2021 was a massive year for gaming and 2022 is gearing up to be even bigger. Industry research predicts that the industry will topple the $200 billion revenue mark before 2023. What lessons need to be learned from another pandemic year for gaming? Firstly, nothing is predictable. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be flexible and to have multiple backup plans. Furthermore, you need to be able to scale. Quickly. You must adapt to ensure that game deliveries are on time and that the game experience is A1. If not, consumers will take their business to another game in the blink of an eye. With Edgegap’s high-end multi-cloud solution, be ready for 2022.
More sleeper hits
In 2020 it was Among Us (InnerSloth) and Fall Guys (Mediatonic), and in 2021 it was Valheim (Iron Gate AB), Splitgate (1047 Games) and It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios). Who will it be in 2022? Only Marty McFly could help us with this prediction. However, we do know that when the beat drops, the newly minted unicorn games and affiliation with their studios will be taken by storm by the exponential number of DAUs (Daily Active Users), taking their servers by siege. This is the moment to scale, capitalize on the potential massive revenue influx and guarantee a maximized gamer experience. Unlike the Hollywood movie industry, betting on a production worth hundreds of millions of dollars is no longer a guaranteed success. Tens of thousands of smaller developers have the potential to launch the next big hit, and they are looking for help and support. This can’t be more of an obvious situation to have an easy, automated and flexible hosting solution to help harness the power of the next big thing.
AAA studios will struggle to be on time
Did anyone say CyberPunk? The ugly step-sister story of all late games in 2020 (with significant patches barely making this a GA game in 2021) should be a huge warning sign for studios and gamers in the coming year. Game development has slowed down due to the pandemic. It’s a fact. AAA and AA studios will need to make sure that when they commit to dates, they can handle the pressure that date brings on the developers, producers and technical directors. Gamers are stuck at home waiting for their favorite titles to be delivered. Accelerating development time & cycle is paramount in meeting deadlines and ensuring the product’s quality. Being AGILE goes beyond running development sprints. It’s about fast deployment & testing to make QA part of your development team. Integrating your CI/CD pipeline directly to your backend environment and allowing every developer to test as if the game was in production accelerates the time to market while guaranteeing a higher quality standard.
Another gaming (especially VR) surge
As much as mobile gaming has been spotlighted over the past years, hardware sales are through the roof. The Nintendo Switch beat out PS5 & Xbox sales over the past calendar year alone. The stay-at-home policies due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic have springboarded the industry. New gamers want the best and latest gadgets. Think VR headsets (Oculus 2 being the clear winner of this specific arms race in 2021). The unprecedented growth in this sector of the business has put a toll on some unsuspecting gaming developers in need of scalability in terms of hosting. A robust hybrid-cloud-based hosting plan is the key to success in 2022.
The Metaverse has arrived
Whether you like it or not, the Metaverse is here. While the great digital overlords at Facebook have thrown rocket fuel on the slowly burning fire with recent announcements, it was inevitable with the surge in VR’s growth (see above). The biggest challenge for developers will be to deliver a quality product with little latency. It is complicated enough already that they have to build a new virtual environment from scratch with expectations through the roof, add complex infrastructure backend to support this new brand of services and you have a nightmare scenario for developers. If the Metaverse’s wildest dreams come true, we will be doing groceries, meeting our future partners and gaming in virtual reality from wherever, whenever. This will undoubtedly not only take a robust & distributed hosting system to service end users, but you will need a platform that can scale globally. No wonder cloud providers are investing heavily in this area.
Play to earn will grow
Don’t shoot the messenger. With the rise of blockchain and crypto in recent years, this was bound to happen. There is big money to be made in the gaming industry, and this borderline gambling-level concept will keep growing. Play to earn lets gamers delve into the two most basic and wanted instincts; earning money and being entertained. When a country like the Philippines must create new fiscal laws for games like Axie Infinity and people generating revenue, you know something is boiling over and bound to happen. It remains to be seen whether it is used to bring actual value to games and players or if it becomes abused as a new gambling mechanism.