Since the earliest days of gaming, when games were only found in play centres and arcade halls, the industry has undergone multiple forms of evolution. What started as a small industry with only a few players playing amongst themselves has ballooned into one of the most successful industries, raking in several billion in revenue yearly.
In all, gaming’s growth stems from several factors, the core of which is technological advancements. Whether it’s from the development of other sub-sectors or the evolution of existing systems, gaming is no longer an affair of pixelated graphics and 8-bit music.
The Evolution of the Gaming Industry
The gaming industry evolved similarly to the casino industry. At some point, casinos could only be accessed at brick and mortar locations, much like games before the first consoles were developed. Then, as technology disrupted the casino industry, online casinos were born. We have gone from playing casino games like poker, for instance at a table in a private club or ‘den’, to playing poker online. But that’s not all. Technology also sparked new iterations of classic games, like video poker and live poker, which involves the same game but different playing styles and structures.
Gaming also followed a similar path. Even after the introduction of consoles, the industry still evolved to introduce online gaming and streaming. The latest trend is cloud gaming, which aims to take streaming and online gaming to newer heights. Within this time, gaming has grown from a small, quiet corner of the entertainment industry into a Goliath with a 31% year-over-year growth since 2020.
How Gaming Will Change in 2022
Gaming has set and is following many industry trends in 2022, some new and others enduring from previous years. These trends provide insights into the evolution process of gaming and what we can expect to see next:
eSports and Streaming
eSports continue to rise from its humble beginnings and is currently one of the fastest-growing gaming sectors. In 2022 alone, prices of eSports have shot up over £1.1 million, and the introduction of game streaming has made the sector even more prosperous.
Gaming contraptions have been the physical evidence of the evolution of gaming over the years, and they are still very much a part of that culture now. The console market is expected to decline slightly in 2022, while PC gaming has picked up the pace. Hardware challenges heavily influence this trend in the console production processes and scarcity. For PC, streaming, developer preferences, and eSports are leading growth influences. On the other hand, mobile gaming remains the most used gaming device and continues to garner more users daily.
The year 2022 will be even bigger for Blockchain technology in the gaming space as more developers and producers adopt it for better security, transparency, and fraud control. Several platforms are already incorporating payment options for cryptocurrencies, so it makes sense why Blockchain has been a recurring trend in gaming for the past few years.
The chip shortage and other hardware palaver that slowed the production of consoles made game execs consider life outside of hardware gadgets. This led to cloud gaming, which had been placed on the back burner until now, to garner more interest and be developed as the next logical direction of gaming.