Research conducted by Bain & Company has highlighted that global games revenue could grow by more than 50% over the next five years. The research shows that industry growth is being propelled by a large quantity of engagement from the younger generation of gamers (ages 13 to 17) and those within this age bracket are spending around 40% more time in video games than any other type of media.
Bains' research noted three trends that are changing games. One of these changes is technological advancements. Long gone are the days of playing snake on the Nokia 6110, now the world of gaming has various platforms, each powerful in its own right.These advancements are key not only for developers, but also for the gaming audience.
Another emerging trend is metaverse-style experiences. Bain's research states that younger gamers are extremely comfortable in virtual environments, with many of them stating that they prefer hanging out with friends in a game rather than in person. Metaverse experiences that allow people to come together virtually, be it for sports events, live music or simply just to socialise could be a key source of engagement for these demographics.
The final trend that the report touched upon is monetisation models. The free-to-play gaming model has been a huge hit with gamers, as it enables people to have extended access to multiple games. The free-to-play model has advanced with ad-operated becoming more accepted on mobile and in-app purchases becoming more differentiated. More games are also leaning toward using blockchain technology to grant gamers ownership of in-game assets. How games are monetised has already changed the landscape of the gaming industry and we are still seeing new emerging methods such as subscription models.
Onwards and upwards
Global head of Bain's Media and Entertainment practice, Andre James commented on some of the research findings saying “Though gamers have historically trended younger, our data suggests fewer gamers are ageing out. This shift in behaviour brings challenges, as well as opportunities, for game developers and publishers who are faced with increasing consumer demands within virtual and non-virtual environments.”
The research rounds up with key areas to whichBain encourages game developers and publishers to pay close attention in the future, such as scaling, ensuring good franchise management, enhancing customer engagement and investing in top talent.
Anders Christofferson, partner within Bain's Media and Entertainment practice also commented saying “This is the moment for game companies to bet big and advance to the next level. Developers and publishers will need to sharpen their focus if they want to continue to thrive in an environment that's becoming a greater part of our daily lives”
In other recent industry research, PickFu analysed the hyper-sexualisation of characters in video games.