Trends Around The Corner In Gaming.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

The end of 2018 is proving to be a pretty exciting time for gamers. Games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and the latest Call Of Duty installment are settling into the market, and brand new and upcoming releases like Fallout 76, Battlefield V, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will make for plenty of exciting holiday season games. All of this keeps most of our attention on the present, which is generally as it should be. There are too many great games this time of year to focus very much on what’s next. But a little bit of musing about gaming’s immediate future never hurt anybody, so I did some thinking about some of the trends we might see in 2019 and beyond….

Marvel Excitement 

This may not be so much a trend as a development in the making, but the idea is that people are going to start getting very excited about Marvel’s console games. You may have seen this site’s positive review for Spider-Man on PS4, and there are more AAA console games on the way from Marvel, including a Square Enix-developed Avengers game. Now, I think it unlikely that Marvel will come to dominate the world of gaming quite the way it has the world of cinema - but it may just come close. Don’t underestimate the popularity of this entertainment titan, or how much we’ll soon be talking about, previewing, and waiting for Marvel releases.

Better Mobile AR 

AR gaming has been a major movement on the mobile front for a little over a year now - more, in fact, if you go all the way back to Pokémon GO’s initial release. However, if we’re being honest, there really isn’t a great selection of games in this category just yet. Said one piece, new games touting AR have little more than a tacked-on photo mode, and these AR modes quickly lose their appeal. The games feel more like experiments in a new medium than actual games. However, experiments will lead to bigger and better experiences, and we’ll also be seeing fresh technology (and maybe some Apple or Google glasses) that make AR all the more effective. In due time, mobile AR has the potential to become the biggest trend in gaming.

Nintendo Resurgence 

It’s surprising how quietly Nintendo seems to be enjoying a major resurgence. This is partially thanks to the fact that the Switch console has largely been a success, whereas the Wii U was a bit of a flop in terms of critical reception. Beyond consoles though, Nintendo is thriving once more on its foundational properties. A new Zelda game helped to launch the Switch; Pokémon is back in full force; and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate should be one of the biggest and best games of 2018. We’re already in the midst of a Nintendo resurgence, and as soon as people take notice, it’s going to feel like a trend.

More Accessible Casino Play 

Like Nintendo, a growing trend in this area has been subtle but definite. In the last few years, we’ve seen casino games becoming more ubiquitous thanks to a rise in related apps. We’ve also seen real money casinos become more accessible thanks to the embrace of PayPal and similar services to make it easier to handle money. And on top of it all, the games are getting more interesting - either realistic, in the case of card and table games, or simply more game-like in the case of slot machine themes. All in all, it points to casino play getting more accessible, and as more people take notice moving forward this too will be a trend.

Societal Breakdown 

This sounds somewhat bleak, but I have a bit of a theory here. First of all, games about societal breakdown - post-apocalyptic settings in Fallout, a cult uprising in Far Cry, etc. - are already popular. Additionally, however, people are fascinated by worries these days. Many consumer politics to the point that they’re convinced of impending wars or civil conflicts; many see a rise in the severity of natural disasters, correctly, as a result of a changing climate; and many still believe Earth and humanity won’t make it at all without moving to other planets, or moons! Because this is all on the public’s mind, and games of this ilk work already, I’d expect a more pronounced trend toward games about the societal breakdown of one kind or another.

- Guest Post by Michael Cormor.


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