Over the last couple of years, the gaming industry has gone through a period of significant acceleration and innovation.
From augmented reality 3D mobile games to Nintendo’s Switch hybrid console, we’ve certainly had a lot to get excited about.
This trend promises to continue in 2018 with big-budget blockbuster games and indie games competing for market share in this continuously expanding segment.
So what can we expect over the next few months? Let’s take a look at the top four gaming trends to look out for in 2018.
Virtual Reality (VR) Games Won’t Have a Significant Impact
VR games haven’t haven’t had the desired impact on the gaming market; in fact, it seems more like a fad that’s slowly and quietly fading into obscurity. According to the 2018 Game Developer's Conference survey, 29% of game developers stated that they believed that developing for VR at present wasn’t a sustainable business model.
However, the number of developers working on VR games has remained steady, so you can’t really say that interest in VR gaming is waning. But the key takeaway here is that those already working on VR games don’t expect to be doing it for much longer.
At the same time, the average power of hardware is bound to rise while the price of VR headsets is bound to drop. As more powerful and affordable devices become commonplace, there’s a pretty good chance that VR will reemerge in full force.
Will that happen in 2018?
This is highly unlikely as we’re still not close to developing enhanced holodeck/Danger Room technologies. Regardless, the VR gaming market is expected to be worth more than $45.09 billion by 2025.
Indie Games will gain traction
While big-budget blockbuster releases are still relevant, indie game developers are quietly growing their market share. This phenomenon has been widely attributed to the unrestrictive and highly creative nature of indie games.
As a result, giant video game publishers are expected to experience significant competition from their independent counterparts in 2018. Indie games expected to make a huge impact this year include Children of Morta and Ape Out.
Trade of In-Game Items on the Blockchain
Long before anyone even heard of the blockchain, game developers created virtual economies by integrating digital coins into video games. From Poké Dollars to Minecraft Coins, these digital currencies could be used to purchase a variety of in-game features.
The launch of DMarket, the world’s first and only working gaming marketplace built on top of the blockchain now makes trading of in-game items a seamless experience across a variety of games.
This revolutionary idea got Unity Technologies interested and their resulting partnership is expected to transform in-game digital economies in the months to come. Whether it’s some kind of treasure or a weapon, DMarket’s API will enable developers to easily monetise any in-game asset.
Cryptogames Will Grow in Prominence
Cryptogames are still in their infancy, but they’re expected to go through a period of significant acceleration this year. The most popular of these cryptogames is the crypto-collectible game CryptoKitties which recently made headlines for enabling over million dollars in sales of virtual cats (with one being sold for as much as $113,000).
However, cryptogames that are currently in the marketplace have limited gameplay. Most of them like CryptoKitties and CryptoCelebrities, just facilitate the trade of collectible digital assets. That’s expected to change this year with new releases like Age of Rust and CryptoSaga which are expected to offer more complex gameplay.
Cryptogamers are different from your traditional gamers as they approach these games from an investor’s mindset. In fact, they see it as another way of profiting from cryptocurrency trading, but this might start to change as these cryptogames become more engaging.