The Covid-19 virus was disastrous for the world and broke down its social fabric. However, one silver lining emerged from the virus: Video Games.

Over the past few years, we have seen massive growth in the video game industry, and according to statistics, “there will be 3.32 billion people worldwide playing video games in 2024”. In the UK, almost 88% of young adults aged between 18 and 25 play games. 

These statistics make video games among the most popular means of entertainment, but it also begs the question, why? When asked, about 66% of people responded they play video games to relax. 

Suffice to say, I agree. Nothing better than winding down on your couch after a hectic day at work and soaking in the breathtaking world of Red Dead Redemption 2 or partying up with the boys for a Call of Duty session. 

Let’s explore some popular trends in the gaming industry.

The Age of Subscriptions

Subscriptions have also penetrated into the gaming industry, and buying subscription-based games is all the rave these days. According to statistics, “ 52% of the gamers are subscribed to at least one game subscription”. The penetration rate of subscriptions is much higher on the console than on other platforms. 

Microsoft popularized the subscription model with the release of the Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is a monthly game-renting service that gives you access to the entire Xbox game library. Gamers can download any game they want. However, you can no longer keep the game once the subscription expires. 

After the release of Xbox Live, Sony followed suit with the PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium subscriptions. We have also seen subscription models, such as the Apple Arcade subscription, being implemented on mobile. 

New Regions Blossom

The gaming industry has reached a valuation of $249.60 billion, which has prompted interest in the industry from regions that were previously inactive in the gaming space. 

One particular region that I want to highlight is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have invested heavily in the gaming infrastructure. The latter has plans to invest 38 billion into gaming. 

Saudi Arabia has bought a 9% stake in Electronic Arts (EA), the gaming studio behind games like FIFA, Need For Speed, etc. The emergence of MENA has opened new avenues for the gaming industry, and this region is only going to blossom further into a powerhouse. 

The Attack of the Indie Studios

2023 has been the year of Indie Studios. Through the years, AAA studios have slept on their cash piles and seemingly forgotten how to make a fundamentally good game that can appeal to gamers without costing a lot of money. This couldn’t be more evident than in the first-person shooter industry. 

While Battlefield lost its charm and invested in features that the game’s loyal fanbase couldn’t care for, a new competitor filled the void, and that competitor being Battlebit: Remastered. 

Battlebit: Remaster was an instant success, and players flocked towards the game. Such was the enthusiasm of gamers that BattleBit: Remastered sold 1.8 million copies in just 2 weeks

Such success stories from indie studios are quite rare; when they happen, they are remarkable. Other success stories like Battlebit also graced us in 2023, and I can’t wait to see what indie studios bring in 2024. The stage is all set for the taking. 

The Age of Digital Gambling 

Who does like trying their odds? Gone are the times of physical gambling; we are in a digital landscape, and nothing screams more digital than playing online. 

Having the option of the best slot machines to play online defeats the physical barriers that shackled you to your location. Now, you can enjoy playing slot machine games from the comfort of your couch. 

This trend has taken off in 2023, and we only see it becoming increasingly popular in 2024. 

This was a recap of the gaming trends which unfolded in 2023. If I missed your favorite gaming trend of 2023, let me know in the comment section. Also, tell me what you see happening in 2024 and beyond. 

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