw momentous hits like Nintendo Switch’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons and indie game Among Us. In the gaming industry, it happens so that when a particular game becomes a huge sensation, its dupes or games with similar concepts soon flood the market, to capitalize on the demand. So, don’t be surprised if you see another indie game warning you, “Crewmate, There is an Imposter Among Us!” Simultaneously, we also have indie games like Saturnalia, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, Chinatown Detective Agency, SkateBird, ANNO: Mutationem and Hot Pot for One coming out this year. The key to success in indie gaming industry is thinking outside the box. Due to its limitless potential, countless brands eager for attention and endless factors to account for, the market for this sector would not die anytime soon.
Thanks to 5G and Wi-Fi 6 technologies, 2021 will also bring more online world gaming events to fuel new ways of monetization and catch the interest of more professional gamers and spectators alike. Even, gaming-as-a-service will gain more traction in 2021. There will also be huge gaming content consumption and live-streaming of gaming events. Last year, in the first quarter alone, Facebook clocked approximately 554 million hours of viewing time. Although leading in the circuit, YouTube and Twitch received 1.1 billion and 3.1 billion respectively of the view time. Additionally, cloud gaming, which is also called gaming on demand will also go mainstream.
Further, the console war may go stronger than ever. While earlier, there was a decline in games console usage over the past five years, falling from 1 in 3 internet users in 2015, with the recent launch of the latest iterations of Xbox and PlayStation, the purchase interest is expected to increase in coming months.