Gaming has become a mainstream activity in recent years. From the 1970s through to the mid-2010s, video games were the near-exclusive domain of young adults that were predominantly male. Today, people of all ages and genders enjoy this interactive form of entertainment.
By appealing to a much wider audience, gaming companies have reaped great financial spoils. In 2021, Electronic Arts generate $5.6 billion of net profits, its highest on record. While there has been some variance year-on-year, the company has seen its bottom line trend upwards for all of the 21st century.
It is not an outlier either. Activision Blizzard reported its best year ever in its last full-year accounts, as did Take-Two Interactive and Nintendo.
So 2021 was certainly a great year for those that operate within the gaming industry. It was also a pretty decent time for players too, with the first full year of the latest generation of consoles and several great titles going on sale. However, 2022 is shaping up to match or even beat it. Here’s why.
Easing of the Chip Shortage
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X consoles may have been setting new standards for gaming, but only for the people that could actually get their hands on one. A global shortage of microchips has made it difficult for Sony and Microsoft to keep up with demand for their new hardware, leading to a chronically short supply in stores.
The chip shortage is likely to continue into 2022, but it could begin to ease towards the end of the year as backlogs of orders are worked through and new chip foundries come online.
This could be good news for PC gamers too, though crypto mining and price scalpers are still going to affect the market.
iGaming Will Be Available to More Players
iGaming covers all forms of online wagering, including casino games, sports betting, bingo, lotteries, and more. It’s proven to be incredibly popular in many parts of the world, especially across Europe.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more US states begin to permit iGaming companies to operate on their territory, with millions of Americans getting involved. This is set to continue in 2022, with several more states expected to pass legislation that will allow online casinos and sportsbooks to launch.
On top of that, online casinos will continue to develop new and innovative games to help them to appeal to a wider audience. Many of these build on traditional titles but throw in a unique twist. For example, the 21+3 version of blackjack adds in a side bet that sees players trying to make three-card poker hands between their two cards and the dealer’s hole card.
These two factors have helped iGaming companies to enjoy similar levels of success to the video game publishers listed above, and this recipe for success is likely to still work for them in 2022 and beyond.
More New Titles
The number of blockbuster games that were released in 2021 was a little lower than usual, this was caused by a number of factors. Firstly, the constraints placed on developers over the last 2 years have made it harder for them to complete all their work at the same pace. But with economies and offices reopening, this constraint on resources is and will continue to be lifted.
On top of that, the debacle of CyberPunk 2077 that saw the game be released in an unacceptably unstable state and ultimately be withdrawn from sale after player complaints has been a lesson that all publishers have paid attention to.
2021 saw many titles get delayed because they weren’t yet fit for release and the companies behind them felt pushing back their launch date was preferable to the backlash caused by selling a game filled with bugs and glitches.
Titles that will finally make it to shelves and marketplaces in 2022 include Hogwarts Legacy, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, and Gran Turismo 7.