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Revealed: Top gaming trends as industry grows rapidly

The video games industry is expanding, and as newly accessible technology enters the fray, it shows no sign of stopping.

The gaming market will grow from USD$131 billion in 2018 to $305 billion in 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%, according to research released by GlobalData.

The report reveals the maturing of cloud technologies and 5G will help cloud gaming become a major global market, with a variety of companies racing to become the Netflix of games.

Listed below are the top gaming software technology trends, as identified by GlobalData.

Cloud gaming

The cloud gaming model is poised for rapid growth. The goal is to provide gamers with frictionless and direct access to games that are hosted in the cloud. 

In ten years, traditional PC and console gaming will have been largely replaced by games hosted in the cloud and accessed via thin-client PCs, consoles, or mobiles.

Esports

Esports is a form of organised, multiplayer video game competition. 

It is witnessing spectacular growth, with the global audience surpassing 450 million people in 2019, according to Newzoo. 

This trend is pushing gaming companies across the value chain to invest heavily in esports.

Fantasy sports

A fantasy sport is a type of online game where participants put together imaginary or virtual teams of real-life professional sports players. 

Fantasy sports are particularly popular in the US and Canada.

Virtual reality (VR)

Gaming is the most significant use case for VR. 

VR gaming will steadily gain traction, driven by falling headset prices, the arrival of new content, and the growing esports community.

Augmented reality (AR)

The developers of AR games have failed to build on the success of Pokémon Go. 

Jurassic World Alive, The Walking Dead: Our World, and Ingress Prime were all heralded as successors to Pokémon Go’s crown. 

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite enjoyed a strong debut in June 2019.

Smartphones will remain the most popular AR gaming device, but usage will decline. 

5G’s low latency will be a boon and will help the development of multiplayer AR games.

Games consoles

The console market is split between Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. 

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 both launched in 2013, with higher powered versions released in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Valve and Nvidia have console offerings.

As networking infrastructure coverage evolves through fixed broadband and 5G services, the low latency required for streamed gameplay will become ubiquitous and gaming is predicted to move towards an as-a-service model.

Online gaming ecosystems

Digital distribution is a significant segment of the video games market. 

Mobile gaming is exclusively available via application stores, while console platforms have also built similar stores. 

The usage and promotion of digital distribution portals will only increase and, in the longer term, these portals will offer gaming companies a route to streaming.

Mobile gaming ecosystems

Despite the popularity of gaming on consoles and PCs, mobile devices have the largest player base. 

Some of the biggest titles have been developed by studios such as King and Supercell, though larger gaming companies such as Valve and Activision Blizzard have also entered the space.