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For the longest while, the gaming community was a sparse and small group. However, that has changed quite drastically in the past several years. As of 2022, the number of gamers worldwide surpassed 3 billion last year. In addition, although it’s a 7% decrease from 2021, consumers spent 47.5 billion dollars on video game content in 2022.
More gamers will emerge this year and in the future, and how much they spend on gaming will increase too. So, it’s no surprise companies and leaders in the industry are working diligently to elevate gaming experiences in the future — particularly when it comes to integrating high-tech.
A Wider Acceptance of Gaming
Unfortunately, the gamer’s reputation hasn’t been the most positive in the past. From its very inception, various figures in the public shamed gaming for unsubstantiated claims that gaming leads to laziness or violence. However, this perception has changed and will continue to change in the future. Gaming can be a positive force in anyone’s life. It’s a vehicle for socialization. It’s a great stress reliever when done in moderation. It can improve cognitive function.
Also, you can develop various skills and traits. Leadership traits are a good example of this. Navigating winning and losing can help grow emotional stability. You become more responsible and accountable when leading your team in a mission. Your communication gets better when you play with people across the world.
More people are acknowledging the skills and traits you can learn through gaming. So much so, they’re including them on their resumes and CVs to show potential employers what they have to offer. The wider acceptance of gaming gives them the confidence to do so.
Look forward to a future where gaming isn’t just seen as a leisure activity, but also a productive way to learn new skills and progress in one’s personal life.
Thanks to the convenience of smartphones, gaming has transformed into an activity anyone can do particularly anywhere — a standard that has been maintained for years. We can expect the support for mobile gaming to increase tremendously in the future.
Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report revealed that the mobile gaming industry alone generated $93.2 billion in 2021. They also predicted this number to grow to $116.1 billion by 2024. With mobile gaming climbing the popularity ladder to the number one spot over console and PC gaming, we can expect it to continue being a prominent part of gaming’s future.
The idea of machines and computer systems mimicking human behavior and learning from what they’re experiencing is still hard for most to grasp.
Still, AI has made its way into the gaming industry already — impacting gaming in two significant ways in the present and the future.
In the game
We see AI in games through non-playable characters (NPCs) the most. Characters that aren’t controlled by players are just as important as those that are in creating a memorable, cohesive gaming experience.
NPCs didn’t have a whole lot of range when it came to how they thought and behaved in the early years of gaming. Now, AI has opened up what NPCs can do with the use of behavior trees that allow more intuitive decision-making and engagement.
Keep in mind that we aren’t at a point where we can give NPCs a mind of their own even with the use of AI. They still need to be programmed by a human creator. Ultimately, the future of AI-powered NPCs relies on programming evolution.
Making the game
AI is influential in the game-making process too. For example, designers and developers take advantage of AI through procedural content generation, which helps them create and place game assets, like trees, mountains, and waterways.
Not only that, a lot of data is collected when someone plays a game — whether it’s demographic information, payment data, or user behavior info. AI tools are responsible for sifting through this data and pulling meaningful insights from it that influence game updates.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
VR and AR are absolutely connected. But they have a distinct difference. VR immerses you into an entirely virtual world, while AR works in conjunction with the real world. Both are becoming prominent in gaming.
For example, Pokemon Go was not only a popular game — it was and still is an international phenomenon. People went out in droves to discover Pokemon characters in “real life” through their phones. Video game producers capitalized upon this popularity in other games, such as Resident Evil. Resident Evil 4 VR is a classic VR game that drops you into a virtual horror world where you’re expected to survive and rescue others in it.
In the future, AR games will become even more accessible, and as a result, more popular than ever before. As of 2023, you can enjoy most of them via your laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device.
VR games, on the other hand, require specialized headsets and accessories to partake. The issue is that these headsets are pretty spendy, making them only available to a small group of people worldwide when you consider the ever-so-apparent wealth gaps.
The key will be to develop this technology more cost-effectively. When costs are down for developing this technology, companies can offer it at a lower price without compromising quality. And that means more accessibility.
The Metaverse is a blend of the physical and digital worlds. AR and VR elements are used within the Metaverse to facilitate learning, playing, and socializing in an immersive gaming experience.
You can throw on a VR headset and partake in adventures with friends in a completely virtual world as the avatar you create.
For those that don’t want to completely cut themselves off from the real world, you can bridge your physical world with your digital world in the Metaverse, engaging in events from your favorite brands and making purchases.
However, the Metaverse is still in its infancy. Its future in gaming will evolve as advancements in tech like sensors, holograms, graphic overlays, headsets, and so forth emerge.
If there’s one thing a gamer can’t live without, it’s a fast, secure, reliable internet connection. There’s no room for glitches and lagging in any game if the goal is to have a fun experience that keeps people coming back.
Improving internet and wireless connections is a huge priority in the future of gaming. 5G ultra wideband can and will continue to revolutionize the future of gaming. It’s one of the fastest internet connections — reducing common pain points and challenges that have been commonly associated with gaming in the past such as lag or low latency.
More importantly, 5G ultra wideband internet connections enable console-quality gaming on the go. Games that used to perform poorly on mobile devices now function a whole lot better with help of 5G internet, which is part of the reason why the mobile gaming sector is exploding.
In the future, we can expect a heavier focus on internet and wireless connections to enhance gameplay across all devices.
The global gaming industry is expanding rapidly. We can attribute a lot of this growth to people turning to gaming during the pandemic. People’s growing interests in technology and gaming, generally, deserve much of the credit as well. Nonetheless, gaming isn’t going anywhere. And its future looks bright.