2020 was an impressive year for gaming. There were a number of important releases and milestones which will make 2020 a memorable year for those inside the industry and the gamers who enjoy their products.
Most of the world’s gaming discourse revolves around PC and console performance titles. This is where many major budgets are spent: huge game releases and new iterations of PC components and consoles. As such, generally, fans and casual observers pay close attention to the hype and reaction. However, despite this dominance over social media discourse, mobile gaming still holds the majority of the market share, in part thanks to its popularity in Brazil and India. It’s a busy field with plenty of developments affecting smaller and more global parts.
Are you curious to learn about the specific companies that are thriving right now? These are the names to be aware of.
Game Development Companies
This tech giant has not had to delay many releases due to current events. With the release of the Xbox Series X console and record numbers for the company’s live streaming service, Mixer, Microsoft is very stable right now. They are also pursuing the purchase of Discord, the communication platform which is hugely popular with gamers – the amateurs and the professionals. It is building out its gaming services.
Plus, Xbox Live subscribers and Xbox Game Pass users are also up. More people now than ever before are using Xbox products and services. The company continues to thrive on multiplayer games and shows no signs of slowing down.
In 2021, Microsoft completed the acquisition of Bethesda, the studio who’ve produced major titles like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout game series. The justification and motivation for this deal was to expand their Xbox Game Pass exclusive games catalogue. Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, and their video content streaming service competitors have proved that original and exclusive content is where gains can be made.
Sony is doing much like Microsoft right now. The company saw an increase of 75% in their video game traffic- which is an outstanding number. With the release of their new console, more players are buying new games and placing pre-orders with the company.
Long considered the best console makers in the market, the PlayStation 5 continues the company’s reign. Their expansion into virtual reality is where it seems they’ll continue to focus their energies to help differentiate themselves for Microsoft and its Xbox.
The release of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake last year was amazing for the company. It even was featured at the IGN Game Awards in 2020, gaining the company a lot of attention.
While Animal Crossing New Horizons was a big one for the company, plenty of others gathered attention as well. Super Mario 3D All-Stars was a limited release and the continued performance of other exclusive titles see the Japanese company compete with Microsoft and Sony in their lane.
More games are in the pipeline for the console as is an updated console.
Other Gaming Companies
Aside from the big three developers, several other gaming-related platforms are continuing to grow. These include plenty of streaming services that focus on gaming.
While the Amazon store sells games and lets fans pre-order their favorites, they also own Twitch now. Twitch is the world’s largest live streaming service- which focuses heavily on gaming. Now, there is an average of 1.2 million viewers using the service. Professional gamers, esports organisations, and broadcasters make use of the platform, making it the default home of live gaming content.
Another live streaming service experiencing significant growth is YouTube, YouTube Gaming in particular. Viewership increased by 13% during the start of 2020 and only has gone up since. The platform is looking to become the exclusive streaming partner for esports events as well since its deal with Activision.
Plus, people are doing more than just watching their favorite streamers. Baking, knitting, and art videos are popular. While others are attempting to become YouTubers themselves and creating videos in their free time.
We can’t leave mobile gaming out. It is too popular to not. PUBG reached one billion downloads just recently. It appears that new technologies like VR, MR, and 5G all benefit mobile much more than PC or console. 5G, coupled with cloud computing, will alleviate the stress of processing and rendering from the handsets themselves, enabling gamers to use whatever device they have access to, meaning that the most expensive options might not always have more positives. It could be that people can begin gaming at home on their TV before transitioning to their smartphone screen as they begin their public-transport commute to work.
Gaming’s future holds many answers to questions we’re only beginning to ask. The predominant means of entertainment could well be unrecognisable, and what is a game and what is a film could be more blurred than it even currently is. What do you want from it?