What to expect from the game industry in 2023?

Mobidictum analyzes the game industry’s current state, along with the expected and upcoming changes in 2023.

The global pandemic has been a threshold that diverted all the expectations and forecasts about the future. Predictions before and after the pandemic have been drastically altered as it shook the world financially, socially, and psychologically. The game industry took its share of these changes and attempted to stay afloat while trying to adapt. Mobiditum’s team of writers gathered a collective of forecasts concerning the game industry’s future.

Virtual reality

VR technology has been on the radar of the video game industry for a while. The attempts to create a successful consumer-ready product date back to the 1980s. But these attempts to create a useful interface device between the players and the machines have stagnated until the arrival of the Oculus Rift in 2013. After the arrival of the Oculus Rift, VR technology flared the appetite of game developers and gaming tech manufacturers.

Multiple game developers fiddled around with the technology, but these were more remained sincere attempts to work around the problems regarding VR games than introducing commercially successful IPs. Problems like the player’s movement, sense of physical existence in a digital environment, interactions with in-game objects and environment, playability, and the narration of the story through a VR medium remained as problems to be solved comprehensively.

Until the arrival of Half-Life: Alyx that is. Half-Life: Alyx is considered by the majority of the game industry and the gaming community as the first game that tackles all of these problems competently to present a commercially viable product. It offers a complete storyline and a unique sense of self-existence to the player in a digital world.

Half-Life: Alyx shook the PC game industry and drew its attention back to VR technology by demonstrating what’s achievable. As Valve has managed to pass over a threshold, more PC game developers seem to lean on VR technology.

The year also saw some acquisitions along with increased investments, as Meta acquired three VR-based studios. In a report dated November, Newzoo stated that the VR market will reach $1.8 billion by the end of 2022. The company also determined the expected total revenue to amount to $2.5 billion in 2023.

Cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is considered “the future of gaming” by many. The industry is in a growing trend and is projected to grow by $5.7 billion by 2026. Newzoo’s 2022 Global Cloud Gaming report predicts 32 million paying gamers by the end of 2022. US-based software company Perforce interviewed over 300 industry professionals and arrived at the conclusion that streaming and cloud gaming will be the dominant way of playing video games in the near future.

2022 has seen major developments in cloud gaming technology and services. Logitech and Tencent worked together on a handheld console Logitech G CLOUD and released it last November. Razer shared a teaser video for a brand new cloud-powered handheld gaming device that supports 5G connectivity, Razer Edge 5G. The biggest news in the cloud gaming space came from Google; Stadia’s Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison shared a blog post stating that they’ve decided to shut down Stadia for good. The cloud gaming service will be available till January 18, 2023, and then disappear from existence.

As 5G coverage increases, cloud gaming will solidify its presence in the gaming space. Mobidictum interviewed Nvidia’s Senior Product Manager Candice Mudrick and talked about the future of GeForce Now and Cloud Gaming.

Mobile gaming

After COVID-19, mobile gaming is predicted to have a  6.4% decline in revenue compared to last year in 2022. The decline of hyper-casual genre and life returning to “normal” had an impact on numbers. The game industry suffers from the same outcome as a whole, but the numbers forecast pre-pandemic and the current numbers are very close. Asia Pacific shows growth despite the total market’s decrease, with a 37% increase year-over-year

With the rise of new trends like hybrid-casual and the resurgence of mid-core mobile games, most reports suggest that 2022 was the corrective year for the industry, and many forecasts suggest that the mobile game industry will become a $272 billion industry by 2030.

Blockchain gaming

The year 2021 was a blast for Web3 gaming. The bull market was going strong, and approximately $4 billion was invested in the blockchain gaming space. Even though there have been many struggles in 2022, the unchanged factor was the investment count.

2023 looks promising for the industry, driven by the investments collected in the last two years. A recent report by MarketsandMarkets revealed core market growth data on blockchain gaming, indicating that the market is expected to reach $65.7B by 2027. 

Yat Siu, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands, made comments on the future of Web3 gaming:

“We’re going to see a big wave of high-quality games emerging in the market, which will basically bring on more mass adoption. That will come into full effect somewhere in 2023, maybe spilling over into 2024. And so, we should expect a wave of potentially hundreds of millions of users entering the space for that reason.”

Zebedee’s new survey on blockchain gaming also shared valuable information on gamer habits, discovering that two-thirds of (67%) gamers would play free games if they could earn cryptocurrencies. The research also found that most gamers (64%) have never played play-and-earn games with financial rewards, indicating a vast potential for future growth.

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