The gaming industry in 2022, our predicted trends to watch

After the major news of yesterday it is clear that the new year is well and truly here! We're taking a look at what we think will have a big impact on gaming in 2022.

Our industry has grown a lot, moves fast, and has already got off to an incredible start considering yesterday’s major news of Microsoft’s $70bn deal to acquire Activision/Blizzard. Let’s take a quick look back at the last 20 years in gaming and then look forward to what else the gaming industry in 2022 might have in store for us.

Looking back 20 years ago…

20 years – whether we like it or not – is a long time, especially for fast-moving industries like technology and gaming. So just for a quick hit of nostalgia, let’s look at what was happening in our world 20 years ago. 

There’s no doubt that 2002 was an incredible year for game releases. To name a few, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Mafia, and Kingdom Hearts all made their debuts that year, alongside so many more games that we still love today. Battlefield 1942 was crowned Game of The Year, and your choice of console was between the GameCube, Xbox, or PS2. 

Although they were simpler times, one thing is certain – we don’t miss the painful downloads via dial-up internet, or the five-disc install process!

Looking forward to 2022…

As we enter a new year, the gaming industry is bigger than ever and shows no signs of slowing down, thanks again to continuous technological advancements and a global pandemic bringing people closer to the world of gaming. 

So what topics and trends should we be watching closely this year in Gaming? 

Subscription-based gaming services are thriving and will continue to thrive this year. Imagine in 2002 being told that if you paid £10 a month, you could play over 100 games for as long as you like, and you didn’t have to return them to Blockbuster at the end of the month? Winner. Fast forward to today, where there are many different services and pricing tiers available to gamers – so much so that it can sometimes become a hard choice to decide which services to commit to, but the likelihood is that everyone has an opinion about one of the services.  

20 years since the launch of Xbox Live, we now have Xbox Games Pass, which is currently dominating the game subscription market – and in light of yesterday’s acquisition news, the reign of domination will not be slowing down. We’re keeping a keen eye on how Sony and Nintendo intend to up the stakes and bolster their subscription services to further compete with the notorious Game Pass this year. 

With the likes of EA Play and Ubisoft+ also continuing to be a solid choice of publisher-based subscription services, we’ll be paying close attention to how they interact, collaborate, and compete with the big three console subscription services from Xbox, Sony, and Nintendo throughout the year.

Cryptocurrency and NFTs. Whether you like them or not, they’re not something to ignore this year. With strange pictures of pixelated monkeys being sold for millions of dollars last year, we’re now seeing the possibilities of how NFTs can shape the future of in-game purchases and unique customisation through cosmetics. With industry giants like Ubisoft, Square Enix, and EA making bold statements and large investments into blockchain technology, we’re sure we haven’t heard the last of NFTs for now.

While we have an incredible amount of new and original titles to look forward to in 2022, the industry is showing no signs of slowing in terms of remakes and reboots of old games. These revamped old gems are still currently some of the best-selling games on the market, as they offer both nostalgia seekers and a whole new generation of gamers a chance to experience some of the best games in a new era of graphics and hardware improvements. We predict that we’ll see more reboots popping up and announced at the big gaming events this year, but the real question is, what game would you like to see get the next-gen make-over treatment? 

Last on the watch list for 2022 is large-scale improvements to social features in mobile and handheld gaming. We know that mobile gaming continues to explode in terms of both growth and diversity day by day. Thanks to games such as Among Us, LoL: Wild Rift, and PUBG Mobile, mobile gamers are being brought closer together than ever, and are now sharing similar experiences to gamers who play on PC or console with their friends. With more and more mainstream and AAA titles coming to mobile, or even getting their own adaptations, improvements to social gameplay are some of the most demanded features by gamers. This includes features like in-game text and voice chat facilities, PvP, and co-op gameplay. 

We’ve even got you covered with the biggest new mobile games coming in 2022 on our mobile gaming website, Pocket Tactics. 

Whilst a lot of the above is all speculative one thing is certain, the gaming industry in 2022 has started with a bang!

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