The gaming industry never stops innovating and gaming developers and manufacturers are constantly competing to be the first to start new trends. It’s a great time to be a gamer too since more competition means better products at better prices. 2022 should be a special year for gaming with new consoles like the PS5 gaining steam and eSports becoming bigger than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that should shape the world of gaming this year.
Increase In Online Gambling
Online gambling had a very great year in 2021 and the trend should continue in 2022. The coronavirus restrictions are largely responsible for this, and more players are getting introduced to online casinos because of terrestrial casino shutdowns.
Online casinos are also being more aggressive in their approach and are trying to outcompete each other with bigger and better bonuses. Many casinos have increased their cash deposit bonuses while adding free play options and free spins to the mix.
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Cloud gaming has been in the works for many years now but advances in connectivity are finally making it a reality. The first company to make a big splash in the space was Google with its Stadia project. While it wasn’t a resounding success, it still provided the blueprint for cloud gaming and other companies have been able to learn from their errors.
The principle behind cloud gaming is simple. Games stay on the cloud services servers and are broadcasted to the user’s format of choice. What this means is that the server’s power dictates gaming performance. This has huge implications.
Cloud gaming allows people to play high-performance games even on a modest machine, whether it’s a small PC, tablet, or phone. You can also switch from device to device without skipping a beat.
Sony currently has two cloud services and Microsoft released a beta version of their cloud service, Project XCloud, this year. You even have companies like NVIDIA getting in the mix. The most popular cloud service at the moment, Shadow, has received tons of praise from players and is starting to get more recognition. Anyone who hasn’t tried cloud gaming should stay tuned for new developments as this sector is set to explode.
This year should be the year VR and AR games truly start making noise. We can largely thank manufacturers like Nintendo for that. While their Labo project has received mixed reviews, Mario Kart: Live Home Circuit was a massive success and blew a lot of people away with its ingenuity.
If you don’t know what Mario Kart Tour: Live Home Circuit is, it is the first racing game that allows players to change any environment into an AR racing track using real miniature cart models. The game really showed what could be done with AR technology and should serve as inspiration for other developers.
eSports as Real Sports
The line between eSports and actual sports is getting blurrier by the day and major sports channels are largely responsible for this. Many people were introduced to the world of eSports during the pandemic as sports channels were scrambling to find ways to fill their schedules. eSports were better equipped to deal with the shutdowns and saved a lot of broadcasters during that time.
Even if audiences were allowed back into stadiums, eSports is still going strong and branching out. More games are now getting recognition on the world stage, like fighting games, for instance.
Another interesting trend in eSports is simulated games being broadcasted on sports channels. Major American broadcasters like NBC started the trend by showcasing a few simulated games on their channel. This could transform the future of eSports and real sports forever.
Not only are more people playing and watching eSports, but more people are betting on them as well. In 2021, the eSports gambling sector saw a massive 141% jump in engagement in the third quarter compared to the same period the year before. eSports betting is also becoming a major staple on most betting sites and is bringing a whole new demographic to the space. The future for eSports gaming seems very bright and gamblers should start seeing more betting options popping up.
Social Gaming is Making a Comeback
Social gaming was a trend before the pandemic but was slowly starting to lose steam. Games like Words with Friends were very popular, but never to the level of games like Among Us are today. The success of Among Us pushed many developers to try making their spin-offs and we should expect to see a few games trying to replicate its success in 2022.
This year should also be the year of the indie studio. Mobile gaming has always been more open to indie gamers, but the Nintendo Switch has presented itself as the number one mainstream console for small and new developing teams.
The console’s modest specs and easy-to-understand programming language make it much easier for studios with smaller teams, less experienced, and less capital to make great games. Games like Unpacking and Eastward were all massive successes on the console even if the developers were much smaller and did not have much recognition. This could encourage more developers from other spaces to get in and try to release their own projects on the console.
These are all trends everyone who’s into video games should watch out for in 2022. While we still don’t know what the year has in store, it’s set to be one of the most memorable years for the industry, and a great one for gamers the world over.