Gaming has been one of the fastest-growing forms of entertainment in 2021. Around half of the world’s population now players them at least occasionally, generating the industry more than $175 billion this year. Of course, these lofty heights were not just achieved in 2021. Interest in gaming has been growing steadily for several years, especially in the casual and hyper-casual categories.
Industry analysts are very excited about the prospects for gaming in the coming years, with estimates suggesting it could become worth more than half a trillion dollars by the end of 2028, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% between now and then.
A lot is likely to change between now and then, including next year which is likely to see many big events and trends that will affect gamers both positively and negatively.
More Hardware Shortages
In mid-December, the BBC reported on the fact that Brits were struggling to find Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 consoles ahead of Christmas. Many shoppers have had to resort to jumping from website to website, signing up for notifications, and constantly refreshing pages in hope that stock levels would change.
The phenomenon is not limited to the British Isles either, shoppers in continental Europe, Asia, and the Americas are all suffering the same struggles.
This issue is caused by a global microchip shortage which doesn’t look like it will relent anytime soon. Back in September, Microsoft’s head of gaming said the shortage would continue beyond the holiday season and into 2022. It’s not likely to be resolved early in the New Year either, so gamers should brace themselves for the difficulties in finding consoles and other hardware like graphics cards.
New Casino Games
Online casinos have been around since the mid-1990s, offering their customers the ability to play classic card and table games through their computers and, more recently, smartphones and tablets.
Competition in the iGaming sector is intense, with hundreds of different brands all vying for the business of loyal players. Companies have come up with several ways to differentiate themselves and appeal to a range of customers. This has included using bonuses, promotions, and progressive jackpots as well as multiple platforms to play on.
Another way casinos differentiate themselves is by creating new and unique variants of games. This means there are versions of traditional titles that appeal to different types of players. For example, those looking for blackjack online can choose from classic, premium, and high roller versions as well as live dealer options
The success of this approach in the last few years means we are likely to see even more creative takes on classic card games making their way into online casinos in 2022.
Remasters of old video games are a contentious topic for some players. Some are excited by the prospect of reliving gaming history on modern hardware and with better graphics. Others, however, would prefer that developers focus their efforts on creating new and exciting titles and view these remasters as a cheap trick to extract more cash from customers.
Regardless of where you stand on the matter, the fact is, remasters are incredibly popular and are a great way for their creators to boost their bottom lines. With software engineers in high demand, publishers need to find ways to do more with fewer resources.
Of course, this is not without risk as a poorly executed remaster could damage a brand’s reputation, just as we saw recently with the Definitive Edition of the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy.
There were dozens of major titles re-released in 2021 and the pipeline of already announced remasters for 2022 is already quite long. It includes titles like Grand Theft Auto V, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, System Shock, and Life is Strange Remastered Collection.
Often, the time between an announcement and release of a remaster or remake is much shorter than an entirely new video game, so we can expect many more to be added to the schedule in the coming weeks and months.