2017 will be forever known as the year of the Switch, and it seems like Nintendo’s first foray into the handheld console sector was the name on everybody’s lips last year. Microsoft and Sony, on the other hand, have been very quiet in comparison, and they may be trying to weather the storm and come with new consoles to compete with the Japanese juggernaut. All in all, 2018 is set to be another benchmark year for the video game field. Here are some of the trends we should keep an eye on.
E-sports will be Bigger than ever
When e-sports came on the scene, nobody would’ve expected them to be as big as they are now. But 2018 should be a big year for e-sports, as the genre is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Major sports networks have already started picking up some e-sports events and we should expect them to continue in the same vein in 2018.
According to a study by Statista, it is estimated that the e-sport sector will be worth over 1.5 billion dollars by the year 2020. E-sports have reached a point where it’s rivaling with traditional sports with millennials and the number of millennials that favor e-sports over traditional sports is increasing every year, which should push the trend even further in the coming years.
The Rise of Indie Games
While everybody seems to be focused on blockbusters from major studios, the Indie market is slowly, but surely making its presence felt and is likely to explode in 2018.
What separates Indie developers is their lack of restrictions and their creativity. They have more leeway to make games for players first instead of meeting financial expectations. Games like The Last Night and Indivisible are already on our watch list of Indie games to look out for in 2018.
One of the factors why the Switch was so popular last year, was also due to the high number of Indie games that were released on the platform. The Switch is surprisingly attractive to Indie companies and we should continue to see tons of great releases from them in 2018. However, as the competition becomes fiercer, more attention will be given to the games with the most hype and potential, pushing some smaller, lesser known titles out of the frame.
Copycat Mobile Games
While mobile gaming has done a lot to democratize game development, this has led to a lot of mobile games being copied by developers and spun as their own version. Undertale, which was number three on the Game Guide World game of the year list in 2015, has already been copied by many studios, with some success. This unfortunate trend is more than likely going to continue unless something gets down to stop plagiarism in game development.
2018 is lining up to be a great year for gaming and we can’t wait to see what’s in store. We’re now embarking on a new era for gaming, and the next two to three years will be major determinants of the direction in which the industry will be going.