The COVID-19 pandemic is largely associated with economic meltdowns across industries. However, some industries, such as gaming, thrived during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, even as other industries struggle to find their footing two years after the pandemic, the gaming industry has maintained its growth trajectory and is expected to reach $321 billion in worth by 2026 globally. To put this into context, gaming is hitting larger numbers than industries such as movies and sports
The industry’s exponential growth can be partly attributed to gaming’s emerging social benefits and its adoption by people of all ages — today, 27% of gamers are older than 45 and 36% are between 18 and 34 years old in the US. That said, the main driver of this growth comes from technological innovations in the industry.
Here, we highlight the upcoming features and tech trends that we expect to shape our gaming experience in 2024.
Gaming on the Go
Thanks to the constant advancement in smartphone technology, gamers can now enjoy playing games on mobile devices that, a decade ago, were only accessible via PC or required a gaming console. The number of people actively playing games on mobile devices is projected to hit over 2 billion users in 2024.
More so, this can be attributed to the revolution of cloud storage tech, which is key to the increasingly popular cloud gaming. With cloud gaming, gamers can access and play games over the internet without the need for downloading and installing.
Better yet, the recently unveiled 5G connectivity is a game changer — gamers now have smoother gameplay with as little latency as possible. 5G technology will improve the ease and quality of streaming games from the cloud as well as broadcasting live streams within the gaming community.
The guaranteed evolution of smartphones, cloud gaming, and 5G internet technology makes gaming on the go an expected trend for 2024. The headway being made in these three technological fields will promote access to better quality games, from casual games such as casino games to complex games such as Fortnite and COD on mobile devices.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Integration
The future of the ultimate gaming experience is in providing gamers with a fully immersive game experience. Virtual and augmented reality offers exactly that. While game developers have been steadily making progress with the needed technology accessories to enjoy gaming with 3D effects, we anticipate massive leaps in this progress in 2024 thanks to billion-dollar investments in gaming technology by Microsoft and Meta.
In 2024, you can expect more games to integrate technology that allows for the superimposition of digital images onto gaming realities and access to three-dimensional simulation games. The massive success experienced by games such as Minecraft and Pokemon Go in adopting virtual and augmented reality technology has propelled many other game developers to look into integrating the same.
With more developers joining the VR and AR gaming space, we can expect the challenges of cost and accessibility to reduce significantly in 2024.
Blockchain in Gaming
In-game asset ownership by gamers is seeing a revolution thanks to blockchain technology. With blockchain introduction and integration in gaming, gamers can sell and buy their in-game assets on blockchain marketplaces such as the Bazaar Marketplace and Binance NFT market. Blockchain marketplaces make it easy and secure for gamers to make game assets trade on stable platforms.
Although blockchain in gaming has a long way to go before achieving mass adaptation, its acceptance in the gaming industry is expected to continue in 2024, especially now that security issues in gaming are being taken more seriously. Blockchain technology aims to address the pertinent issues of decentralizing gaming asset markets, tokenizing virtual assets, and phishing scams in the gaming industry.
The steady growth of blockchain in gaming is predicted to reach an estimated global market size of $301.53 billion by 2030, making it a lucrative investment for investors in the gaming industry.
Competitive eSports Gaming
eSports is quickly rising to become one of the most popular forms of competitive gaming in the gaming world. eSports already attract a huge number of sports fans. These fast-paced and action-packed games require the players to have quick reflexes, strategy, and skill to advance through the levels. Besides, the live streaming of eSports challenges and tournaments on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch has led to exponential growth of communities and content tailored for eSports gamers, fans, and spectators.
With internet connectivity, gamers worldwide connect, intending to showcase their gaming skills on virtual battlefields. Today, eSports events such as the League of Legends World Championships attract numerous contestants from across the globe. They are viewed by audiences similar in numbers to audiences of popular sports such as football.
As an avid gamer, it is impressive to see the growth possibilities of the gaming industry. These highlights of the 4 gaming trends to expect in 2024 are just the tip of the iceberg of the revolutionary progress in game development and gaming technology.