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Gaming and esports have come a long way in recent years and are now an integral part of popular culture. Here are some of the biggest trends that have had a significant impact on the industry:
- The rise of mobile gaming: Mobile gaming has overtaken console and PC gaming in terms of popularity and this trend has been on the rise for some time. According to a report by data.ai and IDC, consumer spending on mobile games was forecasted to reach $136 billion by the end of 2022, representing 60% of the market. The increasing availability of powerful smartphones and tablets, along with the development of sophisticated mobile games, has made mobile gaming an attractive option for both casual and hardcore gamers. In addition, the emergence of mobile esports leagues and tournaments has further boosted the popularity of mobile gaming.
- The expansion of the gaming industry: In recent years, we have seen the expansion of the gaming industry into new industries such as recruitment, education, and healthcare. The use of gaming and gamification techniques in these sectors has made them more engaging and interactive, leading to increased adoption and success. For example, studies have shown that students who use gamified learning materials perform better than those who don’t. Duolingo is a best-in-class example of this with its daily challenges and leaderboards. In the healthcare sector, gaming has been used to help patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and mental health issues.
- The growth of competitive gaming: Esports has exploded in popularity in recent years and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. According to a report by Newzoo, the global esports market is expected to reach a value of $1.5 billion by 2023, with a yearly growth rate of 15.3%. In 2022 alone, top esports games Dota 2, Arena of Valor and PUBG, provided earning opportunities of between $23 million and $33 million. The increasing availability of online streaming platforms and the rising prize pools for competitive gaming tournaments have helped to drive the growth of esports. In addition, the recognition of esports as a legitimate sport by various governments and international organisations, such as the Commonwealth Games Federation, has given it greater credibility and helped to attract more sponsors and investors.
- The adoption of streaming platforms: Online streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and most recently TikTok, have become increasingly popular in the gaming and esports industry. These platforms allow players to stream their gameplay live to a wide audience, providing a new level of interactivity and engagement. In addition, the use of streaming platforms has helped to drive the growth of esports, as it allows players and teams to showcase their skills and attract sponsors and investors. This is demonstrated by some of the biggest esport organisations, such as TSM, 100 Thieves and Faze Clan, recruiting content creators to help them grow their reach and influence.
- The emergence of battle royale games: The battle royale genre, in which players fight to be the last one standing in a large, open-world environment, has exploded in popularity in recent years. Games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Warzone 2, have attracted millions of players and have become major esports titles. The success of these games has led to the emergence of numerous battle royale games, as well as the incorporation of battle royale elements into other genres. The battle royale genre is also showing up in web3, with GRIT from Gala Games, being announced as the first blockchain game to be available on the Epic Games store, providing access to a potential user base of 194 million.
To sum up, the gaming and esports industry has experienced significant shifts in recent years. Gaming is now the number one way to connect with young audiences, but it can also be used to reach almost any demographic worldwide, by targeting a specific niche, genre or franchise. Additionally, gaming offers a fully immersive experience, meaning that brands who authentically enter the space and add value to the gaming experience can become integral to the lives of gamers.