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The Best Gaming Trends of 2022

Video gaming is the success story of the past decade. The industry outperformed both the movie and music industries combined and continues to increase its dominance year on year.

Spearheaded by mobile technology, gaming’s target market has expanded from a niche group of console and PC owners to nearly every smartphone user on the planet. Hence, the average age of a gamer is now in their thirties and developers have had to reconsider the type of products that are in demand.

It’s a fascinating and shifting market, full of innovation, and keeping an eye on each new trend can be a full-time job. We take a look at some of the hottest gaming trends of this year and what the future holds for the industry.

The Continued Rise of Casino Gaming

Casino gaming found a fruitful partnership in the mobile market, successfully downsizing their popular games to the diminutive screen size of smart devices. Poker was the flagbearer for the sector and the model in which all subsequent casino games would follow.

Roulette and Blackjack have also garnered support but Slots are perhaps the hottest trend in casino gaming right now. Such is the traction Slots have amassed that even conventional casual games have borrowed the fruit machine mechanic to great success.

Record breaking mobile title Coin Master by Moon Active utilises three spinning reels at its core, and indie sensation Luck be a Landlord by TrampolineTales expands on the idea creating a roguelike deckbuilder from a customisable 16-bit slot machine. To find some of the best US gambling sites on the web follow the recommendations made by GoodGamblingSites.com.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming has been a buzzword/phrase for some time now with many of the biggest names in tech staking a claim of the action. The concept reduces the hardware requirements of each individual user – instead, much of that processing takes place on the servers of the cloud gaming host so long as a fast and stable internet connection is maintained.

Following in the footsteps of the TV and movie industry, many Netflix-like companies host their own libraries of games to which gamers can access for a monthly subscription fee. The arena was shaken recently, however, when giants Google announced the closure of their cloud gaming service Stadia and that they would refund all players for all software purchases and of the proprietary controller.

Google has a track record of shutting down products they feel haven’t performed – head to this website for a comprehensive list. The vacuum left by Google Stadia, however, will certainly be filled by one of their competitors. Like the Metaverse, all indicators suggest these types of services are where we are headed, it’s just a matter of time before it’s more universally adopted.

Crypto Gaming

Cryptocurrency is a mainstay of the financial headlines and it’s also making its mark in video games. Play to earn (P2E) titles like Axie Infinity and Splinterlands integrate crypto tokens into their gaming mechanics where players are rewarded for both their play time and achievements in-game.

There’s an inherent incentive for players to want to increase the value of their digital assets which in turn benefits the token’s creators, the developers of the game. It’s a unique model, only made possible with the recent advent of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Virtual Reality

VR (virtual reality) allows players to transport themselves into a fully immersive multisensory digital world via the use of a headset and headphones. Nintendo’s Wii console experimented with the possibility of using the human body as an input instead of the controller alone and VR systems take that concept several steps further.

Google Earth VR allows players to soar over continents and witness the planet’s most famous landmarks from an entirely new perspective. Valve’s Half-Life series was given a VR update and tested the technology to the limit with their most recent instalment, Alyx.

Streaming Platforms

Streaming services have revolutionised not only the games themselves but also how they are marketed. Twitch is the leading game streaming platform – followed by YouTube – where hundreds of thousands of viewers tune in to watch their favourite personalities playing a range of modern and classic games.

Tapping into this market can be extremely lucrative, giving birth to unanticipated hits like the social deduction game Among Us. Streaming platforms also play an integral role in the hugely popular egames circuits – the professional division of video games.

The Metaverse

As previously mentioned, Meta’s (formerly Facebook) announcement of the Metaverse has been a source of some derision, and their platform, by many measures, has been underperforming. That’s not to say that the concept itself is a failure.

Decentraland is a decentralised VR metaverse project that is just one example of a competitor to Meta’s operation. The game exists on the Ethereum blockchain where you can buy and sell plots of land and then use them for your own games or applications. Last year the first four-day “Metaverse Festival” was held in-game, inviting international talent as guests in the form of Deadmau5, Paris Hilton and 3LAU.

Gaming will certainly play a significant role in the future of our entertainment – but what lays in store for the future of gaming? Following the trends is one way to glimpse into where this trailblazing industry is headed.