Digital Gaming's Most Popular Trends

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  • 11 Nov, 2021  |
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1 Digital Gaming's Most Popular Trends

The global gaming industry is one that is in a constant state of evolution. In 2020, the industry experienced one of its greatest growth spurts on record, as masses of people around the globe started playing games across mobile, PC and consoles on a regular basis. Gaming devices were in demand like never before, Nintendo’s Switch was sold out for months in 2020 and even pre-orders for 5th gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X reached maximum capacity.

With gaming set to reach even further levels of growth over the next 3-4 years — MarketsandMarkets have predicted a CAGR in the industry of 12% for 2020 to 2025 — certain genres in the digital gaming industry have emerged as the most popular trends to watch.

Cloud Gaming

We’ve been watching films and television on demand for several years now, but it took the gaming world until recently to perfect the gaming on demand recipe. Cloud gaming has seen significant momentum across PCs and consoles since 2020, with subscription-based gaming services and cloud-gaming platforms hitting the mainstream thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Amazon’s Luna.

With more and more games now becoming available on-demand, the focus is on where cloud gaming will go next. It’s clear that the influx of edge computing and the potential for rapid developments in latency afforded by 5G networks opens up huge possibilities for advances in mobile cloud gaming.

Roguelike Gaming

Don’t worry if the term above means nothing to you, unless you’re a diehard gamer it's highly unlikely that you’ve heard of roguelike gaming before. The style of play actually derives from a subgenre of RPG (role-playing games) popularised by the 1980 Unix-based classic Rogue.

Characterised by high difficulty curves and randomised elements, roguelike games are challenging and can result in quick character deaths, but they incentivise gamers to keep on playing. Games like Hades and 2021’s Loop Hero are two of the best examples of recent roguelike games that have gone from being an indie gamer obsession to a mainstream gaming trend.

Online Casino Gaming

While they may have been established for several years now, online casino gaming platforms are showing no signs of dropping in popularity, with their vast libraries of innovative gaming experiences, platforms like PokerStars Casino are still very much on-trend.

Casino gaming appeals to a wide gaming demographic; it’s accessible to adult gamers irrespective of their location and it offers up a wide variety of innovative gaming experiences. Boosted by the integration of advanced technology like Virtual Reality, we can expect to see casino games continuing to be a strong gaming trend for many more years to come.

Wellbeing Games

If there’s one lesson that the past 24 months have taught us, it’s the value of slowing down and paying attention to our mental wellbeing. As people all over the world wave goodbye to hustle and grind mentalities, there’s an increased appetite for apps and games with a focus on mindfulness, self-care and relaxation.

The aptly named #SelfCare gaming app gamifies the most mundane moments in our daily lives, such as getting out of bed in the morning, turning them into meaningful experiences with a focus on mindfulness and gratitude. MIT Media Lab’s Guardians: Unite the Realms, meanwhile, pairs healthy habit formation and skills development with a gorgeous fantasy setting to appeal to a wide range of gamers.

Social Gaming

Social gaming is a genre that has been bubbling away in the industry since the 2010s, but it too underwent a massive growth spurt in 2020.


2 Digital Gaming's Most Popular Trends

Whether gamers are creating the social link themselves with platforms like Discord or Twitch, or they’re engaging in the social elements of games like Fortnite and Roblox, more and more players are spending increasing amounts of time in gaming spaces that allow them to interact and socialise with their fellow gamers. According to Global Wireless Solutions, social gaming apps across the board saw increases in both downloads and usage in 2020, with Among Us and Roblox emerging as the most popular, netting 33% and 19% increases in average daily minutes respectively.

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