A lot has been changed in the gaming world in the past few decades and the industry has been successful in creating its indispensable space in the online world. Today, the global gaming industry is already a multi-billion dollar industry with several most popular game genres being the biggest revenue generators. Many top gaming companies like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA), Microsoft, NetEase, Sony, and Tencent are also investing heavily on developing and launching new games, bringing together avid gamers from every corner of the world. The gaming sector has always been about innovation and hence, new concepts, new technologies, new controls, and experiences, and particularly new genres are expected to be some of the major trends in the global gaming market over the next few years.
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Global Gaming Market Analysis
The global gaming industry is undoubtedly booming and the market research insights by Technavio’s experts prove that right. A new report on the gaming industry indicates that the global gaming market will grow significantly and will reach close to $150 billion by 2022. In 2017, APAC dominated the global gaming market, accounting for a revenue share of 39.93%. As per the report, China is contributing extensively to the high revenue and market demand for games in APAC owing to the largest volume of gamers in the country.
Top 10 Most Popular Game Genres Dominating the Global Gaming Market 2018
1. Action games
Action games have long been one of the most popular game genres. Games in the ‘action’ genre put emphasis on challenging the player’s reflexes, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination. The best action games include the perfect blend of everything this genre has to offer and channel it into a unique experience which only an action game can deliver. Given the longevity and popularity of the action game genre, game developers have played around with the method quite a bit. Consequently, action games have branched out into various sub-genres that include Beat ’em Ups such as Double Dragon and Final Fight, Shooter Games, and Platforming Games like Mutant Mudds, Super Mario 3D Land, and Kirby’s Adventure
2. Sport games
Sports games emerged early in the history of gaming and today it remains as one of the most popular game genres in the world. Just like the real-world sports, sports games simulate the traditional physical sports wherein the opposing team is controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) or other real-life people. While some games emphasize playing the actual sport, others underline the strategy behind the sport like Champions Manager. One of the best-selling series in the sports genre is the FIFA series. FIFA 12 game holds the record of ‘fastest selling sports game ever’ with more than 3.2 million games sold in its first week of release. The franchise’s latest game FIFA 19, will be released worldwide on September 28, 2018.
3. Battle Royale games
As one of the best-selling game genres in around the world, Battle Royale is a completely new game genre which have taken the world by storm in just two years, driven by the massive success of the two most popular games of present-day; Fortnite Battle Royale, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Fortnite generates over $1 billion in total revenue, entirely from in-app purchases. Whereas, PUBG made more than $700 million in 2017, nearly as much as the entire eSports market. With the Battle Royale Games market projected to hit $20 billion in 2019, there’s a significant scope for game developers other than just the two big players.
Read more: Battle Royale Games Top the Gaming Industry Leaderboard
4. Action-adventure games
Action-Adventure game is a blend of elements of both the Action and Adventure game genres which was effectively developed in the days of 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System with titles such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Since then, the action adventure game genre has expanded to include games in a wide range of thematic concepts, along with appearing on every single video game platform around. The essential factors of an action-adventure genre are considered to include an action game element, a reflex-based gameplay, along with the puzzle solving, item collecting, and environmental exploration, which make it one of the most popular game genres among all ages.
5. Role-playing games
From simple text-based console game to visually rich 3D experiences, role-playing games (RPGs) have consistently evolved since their origin through popular games like Battletech, Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a genre of video and online games where the player controls a fictional character that takes on a quest in an imaginary world. Since its inception, RPGs genre has been broadened to include online RPGs, adventure RPGs, strategy RPGs, and action RPGs. However, the growing popularity of the role-playing concept promises many more variations on the genre in the coming years.
Read more: Top 30 Mobile Gaming Companies in the World 2018
6. Adventure games
Adventure games is one of the oldest game genres. Their origin dates back to the 1970s when the original Colossal Cave game based on the Mammoth Cave was released and its immediate successor Dungeon, which was later promoted commercially as the Zork trilogy. Although most commenters claim that Adventure games genre is in its death-throes, they are still produced and bought in roughly the same numbers as before. However, the market share of adventure games is getting smaller nowadays, and elements of these games are migrating into other most popular game genres, resulting in the very successful Action-Adventure genre.
7. Racing games
Racing games made their debut in the mid-1970s with the emergence of Gran Trak 10 in 1974, followed by the Night Driver, Rally X, and many other games during that period. Subsequently, the racing games such as Hang-On, Final Lap, Out Run, and Nintendo’s F-Zero launched in the 80s, and the Super Mario Kart and Sony’s Gran Turismo in 90s contributed significantly to the evolution of the racing game genre. Over its four decades plus history, the racing game genre has branched out into many distinct paths and has always been a lap ahead of other video game genres- both in terms of innovation as well as figures, making it one of the world’s most popular game genres of all times.
Read more: Top 12 Online Gaming Companies in the World 2018
8. Fighting games
The fighting game genre has been a bastion in the gaming industry for several decades. It has spawned eternal franchises including Tekken, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat that are recognized around the world. This game genre is undoubtedly here to stay with the excitement surrounding Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat X and Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. The fighting game genre has been able to evolve significantly, thanks to healthy competition and continued innovation.
9. Real-time strategy games
Strategy games is one of the best-selling and most popular game genres in the world, encompassing various types of games. The strategy game genre got its name from the producer of Dune II; Brett Sperry, who coined the term to describe the game. Strategy games are categorized into two types, real-time strategy (RTS), and turn-based strategy (TBS). Starcast, Age of Empires, and League of Legends are some of the most popular real-time strategy games that are grabbing major share in this segment, although there are hundreds of strategy games available in the store.
A simulation game describes a distinct super-category of games, generally designed to simulate real-world activities. As for the video games, SimCity is a perfect example of this genre. This game simulates the lives of characters along with the construction and management of the city. The economic simulators are one of the well-known sub-categories of the simulator genre. These games give players an option to manage an economic system. Simulation game genre is gradually gaining popularity in the gaming world.
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Future Trends of the Global Gaming Industry:
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are gaining popularity worldwide. The adoption of VR/AR devices such as smart glasses, head-mounted devices (HMDs), and VR Cardboard is likely to increase over the forecast period owing to the rising VR gaming awareness. Game developers have been launching games related to popular franchises, such as Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission, which is playable on PlayStation VR; and Star Trek: Bridge Crew, which is playable on PlayStation VR, Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset, and HTC VIVE.