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Even though we've already passed the middle mark of this year, there are still some interesting developments in the gaming market to wait for in the near future.

Monica Wells, Blogger

September 22, 2014

5 Min Read

Even though we've already passed the middle mark of this year, there are still some interesting developments in the gaming market to wait for in the near future. This year saw the arrival of two brand new gaming consoles – Playstation 4 and Xbox One – which found their way into homes of many gamers and, together with the growing popularity of games for mobile devices, impacted the global gaming scene.

Experts leave no room for doubt that the market is expanding – during the Game Summit 2014, IDATE published a forecast, in which it estimates gaming market to rise by 11% every year until 2017. Read on to find out what's in store for us in the near future and which trends will make a name for themselves still during this year.

Games As Services

Maintaining user engagement is now more important than ever – developers need to know how to balance the fun part with game monetization, which today depends mostly on the player. That's why games need to be engaging for as long as possible in order for the game to bring considerable profit. Developers and marketers now need to run their games as services, spicing them up with things like eSports or video content, and operating on a completely novel organization structure – radically different from the traditional boxed games run as products.

Screens Gone Wild

It's safe to say that the number of screens available for gaming has during the recent years more than doubled. Gone are the days of PCs and TVs – users are now dividing their funds to allocate them in different screens and devices – ultimately spending more time and money on gaming. That's why individual game revenues will count more than ever.

Going Mobile

Various reports have shown that users are moving away from console and pre-installed PC games and towards games on mobile devices. Mobile gaming will become an even more significant sector of the market and it's expected to grow exponentially at least until 2017, reaching the spending level of console games. Gaming on mobile devices is already happening on a global scale and will at some point become more popular than traditional online gaming. For detailed information on the development of mobile gaming sector, have a look here. (http://www.reportbuyer.com/leisure_media/gambling/global_online_gaming_report.html)

The Rise of Steam

It's fair to say that Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/) has completely revolutionized the ways in which users buy and relate to their games. The influence of this web based platform will expand in 2014 to include a previously undeveloped territory – console gaming. Additionally, Steam will cover more ground with its new OS, trying to expand into the segment of casual gaming.

Transitioning Towards Free-to-play (F2P)

Free-to-play has recently become an immensely popular method of game distribution and it's estimated to grow even bigger this year, encompassing PC, console and mobile gaming. The success of games like Angry Birds (https://www.angrybirds.com/) or Warframe (https://warframe.com/) speaks for itself – the former has become nothing short of a global hit. In the near future, free-to-play games will develop to include solutions made especially for the console experience.

In the Cloud

Everyone in the gaming industry heard the talk of cloud, but the real power of streaming video games has yet to unveil itself. Services like Playstation Now will guide the way to making older games compatible with a wide range of devices – starting from consoles and smart TVs to mobile devices and smartphones. Cloud gaming was mentioned during the last few years, but its impact on the global gaming market will probably be first seen during this year.

Games Become Cheaper

Games that would traditionally be quite an investment might soon become much cheaper – mainly due to the new reign of Steam, which will be especially relevant once it's available for casual gaming. But that's not all. Game prices will also be affected by the rise of other digital game distribution platforms, such as Green Man Gaming (http://www.greenmangaming.com/) or Amazon Digital (http://www.amazon.com/b?node=3059207011). That doesn't mean of course that all prices will instantly drop – the competition will, however, significantly affect the prices of some digital games.

Going Social

Social gaming has now made a name for itself and is the fastest growing segment of video game industry. The development of social gaming goes hand in hand with mobile – during this year, the US mobile gaming sector was spreading faster than social and this tendency will persist in the future. In Turkey, on the other hand, out of the 20 million people who regularly play online games, the largest part of the figure belongs to social gaming. Similar strong revenues from social gaming was noted in Japan, China and Russia. If you'd like to know more, here's the whole report. (http://www.reportbuyer.com/leisure_media/gambling/global_online_gaming_report.html)

As you can see, major 2014 trends are symptomatic to a general transition in the gaming industry experienced this year. What's certain is that the new developments will place more emphasis on the individual experience and completely revolutionize the ways in which players interact and buy their games.

Monica Wells is a passionate blogger and experienced educator who helps businesses to leverage the potential of the Internet. She works at BizDb.co.uk - an online database of over three millions UK companies.

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