As technology advances, so does the gaming industry

As technology advances, so does the gaming industry
April 12, 2024  |  BY

The gaming industry has traveled light years since the days when Pacman and Donkey Kong dominated pop culture. And it’s all due to rapid-fire advancements in technology from one year to the next. 2024 has taken gaming even farther, completely altering how we perceive the possibilities of games.

One big driver for gaming acceleration has been Virtual Reality (VR). In fact, VR has brought a fundamental shift in gameplay mechanics and design possibilities. In turn, we’re likely to witness increased game complexity and player involvement.

Netflix is also having a major impact on gaming. Yes, Netflix. Just as they disrupted broadcast television and powerhouse movie studios, they have significant plans to do something similar with the gaming space. Specifically, they will offer a subscription-based model for games, just like the model they offer to watch your favorite shows.

Nothing is official, but Netflix has dropped clues that it will create indie as well as major games. Meaning that once again, they’ll appeal to a wide spectrum of the audiences. And by offering games via streaming, playing will become as accessible as their traditional movie and show content.

In a related development, cloud gaming is making huge strides as well. Specifically, this year, cloud gaming will transform the industry by providing new ways to access and play games.

This development has been in the works for some time. Google Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and others have been leading the industry toward cloud gaming. The main benefit is that players can access high-quality games on a range of devices without needing powerful hardware. In addition, they won’t have to worry about downloads, and can enjoy automatic updates and the ability to play wherever they have an Internet connection.

Mobile gaming is breaking new ground as well. Now, dedicated console and PC gamers, typically more casual players, are going mobile, prompted by popular titles making the jump to mobile.

Apple, as always a force to be reckoned with, has been creating a seamless experience between mobile gaming and other platforms, a shift that will surely cause an industry-wide shift.

Accordingly, we will likely see a transformation in game development. Titles for consoles and PC might be forced to add mobile-friendly features to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z, who gravitate to handheld devices.

Esports have also become popular for gamers of all ages. And based on the ever-increasing craze, Esports’ growth won’t slow down anytime soon. In addition to everyday players, we’re seeing an explosion in competitive gaming and viewership. It’s a revolution that has created professional leagues and tournaments, which draws millions of fans and drives massive revenue.

No talk of technology growth would be complete without mentioning Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is already an essential element of gaming, and 2024 will see AI become even more important to the evolution of the industry. Specifically, experts foresee an abundance of AI tools being integrated into software to foster more rapid and precise coding and advanced visual effects.

In turn, the in-game experiences will move to an exponential new level, with games becoming more life-like and challenging. AI will also boost potential for game design, with the ability to analyze player behavior and customizing the individual session to each player’s style.

Augmented Reality (AR) is keeping pace with AI on the gaming front. More games will integrate AR technology, providing games that can interact with the real world. Titles will overlay digital elements onto the player’s physical environment to create gaming environments that could’ve only been imagined just a few years ago.

Plus, with the ubiquity of smartphones, AR games will undoubtedly reach a much bigger audience.

We can’t leave out the topic that drives the gaming industry – for that matter, any industry: commerce. In-game microtransactions have become more and more the norm, and this year they might become a standard.

Many in the gaming community have criticized microtransactions for diluting the true gaming experience. However true that might be, in-game microtransactions do provide a financial mechanism for developers to continue to get support for their games as time goes on. And based on the sales figures, players are more than happy to support those responsible for creating the activity near and dear to their hearts.

Besides, from the perspective of game companies, the amount of revenue derived by microtransactions can’t be easily dismissed. As microtransactions provide ongoing sales, they also accommodate access to free gaming with ongoing content updates.

No one can predict what the future will bring to the gaming industry. In the 1980s, life-size arcade games were the pinnacle of innovation; today, people play games a million times more powerful with devices that fit in their back pockets. And whatever the next step will be, technology will be the driving force that takes us there.