When the first 2D game, Pong, was created in black and white in 1972, no one then could have predicted that gaming would become a billion-dollar industry and change the entertainment habits of millions of people. In the same way, it’s difficult to make predictions about what will happen to gaming because it has its roots so deeply grounded in technological developments.
One of the main focuses of interest is the possible development of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). Despite the recent creation of Oculus Rift by Palmer Luckey with its HMD (head-mounted display), the view in the industry is that AR and VR aren’t possible within the coming decade as there are so many problems to overcome, some technical and some regarding the queasiness some gaming guinea pigs have felt. Some industry experts even question whether gamers want total immersion in a game. They argue that this isn’t the main motivation of those who play games and question whether home-based players would be prepared to pay for additional costly AR/VR equipment.
Although visuals and graphics are crucial in gaming, it isn’t the only possible future change. Other technological advances which could impact the gaming industry include even faster internet connections (ideal for multiplayer functions); the use of secondary devices (to allow players to access maps/inventories without leaving the game); the creation of standalone headsets and/or goggles and the unknown ramifications of quantum computing.
As an industry as a whole, the gaming industry will also see changes in its demographics. Developers currently aim at the 13-25 age group. However, as the original gamers grow older, it’s doubtful whether they will stop playing. Therefore, the industry may have to create new types of games to reflect an ageing gaming community.
The pressures of developing new games has had a massive effect on the developers themselves. The two key problems facing the industry are burnout and a brain drain. As developers leave the high-pressure environment, they might decide to set up by themselves as independents. Although everything about money can be stressful, best loans UK can give them a helping hand, but it’s questionable whether they’ll be able to make a living in a market flooded with so many new games. Already free tools like Gamemaker enable the relatively inexperienced to create their own game, so competition will be fierce. Without the advertising and marketing budgets of the big gaming companies, it’s quite likely that many excellent games won’t receive the recognition that they deserve.
Closely linked to this issue is the resentment that some gamers feel about having to pay so much money to big gaming companies. Already the concept of Open Source Gaming is gaining ground, and it represents a growing threat to the monopoly of major game developers. The idea of cheaply-made games accessible to all will add further competition to a marketplace which is already crowded, but free entertainment will be attractive for those with little money to spend on their hobby.