Gaming trends are reshaping the way we interact with the world, and it constantly inspires innovation by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. There is a significant rise of a serious following among people of all generations.

In fact, gaming is today considered one of the most lucrative business sectors in India. More people are playing games today than ever before, seeking social interactions and fun ways to spend their free time. Apart from regular video games, there is a tremendous focus on fantasy sports and sports leagues.

gaming trends
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There’s simply no denying that Covid-19 has been a major catalyst towards accelerating the upward trend that the gaming industry is experiencing. According to one report by KPMG, the industry is likely to see robust growth from INR 43.8 billion presently to INR 118.8 billion by 2023, a fantastic growth rate of 22.1%.

People who have observed this industry’s meteoric rise can safely predict some of the possible gaming trends dominating the industry now. From a technological boost to a return to originals, here is a list of all trends buzzing in the gaming industry now.

1. Mobile Gaming

The mobile gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, especially in India. In the last 10 years, more than 2.2 billion people used their smartphone to play games.

Within the past few years, mobile games have also become the entertainment of choice for people from all walks of life and across all demographics, as well as the option to have a career within the gaming industry.

Nintendo is entering the mobile gaming market and Pokemon Go has already proved that untapped masses can be reached. Gaming trends also show that the top mobile games have remained the top mobile games and new games haven’t been able to unseat the incumbents.

mobile games
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Further, the arrival of 5G is going to provide the necessary thrust in making mobile gaming accessible to all. With on-going improvements in Chipset technology, mobile devices are going to be at par with gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox.

And with people replacing their phones around every 2-3 years, compared to replacing consoles every six or seven years, mobile devices will get as powerful as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. There will be billions of AR-enabled devices as standard in iOS and Android through ARKit and ARCore.

One of the most welcomed gaming trends, the rise of mobile games will positively impact the bottom line of companies associated with online gaming. It is going to set a chain reaction in motion with more companies likely to join the online gaming space. Such an event can be only mean better games at affordable prices. It’s definitely a win-win situation for both makers and gamers.

2. Online Gambling

Each one of us has a unique taste of games. While most people like playing video games for fun, other people gamble on casino games for entertainment and benefits.

Before the introduction of online gambling trends, people often played card and dice games while wagering a specific amount of money. But nowadays, there are tons of games that are made available among the gaming trends for gamblers to play online.

gambling games
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Online gambling is one of the gaming trends that boosted the gaming industry to another level by attracting the attention of popular gamblers around the world. Without going to any casino, gamblers can now easily play their favourite game sitting in the comfort of their home.

Norwegian betting casinos continue to trend above others because of their interesting sports and casino games. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps everyone indoors, records show that gambles are adjusting to the new innovation of online gambling.

It’s inevitable that online gambling will continue to grow further with a promising future among the top amazing gaming trends of this year.

3. Video Game Streaming

Reaching millions of people with gaming video content has never been easier. With the arrival of live game streaming at the click of a button, open source capturing and broadcasting tools, the amount of hours spent watching game video content has exploded.

The integration of live and on-demand video content in social networks as well as new platforms have expanded the possibilities for consumers to create communities around their favourite franchises and content.

streaming games
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When Twitch was introduced in 2011 as a streaming service, it took fame as a place where interesting shows can be streamed like YouTube. However, Twitch nowadays allows the streaming of video games from professionals, which serves as entertainment for other gaming enthusiasts. Video game streaming ranks first among the top video gaming trends of this year as Twitch receives over 2 billion live-stream viewers per hour.

Further, the rapid evolution of technological advancement has led to the implementation of virtual reality in video games, which has improved developments in the gaming industry as they produce engaging games that everyone is eager to not just spectate but also play.

4. Advanced Gaming Hardware

The evolution of technology continues to affect gaming industries in producing engaging games with amazing features and characteristics. These new games require more powerful hardware to run perfectly, which brought about the development of new gaming consoles.

This is a peripheral game design trend, but not an unexpected one. The seven-year cycle of consoles appears to be dead. Both Xbox and Sony launched new iterations of Xbox X and PS5.  The new Playstation 5 supports games with trending features and characteristics like native 4k for improved graphics quality.

gaming equipments
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The improvement of hardware for better gaming performance doesn’t amount to all consoles and PC, but also to mobile devices. Mobile gaming trends is quite popular nowadays, as tremendous advancement continues in the development of mobile device hardware.

In the past, mobile devices barely supported 2d games because of its low hardware component. However, the improvement of mobile device components and hardware has made mobile gaming a trending topic. One of the significant reasons of the rise of mobile gaming trends is its easy accessibility unlike consoles, which cannot be played in any location.

5. Cloud Gaming Trends Grow and Expand

Cloud gaming trends have seen significant popularity and growth over the last few years.

Cloud gaming or Gaming-as-a-Service came as a boon for many players. Although the concept isn’t brand new, its adoption in the gaming industry will pave the way to a revolutionary advancement.

PCs, consoles and mobiles are set to lead the pack of gaming trends, but soon cloud gaming will join the fray. With cloud gaming, you will be able to play any game live from your device of choice. And don’t worry if your device doesn’t have the required configurations. The game will run on powerful online servers, with no compromise on your experience.

cloud games
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In the future, we can even expect to see PCs and consoles start to adopt the idea behind cloud gaming. According to CompareCamp, the value of the cloud gaming market worldwide was $1 million in 2018 and is predicted that by 2025, it’ll grow to $8 million. Additionally, there’s no need to download anything and you can start playing right away.

Consumers aren’t the only ones that like cloud gaming. Streaming services like PS Now give Sony a valuable recurring revenue stream. And cloud computing is also a viable way to monetize old games, including those from previous console generations, years after their release.

6. A Trend of Remakes and Reboots

Hundreds of new games have been added to the app stores, yet we sometimes end up missing the ones we grew up with, like Mario or even Snake Xenzia.

And like Hollywood, the gaming industry is starting to realize that remakes and reboots sell well. And, unlike a completely new franchise, they’re less likely to bomb. According to NPD, a Crash Bandicoot reboot was one of the top ten best-selling games of 2020. Final Fantasy VII got a remake, which topped the best-seller list for a time. Besides FF7 and Crash, the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes also sold very well.

trends in gaming industry
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Hence, developers are now working double time to create new versions of classic games. The craving for old gems has become one of the buzzing gaming trends that may bloom more in the coming years. In 2021, we will see Prince of Persia rebooted with the Sands of Time title. And the 2001 RPG Gothic is also getting a remake.

And the best part about these games is that adults will be interested in them for the nostalgia factor. If you can rope in Gen Z with cool graphics and new features, a remade game can become a rage in the gaming world.

7. The Rise of Social Gaming

Gamers have known for a long time something that everyone else is starting to figure out – there’s community connection on the other side of a screen.

However, the actual rise in the use of games as a means to socialise has been accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic as it has put an end to our real social life.

best gaming trends
Courtesy: Vox

With the rise of social media, gamers have perfected the art of building communities in and around video games. Gamers don’t just compete with strangers on the internet, but forge genuine, enduring friendships. Virtual spaces within large player base games are also being used as gathering points where players socialise and experience a live event.

Online games as a social forum are one of the few gaming trends that not only reached people who’d play every now and then, but also those who had previously snubbed it entirely. In this age of long-haul social distancing and mental-health strains, gamers have long had a tool that’s now bringing some relief to those who’ve never picked up a controller before.

The explosive growth of such gaming trends during the pandemic has shown that many have found a new outlet for much-needed connection in isolation.

8. Video Games as a Serious Art Form

As mentioned earlier, video games are fast growing into a potential source of mainstream entertainment. Technology has expanded the canvas upon which artists are able to paint and tell their stories.

Games have proven to be one of the most sophisticated storytelling vehicles today – not only with narrative but also with incredible artistic mastery, the creation of highly immersive worlds and providing meaningful connections to communities all over the world. We are already witnessing video games growing into a storytelling medium, which earlier was the sole preserve of cinema, television, and print media.

recent gaming trends
Courtesy: Game Skinny

As an art form that has only existed in the digital space, video games are truly a collision of art and science. They include many forms of traditional artistic expression, including sculpture in the form of 3D modelling, illustration, narrative arcs, and dynamic music that combines to create something that transcends any one type.

With video games finding larger acceptance among audiences, it is beginning to be treated as a validated art form and artistic talent associated with the video game development and creation likely to be treated as artists.

The new era is seeing gaming trends evolve into something more than an avenue to pass time. Video games have the potential to become a medium that bring together a diverse set of people from around the world driven by their love for gaming.

9. Rise of AR and VR

Virtual reality gaming trends have had increasing success over the past couple of years, thanks to the PlayStation VR, Valve Index, and Oculus headsets, while augmented reality has blossomed on smartphones in the wake of Pokemon Go.

And now gaming trends are leaping to propel XR gaming into the mainstream. Hitman 2, scheduled to release in 2021, will ship with an intriguing PSVR mode, allowing you to take on missions in a disturbingly physical manner.

VR games
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There’s also a mini retro gaming wave on VR, with Myst, Panzer Dragoon and Sam & Max all getting virtual reality remakes or sequels. As for augmented reality, Facebook is expected to launch its Project Aria technology in 2021, which builds AR technology into a pair of cool Tony Stark-style glasses.

Since its inception, both AR & VR have made giant strides into becoming what they are today. And the technology behind both AR & VR is eventually likely to transition into offering a more realistic visual experience.

Video game companies are using such advanced technology to enhance the overall gaming experience without the need for a video monitor. Going by the numbers both these technologies are going to mop up revenues close to $20 billion by 2021.

10. The 5G Factor

While this hasn’t kicked off in India yet, this is one of the gaming trends buzzing the most in the industry.

It is quite certain that by 2021 India is likely to see the rollout of 5G mobile services. And when this tech goes mainstream, there will be nothing to stop people from playing online.

5g in India
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Introduction of 5G is a significant step that is likely to improve the upload and download speeds on mobiles by manifold. It is especially relevant as most online games are dependent on high internet speeds for optimum performance. 5G will ensure that download times become minimal, games don’t buffer, and connectivity isn’t lost at a crucial moment.

Moreover, it is going to grow the Indian gaming community as more users would be able to take advantage of 5G for streaming and playing games on their mobile phones or tablets with relative ease.