2021 has been a real test of iron and grit for game developers as the industry has just come out of one of the most barren and blank years in gaming to date.
According to Playphone reviews, many trends that popped up in the 2021 Game Development Report that dropped in February made a lot of stipulations regarding the trends that crossed into the latter half of 2021 and remain relevant today.
For instance, purely console players have made the switch to desktop gaming, and it’s no secret why – a lot of lackluster releases from major consoles and studios have been lacking.
But are trends like these still relevant? Read on to find out.
Migration to Desktop Gaming
As the pandemic came into dizzying effect, lots of Triple-A game studios started falling like dominos. Major games were delayed and failed to live up to expectations on release- Cyberpunk, Half-Life Alyx, and Shenmue 3, among many others, marked a season in gaming that could not fulfill the big promises made in 2019.
The opportunity for Indie developers featured on Steam has never been more perfect. More players than ever are now exclusively PC and Desktop users and have insulated themselves within new ports of classic games.
Streams of more contemporary Indie classics, like the Hotline Miami series, show a return to the form of 8-bit games with a blend of modern shooters that players have come to enjoy.
Ad Revenue and Mobile Gaming
A surprising trend that we’re seeing right now in 2021 is not gradual but a significant spike in mobile gaming. It seems players enjoy the benefit of keeping games in the palm of their hands instead of on a big screen.
Heroes of the Storm, PUBG, and Genshin Impact are all relevant components of the high revenue in mobile gaming and in-app purchasing design. In the same way that the pandemic turned players to Desktop gaming, the same effect has gained popularity in the mobile sphere. Steam founder Rick Ellis endorses the switch, calling it a new experiment in gaming that can be pretty profitable for gamers and developers alike.
A Resurgence of Console Player Engagement
With the PS5 and XBOX Series X now competing well into their first year on the market, not only has there been a series upgrade in console gaming, but plenty of great games to spur the console debate once again.
The lackluster releases in 2020 are being heavily combated with the expectations rising again for new titles on the horizon, like Elden Ring, Battlefield 2042, and God of War: Ragnarök. Even the newly announced Wolverine stand-alone from Insomniac games adds to the anticipation for this new season in gaming.
These, in addition to upcoming releases, like Halo: Infinite and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, put Sony and Microsoft back in the good graces of players everywhere.
New Unity Dev Tech
The minds behind the Unity game engine have created the Unity Gaming Service to help orient newly developed games to cross-platform compatibility, bug control, and streaming success. The latest product offers a more streamlined opportunity for developers that use the engine to help improve design, craft, and gaming.
The future is still bright for Unity, though the potential is so great, who truly knows what could be accomplished? As far as this writer is concerned, Kojima’s Fox engine still has a lot to teach devs about world-building and video game craft.
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