6 Game Development Trends for 2023
The gaming market is huge, and it’s growing rapidly. That was proven by Newzoo’s global games market report, which predicts that 3.2 billion people will play video games in 2022.
In 2023 and beyond, both gamers and developers will have exciting new trends and technologies to look forward to. So read on if you want to stay ahead.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 6 future gaming trends to watch out for:
- the mobile gaming industry is exploding
- cloud gaming is showing great potential
- extended reality (XR)
- remakes are selling millions of copies
- game developers are becoming entrepreneurs
- early access could become the norm
The Mobile Gaming Industry is Exploding
In 2022, mobile gaming took the global gaming market by storm. To illustrate the extent of this briefly, we will start with some mind-blowing statistics.
Statista reported that mobile gaming accounted for 45% of the gaming market revenue in the first half of 2022. They are projecting it will reach over 100 billion dollars by the end of the year.
While Covid significantly augmented this trend, it persisted and continued to grow irrespectively.
Look at the google trends graph below to see how the demand for mobile gaming doubled in just one year.
Cloud Gaming Is Showing Great Potential
Newzoo’s global cloud gaming report for 2021 estimated that people spent 1.6 billion dollars on cloud gaming. For 2023, however, they are projecting the revenue to double and reach 3.2 billion dollars.
There are many benefits to using this type of gaming infrastructure. For starters, it’s much more affordable to end-users since they don’t need to invest in expensive hardware.
Secondly, there is no need to download software. So you can start playing new games immediately, without waiting for hours.
Finally, it’s much more energy efficient and a great way to work around the current hardware supply issues. Especially since chip shortages are expected to continue in 2023 and beyond.
To see the exponential growth of interest coming to cloud gaming lately, look at the google trends graph below.
Extended Reality (XR)
Extended reality is an umbrella term that includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
In 2021, Statista reported that the XR market was worth 28 billion dollars. By 2024, however, they predict it will reach 300 billion dollars, which means a ten-fold growth in just two years.
Game development engines like Unreal Engine 5 are providing more and more extended reality features. At the same time, technological advancements in eye-tracking will enable deeper immersion into virtual experiences.
Remakes Are Selling Millions of Copies
People love classics, like our beloved Delta Force series, especially Delta Force Black Hawk Down, but sometimes it can be difficult to get used to old graphics, especially with today’s advanced visual effects. Or worse, you might not even be able to run older games on modern devices and operating systems.
So it’s no wonder game companies, such as ours, are delivering more spiritual sequels or remakes than ever nowadays. Especially considering that, in most cases, only the graphics need to be retouched.
However, it took everyone by surprise when several of those remakes became best sellers.
Here are some examples from the past few years:
- Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled sold over 600 million copies
- Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl sold over 15 million copies
- Resident Evil 2 sold over 10 million copies
- Diablo II: Resurrected sold over 5 million copies
- Final Fantasy VII sold over 5 million copies
How’s that for a return on investment?
Upcoming remastered titles for 2022 include Gothic, Splinter Cell, System Shock, Max Payne, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Witcher 3, and more.
Game Developers Are Becoming Entrepreneurs
Indie developers are thriving, and more people than ever are starting their own small businesses in this industry.
There are three main trends that make all this possible. Let’s dig right into them.
Developers are able to crowdfund the resources they need through websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. That takes care of the upfront investment costs.
The variety in game development software available today empowers developers to work the way they want. It’s also becoming progressively more intuitive, bringing more people into the industry.
Finally, game distribution platforms like Steam and GOG remove the need for a publisher. That’s why indie developers now have more control over their projects from conception to market.
Early Access Could Become the Norm
Last but not least, we have early access, as the latest growing trend in game development.
Empirical Software Engineering reported that Over 15% of Steam titles included early access as part of their development and marketing process.
Since the gaming community loves getting their hands on products as soon as possible, this proved to be a great marketing strategy over the years. Of course, people love it even more if it’s offered for free instead of just for those that pre-ordered.
The second most important benefit here is that game developers get community feedback from players. That allows them to optimize existing features, add new ones, and sometimes even make significant changes in the game’s direction.
It’s easy to see how Early Access is a win-win for all parties involved, so we are looking forward to seeing more of it in the years to come.
Alright, time to wrap things up. Today we explored the 8 biggest upcoming gaming and game development trends for 2023 and beyond.
Here are the key takeaways from this article:
- mobile gaming has the largest player base and earns the highest revenue
- cloud gaming is providing an alternative gaming infrastructure, one that is more energy-efficient and provides a solution for the global chip shortage
- XR technologies are evolving the gaming culture and creating new ways of interacting with game worlds
- remakes of game classics are selling like crazy, with the best example being Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, selling at over 600 million copies
- indie game developers have more options and resources at their disposal than ever before
- early access is offered more frequently and works great for both gamers and developers