The gaming industry is changing, and it's changing fast.
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo CEO, told reporters at a recent press conference for Nintendo's latest console, the Nintendo Switch, that the whole concept of what gaming platforms are has evolved. Gaming has come a long way over the years as we can see from its history. Until a few decades ago, games were played with 8-bit graphics and only two colors. With today's games, we can choose from millions of genres, incredibly realistic graphics, and a wide variety of genres.
Gaming has come a long way in the last 30 years if you've ever used an Amiga 500 computer to play Myst Island. Graphics were blocky and pixelated, and there was only one color: blue. Whether we are racing around Mario Kart's Rainbow Road or enjoying photo-realistic graphics, we are transported into completely immersive environments. It was a good time then as well. Our childhood is filled with playing video games, whether on cassettes, consoles, or some type of DVDs.
Let's talk about how the Gaming is reaching the next generation. The Next-Gen is already here!
The next generation of games is here, releasing the newest consoles, from the PS5 and Xbox Series X to the Oculus Quest 2. They're bringing into play factors that have been influencing every new generation of games: graphics, processing power, and online connectivity. This year is no different, except that all three are being revolutionized in unprecedented ways.
Graphics have always been a big part of what makes a console a generational leap. The PS3 brought us high-definition graphics; the PS4 Pro brought us 4K resolution. The PS5 will bring us ray tracing - a technology that has made its way into gaming from movie production, where it's used to create effects like glow and reflections in real-time. It means incredibly realistic lighting effects that give you more immersive than ever before.
While consoles are still the primary place for many gamers to play, PCs have also made incredible strides in recent years. There is a wide variety of software that utilizes the latest innovations in PC hardware to provide top-notch gaming experiences compared to previous generations of PCs. Powered by Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, the new Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition desktop and G15 AMD Ryzen Edition gaming laptop deliver a truly immersive experience, providing you with realistic graphics, lightning-fast refresh rates, and more.
The Video Game Development Process The first thing we need to understand is how video games are developed before we discuss how they can change the world. Whether it’s a triple-A (AAA) title with a massive production and marketing budget or an indie game with a tiny development team, a lot goes into developing a video game. The process involves working with various artistic media such as music, art, animation, video programming, and marketing. The following key steps make up the development process. Ideas/Core concept A game’s vision is born in the idea stage. Developers determine the type of game it will be, imagine the storylines of heroes and protagonists, establish game play principles, and develop themes and environments. Bringing an idea to fruition requires a proof of concept, a process that gathers ideas from various stakeholders to determine the feasibility of producing a viable game. At this stage, development teams address the cost, timeline, and technical capabilities and set expectations.
The FPS game Duke Nukem Forever spent 15 years in development, but all that time and effort didn’t translate into critical or financial success. Most games don’t take that long, but Game development is a resource-intensive and costly process, and an expensive game that fares poorly costs developers time and money.
Market analysis helps determine if a game will sell and identifies the audience’s desires. During this stage, game developers examine gaming trends, follow fan sites, and may interview or poll gamers regarding what they’re looking for in a game.
Market analysis provides useful information about what features players want to see, paving the way for pre production. During the preproduction stage, designers, developers, writers, and programmers work together to outline game mechanics, create prototypes, set project deadlines, create documentation, and develop a test plan. The development team brainstorms story and character ideas and determines the elements of game play.
Production Because so many pieces are involved, production can take years to complete. During the production stage, the development team executes the elements established in pre production: user interface, characters, audio, storylines, and programming. After months or even years of work, some aspects of the game may be changed or scrapped for various reasons, such as cost overruns, design changes, limited resources, or poorly received demos.
Testing Before releasing a game, developers work to ensure that it functions correctly. Quality assurance (QA) testers identify bugs, looking for vulnerabilities or broken features, such as characters walking through walls.
The testing phase also determines whether the game’s progression works, also known as flow analysis. Does the story match the player’s journey? Answering this question can help improve the game. Sometimes, game developers release an alpha version to a very limited audience, widening the pool of users reporting bugs and suggesting possible enhancements.
After fixing bugs and implementing feedback, game developers take the next step: releasing a formal beta version as part of a prelaunch. The beta phase opens up the game to a wider audience, spreading the word about a game and appealing to influential users for their opinions and feedback. After the beta phase, developers incorporate final changes and continue to address bugs before finalizing a launch version that can be sent to factories to produce physical media or released online. The final key step of launching a game is marketing, including advertising, promotional activities, and sometimes playable demos of certain levels.
The post launch phase involves assessing the launch’s success and identifying ways to improve the game. Post Launch work can include providing regular software updates, refreshing content, adding new features, and fixing bugs through patches.
Game Industry trends Driving Innovation From triple-A big budget titles to crowdfunded indie games, successful developers follow trends to learn what audiences are looking for and anticipate future video game development trends. Below are six gaming industry trends worth noting: 1.Cloud Gaming and Streaming Increased smartphone use, faster Wi-Fi and internet service, more reliable mobile networks, and larger hardware storage capacities in mobile devices have been primary drivers of people’s consumption of more digital content. Typically, users download games to their devices.
With an internet connection, gamers can then interact with others anywhere in the world as they play, but the games are still running locally from their devices. Over time, this can impact the performance of a player’s device. With cloud gaming and streaming, users play games from their devices, but the games actually live somewhere else, such as in a data center.
2. Digital Distributions Netflix and Amazon have revolutionized home video, and the video game industry is headed in the same direction. While game revenues are up, brick-and-mortar video game stores are in decline, thanks to lower sales of physical games.
Digital distribution of games via services such as Steam complements the marketing strategies of publishers, allowing companies to deliver continuous messages to users, consistently introducing new features, updates, and games. 3. Mobile Gaming
Mobile is becoming the go-to platform for consumers looking for new ways to stay entertained. With more than 2 billion people worldwide playing mobile games, according to Deloitte, mobile is the largest driver of growth in the video game industry. Amid COVID-19 lockdowns, mobile gaming surged because it offered users increased accessibility to video games. The mobile game user population in the U.S. and Canada has increased by 12% since 2019, according to a Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming report. 4. Next-Gen Console Gaming
Gaming has reached a lot of new audiences, thanks to trends such as mobile game users, distribution digital models, and cloud gaming. In response, the primary game console manufacturers have embraced that change by introducing next-generation consoles that enable players to use physical and digital games. For example, Xbox Series X provides subscribers with access to a constantly updated library of hundreds of games. With state-of-the-art graphics, lightning-fast load times, and easy access to new games, next-generation consoles will continue to push the envelope in the video game industry. 5.New business Models Business models making their mark on the industry include free to play and gaming as a service (GaaS). The free-to-play model allows players to play games for no initial charge. The games, typically available on mobile devices and gaming PCs, then introduce opportunities for monetization. For example, players can purchase credits to remove ads, interact with other gamers, or get unobstructed play. Gaming as a service (GaaS) typically involves subscription-based streaming, where users play games on a game publisher's servers. A game's lifespan can be extended over time by utilizing GaaS in conjunction with additional monetization opportunities.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Video Games
AI in the gaming industry is a rapidly-growing field and will be continuing to impact in the future, especially in the gaming industry. Artificial intelligence (AI) describes computer algorithms that allow machines to think and learn like humans. In video games, AI can teach itself to be unpredictable in the way that a human player would, finding ways to outsmart human users. The long-term goal of artificial intelligence research is to create technology capable of performing any task that a human can. With this technology, we can build games with hyper-realistic graphics and characters that respond in ways that make them seem almost human.
Augmented Reality (AR) in Video Games
AR is an exciting new dimension of gaming that allows you to enter a world where digital and physical objects coexist. It makes virtual objects appear in the real world, which means that instead of just using a controller, you can play with your environment. AR opens up many new possibilities for what games can be.
For example, you could turn your living room into a race track or visit other players in their homes without leaving yours! You could even create an AR game with your friends and play it together on your phones! Metaverse In Video Games Metaverse as you know, is the new way of how the games are now going to be displayed to the world. Metaverses are virtual worlds that offer platform-independent social experiences and a more open environment that are amalgamated into a different type of gaming experience. This is a digital universe created by many different people playing different games - all connected through a single network. It will also reflect our growing desire for online social interaction and for experiences that can incorporate our real-life friends into the games we play.
Conclusion We no longer think of games as just games. The Gaming Industry and the community is growing massive and will be a big thing. In the future of gaming, there will be a significant impact from the growing esport community. A quick internet search shows that the esports business is booming: Newzoo, an analytics firm focused on gaming, expects the global esports market to grow 14.5 percent in 2022 and reach $1,084 million in revenue.
The gaming industry has progressed rapidly in the past few decades. Thanks to technological advancements such as 3D graphics, VR, and AI, video games are continuously evolving. As developers introduce new innovations, players will discover more realistic, fully immersive simulations on screens and lenses and will be able to connect further with others.
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