We’re going to let you in on a secret: this one was supposed to be released on January 11th. But, as we all know, the biggest acquisition in video game history has been announced. Then it happened again.
Already this year, the gaming industry has again proven to be a tumultuous landscape. With the huge influence of domain forces like Take-Two and Microsoft getting into mobile on the one hand, and the shifting tide of play-to-win and NFTs in games on the other, it seems almost silly to predict the next steps of the mobile games industry.
But fortunately, PocketGamer.biz can instead ask experts in the mobile and gaming industry for their views on the future of the mobile gaming industry.
Cryptography, NFTs, Web3 infrastructure and protocols present exciting opportunities for virtually every industry. At the intersection between crypto and gaming, we are seeing the first signs of a new business model of owning gaming virtual assets to earn and on-chain. It is still very early days for these new business models, however, community investment around space is growing exponentially.
Just as we have seen in previous business models and platform evolutions, we expect crypto to grow in audience, transparency, and inclusion. The market can expect multiple competitors to battle to be the “backbone” of the gaming ecosystem to win, making it very fragmented initially, but likely to consolidate and normalize over time. time.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will gain momentum in gaming, becoming a mainstream alternative to centralized, custodial ownership of virtual assets. This is already giving gamers, creators, and game developers the ability to monetize and collaborate in exciting new and decentralized ways.
According to nonfungible.com, over $2 billion was spent on NFTs in the first three months of 2021 alone, representing a 2,100% increase from the fourth quarter of 2020. We expect to see this growth continue. continue in 2022, with games acting as a prime driver for creating functional utilities and technological advancements in the Web3 ecosystem.
Every year my predictions about market trends tend to be wrong and I love it! This is why gaming is such a fun industry to be a part of. The competition is ever-changing and always adapting, which means you need to stay sharp to keep your game relevant.
So instead, my prediction will focus on game production and organizations. I predict that despite the likely lifting of more COVID restrictions in 2022, we will see a continued shift towards more flexible remote work models.
I see 2022 could be the year of the “new benefits” as companies look to further adapt their operating models to retain talent and attract new ones to their studios in an incredibly competitive market.
This appears to be a positive direction for the industry, as people will now have more choice in how and where they work. If done correctly, it can unlock new pools of talent around the world for studios that have robust hybrid ways of working.
I’m personally very excited about 2022 and can’t wait to see how the way we make games continues to evolve. I also hope that this development can help us continue to attract a more diverse pool of people to work in the games industry.
2022 will likely be a transformational year for the game, following last year which was marked by transition. Improvements in cloud gaming, a massive rollout of 5G, and rapid metaverse developments will bring video games to a wider audience than ever, driven by continued growth in emerging markets. Virtual reality headsets have become a mainstream device, as evidenced by the appearance of Oculus at the top of the iOS App Store on Christmas Day.
While gaming has been VR’s primary application thus far, we’ll see everything from commerce to live entertainment make its way to VR and eventually the metaverse. From a markets perspective, this year will also see esports and content organization FaZe listing on the Nasdaq with a valuation of around $1 billion, likely the first of many US esports teams to list. become public in the coming years.
The most obvious and important trend for this year is naturally blockchain gaming. The number of projects and the size of investments in this space is staggering, but it is still very early days for the whole model. Next year it’s very exciting to see many more of these games launched and playable. A year from now, we’ll be much wiser as to what the whole market looks like and where it’s starting to move, and what kind of different experiences developers are able to deliver to support the current massive hype.
The second big trend I see is that the distant spectra of the mobile gaming market are closing in in the new post-IDFA mobile advertising landscape, and Google will likely follow. This means, for example, more hypercasuals taking elements of casual/midcore for longer term retention and IAP (“hybrid casuals”) monetization mechanics, as well as more hardcore games like strategy games 4X continue to incorporate elements of more accessible games (such as as we have recently seen merging mechanics in Top War or match3 mechanics in Puzzles & Survival) in order to appeal to a wider audience (find and target audiences for “whale-driven” niche games is harder than ever with ATT).
Crystal balls are a risky business tool. But here are my intuitions and feelings for this year:
- Mergers and acquisitions will continue since last year. There is always hunger and the race is fierce. If the general economic situation does not change drastically, it will not stop.
- Subscription platforms continue to expand on mobile. Apple Arcade now has a very interesting competitor to Netflix, and I expect big announcements on games and IP this year.
- Competition for top talent will intensify, especially in small and medium-sized studios. Culture and benefits will become increasingly important factors in setting yourself apart as an employer.
- Remote work is here to stay and a growing portion of the workforce will want to take advantage of it.
- My favorite of all the trending titles in 2021 is Game to Win. I’m curious to see what happens in this space in 2022, as it has the potential to add real value to the player experience.
The Metaverse will not happen in 2022, as it seems impossible to create a truly interconnected platform just yet. Too many approaches to walled gardens in this area are currently happening.
Brands are expected to spend around $1 billion in the metaverse in 2022 and $10 billion in 2024. Advertisers spend an average of around $250 per US Facebook user. Can the metaverse reach a billion MAU with $10 per user in three years? We think so.
It’s at least a $10 billion ad market in the making. Web3 and the formative metaverse will be further developed in 2022, and we can expect talent from the mobile gaming industry to be at the forefront of this emerging space.
By the way: FYI!
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In 2022, developers and publishers will continue to explore new strategies to mitigate the impact of Apple’s IDFA changes, as well as prepare for Google’s upcoming Android AdID changes. Despite a long industry adaptation process ahead, there is also a silver lining as industry players will experiment more with user acquisition. We also expect the market to continue to rely on producing high-quality video creatives, as well as focusing on ASO optimization to maximize organic downloads.
The adoption of NFT in games will become more widespread, helping to reduce cynicism, thereby further stimulating the NFT market, especially as more established mobile game companies begin to discuss the potential and value of NFTs more openly.
With deals from mobile game companies hitting an all-time high in 2021 and recent news of Take-Two acquiring Zynga just 10 days into 2022, the mobile game market will continue to attract plenty of investment interest. from established gaming powerhouses playing a catch in the mobile space, as well as large non-gaming investors who have the right DNA to grow in mobile entertainment.