It’s an excellent time to be a gamer. The gaming industry has time and again demonstrated itself to be a major money-maker to executives, inspiring investment and competition that ultimately improve the games and services offered to consumers around the world. But what do sectors of the market look like at the moment? And what companies are best for gamers to go with in 2022?
One major feature in gaming that has seen widespread adoption since its beginnings in the seventh console generation is that of the ‘live service’, where games receive seasonal updates including new gameplay content, limited-time-only game modes and opportunities to gather or purchase cosmetic collectables. Games that are predominantly played online make the most of this feature, engaging and rewarding the loyalty of a core player-base with an ever-expanding, ever-changing crop of content and gameplay loops.
Arguably one of the most successful companies in delivering a live service to gamers is game developer Bungie, the developer behind the hugely successful gaming phenomenon that is Destiny 2. The sprawling, cross-platform sci-fi title sees regular updates with new story content, new weapons and armour, and regular balancing of game mechanics in accordance with player feedback. As such, Bungie demonstrates care and respect for its player base, whether casual weekly players or hardcore competitive players – respect that has paid dividends, as evidenced by the more than 38 million people that have played the game to date. Of course, live service technology is not only benefitting gamers in terms of AAA video gaming.
The live service platform has also paid dividends in other sectors of the industry, such as online casino gaming. With faster and more capable devices both in homes and in pockets, even casual gamers can access and play online table games like Texas Hold’em and Caribbean Stud Poker with ease. Mr Green Casino is an example of a thriving brand within this industry. It has leveraged live service tech effectively, offering a diverse range of live and mobile casino games as well as live betting to engage players and encourage loyalty. The fact that live-service gaming is adopted throughout the online gaming sector, from Destiny 2 to accessing a sportsbook, demonstrates its success, as well as how significantly consumer trends have changed over the last 10 years.
Distribution Platforms and Storefronts
The way in which we consume games has changed significantly as well, again owing to the swift increase in accessibility of higher-spec devices that can handle games of all kinds, without the need for a disc or cartridge. Valve’s Steam distribution service has been at the forefront of innovation all the while – but today, distribution platforms are in close competition as they acquire exclusive rights to IPs. Despite excellent showings from CD Projekt-owned GOG and Fortnite developer’s Epic Games Store, Steam remains one of the best options for gamers, with a comprehensive array of AA and independent titles to choose from and new hardware innovation in the form of the Steam Deck.
The future has always been bright for the gaming industry, with an ever-growing audience of players and healthy competition between companies at the top of their game in each sector of the industry. The above companies are going strength to strength, and in 2022 are sure to represent the best-in-class for gamers worldwide.