Coming Trends in the Gaming World

The gaming world is constantly evolving, so much so that it can be difficult to stop and look at trends or future outlooks at any one time. There are so many new games and new uses of technology being revealed on a month-to-month basis, that is, that it almost seems unnecessary to look too far into the future.

At the same time though, looking ahead to the future of gaming doesn’t have to involve any wildly inventive speculation about new concepts or technologies. Sometimes there are coming trends that are reasonably apparent even as the world of gaming is actively evolving around us. And right now, as we approach the turn into 2022, there are a few trends on the horizon that are becoming increasingly clear.

Old Franchises Dominating New Mediums

Maybe the most predictable thing in gaming has become the continued dominance of old, established franchises no matter what changes happen in their orbit. This year alone we have numerous examples: New versions of Pokémon and Super Mario games have come out for the Nintendo Switch popular sports gaming franchises always put out annual installments; and series like Halo, Far Cry, and Call Of Duty have all seen fresh releases. We even got a fresh cinematic reboot of Mortal Kombat! Gaming’s beloved franchises simply have too great a hold on the culture to fade away, such that one trend we can be certain of is that whatever changes in gaming, said franchises will continue to be involved.

Better & More Prominent Emulators

Just earlier this year we looked at some beloved older games that ’90s kids in particular will remember fondly. Games like these also represent an emerging trend in gaming, however. With so many cross-platform options in modern gaming, people no longer just want to play their favorite games in the most convenient ways. Instead, they expect to be able to do so. This expectation will be met by developers in time, likely in the form of better and more prominent mobile, PC, and even console-based emulators that make games of all kinds more widely accessible (though even now a handful of websites give you decent access to lots of old games!).

A Growing Online Poker Category

When considering types of games that could represent coming trends, online poker is one that makes a great deal of sense. To be clear, this category is already very active where access is legal and regulated. The ability to play online poker for real money is one a lot of people already have, and one that requires little more than a quick and easy sign-up process at a relevant web platform. Unfortunately at this point though, only some states allow online poker of this sort, which is what has kept this category from breaking through in the U.S. However, we see this beginning to change. While there may only be five states allowing poker, they’ve mostly decided to do so in just the last few years, and many more states have legislators who are arguing in favor of legalization and regulation. The tide appears to be turning, and if it does so in a significant way the gaming world will see a massive online poker category emerging in the coming years.

In-Game Money with Real-World Value

While it has long been a factor in one way or another, currency in video games has become increasingly complex and increasingly important over the years. At this point there are dozens of noteworthy money systems in popular games, and the accumulation of in-game wealth has become absolutely crucial to success in some instances. What seems almost inevitable at this point is that at some point, some prominent game will get away with making its in-game currency carry real value. In other words, we expect it to be possible, within a few years, to win money in, say, a Red Dead Redemption mini-game, and then withdraw that money to use in the real world. It will need to be in the form of some kind of redeemable token or cryptocurrency, but it seems likely to happen one way or another.

AR Lifestyle Games

The emergence of lifestyle games in augmented reality is something we’ve already seen of late. Essentially, this refers to games like Pokémon GO, AR Runner, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite — games that challenge players to explore and conduct activity in the real world in order to make progress. It’s a very fun category already, but one we suspect is only in its infancy. As AR improves, and likely makes its way onto new personal smart glasses in the next year or two, these games will grow more capable and complex. In another few years, AR lifestyle games could well represent the pinnacle of mobile gaming.

It is always hard to look into the future of gaming with total clarity, because things tend to move so quickly. For now though, these look to be as close as we can get to definite trends for the coming years.

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