Gaming is a huge market. According to a report the video games market is expected to grow up to $90 billion USD in 2020.
The report also states that 53% of game developers were focused on building games for PC and Mac while 38% of game developers were creating games for mobile.
The Evolution of Game Development
The gaming industry is witnessing a shift in trends. From arcade games to console and now smartphones and tablets, the trends are changing and so is the field of game development.
With mega gaming studios experimenting with technologies such as alternate reality, artificial intelligence, etc. and companies building stronger, more high tech game engines, the 2020 gaming industry will see a lot of interesting developments in the niche.
Here are 10 game developments to watch out for in the year 2020:
1. Realistic game-play through Virtual Reality
According to Statista, the global virtual reality video game revenue is expected to grow up to $22.9 billion by the end of 2020. Virtual reality headsets have made it easier to develop games that provide a realistic experience to players
Combining VR headsets such as Oculus Rift with the latest game engines and VR tools, it will now be possible to develop 3D graphics that imitate reality to a high extent. The business potential along with the exciting new technology will gain the focus of game developers towards experimenting with VR game development.
2. Games based on location through augmented reality
Augmented reality might just take VR as the leading alternate reality technology in game development.
With the success of Pokemon Go and The Walking Dead Our World backed by the comparatively easy to use tools, supported by ARCore and ARKit make it an appealing niche to game developers. Game developers are now looking to integrate AR elements into their video games. Mobile game development especially will be majorly impacted by AR.
3. The rising popularity of mobile gaming
The rising popularity of games such as Fortnite and PUBG along with Nintendo reviving its arcade games for mobile has definitely opened up the mobile game development avenue for future generations.
Hand-held consoles making a comeback in the form of secondary devices along with smartphones and tablets are another major contributor to the development of this area. Game developers will be venturing into the field of mobile game development from basic gaming apps to high-tech console-level gaming.
4. Cloud gaming
Cloud computing is on the rise. AAA game engines such as Lumberyard have made editing much simpler. Moreover, users need not install and run updates regularly. This factor being eliminated makes cloud gaming much more attractive.
Social media and collaborative gaming add to the popularity of these games. Multi-player games are evolving and clod gaming provides a platform to develop the same. More games will be created for the cloud in the upcoming year.
5. The 5G effect
5G will be launching in 2020. 5G internet can bring about a revolution in cloud gaming. High-speed internet will pave the way for game developers to experiment with high quality and high definition graphics for internet gaming.
Google's collaboration with Ubisoft on ‘Project Stream’ is proof of the impact that the internet and live streaming of games have on the industry. The field most affected by the rise of 5G, however, is mobile gaming. 5G will provide a chance for mobile game developers to experiment with cloud gaming for mobile games with console-level graphics.
6. Collaborative game development
AAA game developers and going studios have largely dominated the industry over the years. The game development environment recently, however, has been evolving into a more collaborative one.
Game developers are creating open-source projects to make collaborative modifications to existing games. This has resulted in the rapidly emerging indie games scene. Developers can share files through SDK and develop the games further.
7. Cross-platform game development
Citing the example of Fortnite yet again, game developers are trying not to restrict certain games to single platforms. It need not be for consoles such as PlayStation or Xbox or mobile. It can be played across all devices as per convenience.
Game designers and game developers are trying to find the balance in terms of design, graphics, and execution to develop more games that can be played across devices be it console, PC or mobile.
8. Emphasis on the game experience
A lot of emphasis will be on enhancing the overall experience of the gamer with mainstream game development. A ‘Feeling First’ engineering approach will be adopted for game development.
The onus will also fall on creating photorealistic graphics for a better gaming experience through a joint effort between game designers and game developers alike. Furthermore, multi-player games with a social element through Virtual reality, social media, and internet gaming will be developed.
9. Renewed focus on 3D
The gaming industry is recently experiencing the revival of 3D. According to Mordor Intelligence, the 3D console market is expected to grow at CAGR of 15.15% between 2019-2024.
The effect of this is directly visible in the quality of graphics and the overall game design. As for game development, professionals are leaning towards creating games that are a form of intensive entertainment through 3D technology.
10. Adoption of artificial intelligence
Voice acting has been booming in the game industry. However, with the latest technology and advanced game engines, game developers have been experimenting in the field of AI. AI adoption is increasing in game development.
AI has helped game developers playtest their games before release to test and single out bugs within the gameplay. AI is also being utilized to optimize the game experience for players.
Developers are researching techniques to combine AI with facial recognition to create games that progress based on the gamer’s facial expressions. Advanced game development technology that includes AI will be researched and developed in the upcoming years.
Furthermore, the game development industry is also leaning towards being more inclusive and female-friendly with giant studios like EA boasting increased female participation to 48%.
In conclusion, independent gamers, as well as mega gaming studios, will delve into multiple technologies and tools to experiment with game development.
The outcome of the same is a matter of time. The future of game development is high-tech, collaborative and hyper-realistic.
Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development company. He leads large scale mobility programs covering platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices.