New Spinoffs

New Spinoffs Proving Popular for Gaming Industry

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When it comes to global entertainment trends, people immediately think about Hollywood films or streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu. However, there’s one clear winner when it comes to the industry: gaming.

According to Statista, global revenue tied to gaming reached a total of $145 billion back in 2019 (before major eSports leagues took off). This covers mobile, console, PC, and casino gaming, which are ubiquitous from Japan to Chile to New Zealand. This figure far surpasses others linked to theater box offices and music, which raked in $42 billion and $20 billion, receptively, back in 2019. 

Back in 2020, Microsoft bought out ZeniMax Media for around $7.5 billion, highlighting just how big the industry is in terms of competitor acquisitions, as well. To stay ahead of the pack, developers are willing to pay top dollar to expand. Earlier this year, Microsoft forked over almost $70 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard.

With so much money on the line and a shortening list of competitors, what are top developers today doing to stand apart from others? It comes down to keeping what works and innovating in a new direction. In the last few years, the gaming industry has been all about the spinoff.

Casinos Opting for New Variations

As mentioned above, casino gaming is one of the biggest sectors within the gaming industry worldwide. This is split between online and in-person locations. While brick-and-mortar casinos from Las Vegas to Monaco aren’t likely to lose their shine, online casinos must compete at the highest level to attract and retain players.

One way they do this is by offering new twists on classics. For example, 21+3 blackjack is a new variation that has proved popular with fans of the original game. In 21+3, players can place a side bet that’s based on three-card poker hand rankings. It combines elements of both card games, which makes this an intriguing option for players who might normally stick with poker.

Casual & Social Games Going Mobile

Above, we cited a Statista figure that listed global video gaming revenue at $145 billion. Only 32% of those profits came from consoles and another 23% came from PC games. Almost half of that $145 billion (precisely 45%) came from mobile gaming. Since 2019, the rise of mobile gaming has surprised many analysts. 

So, how did mobile gaming get so big? And why do many groups predict mobile gaming will be the focus of future developers? This boils down to a few new twists on traditional gaming. The first is the level of competitiveness in games. The second is social features.

Mobile gaming has gained popularity because many titles are casual. Developers for mobile titles prioritize simplified mechanics in order to create a gaming experience that’s enjoyable for more people—non-gamers and first-time gamers included. The focus is on enjoyment rather than competition.

Second, most titles now include social features. This is one of the biggest characteristics of mobile gaming. Both casual games like Wordle and hyper-competitive games like Garena Free Fire include social elements. This shifts the focus from winning to experiencing, which attracts more players.

New Spinoffs

XR, VR, & AR Providing New Frontiers for Gaming

So far, we’ve emphasized new twists on old classics like blackjack and a more even-keeled approach to gaming on mobile devices. At the moment, the gaming industry is also looking to create new spinoffs with AR and VR technology. Even XR, which stands for eXpanded Reality, might become a standard feature of gaming in the coming decade. 

So, what do these new formats offer to the industry? The focus is going to be on immersion. Today, education is just as prevalent in XR, VR, and AR as gaming. The industry hasn’t quite figured out how to make XR, VR, and AR accessible to the average gamer (which is why mobile titles have proved so popular). 

But all three pursuits are widely held to be the latest frontier. So far, developers have found success in spinning off console or PC titles. Half-Life: Alyx was released on VR back in 2020, which is a spinoff from the incredibly popular PC title Half-Life. Valve’s president Gabe Newell described the release as the first step in the developer’s long-term investment in VR.

Just another way the gaming industry is attempting to keep it fresh.



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