2019 Gaming Industry Predictions from nWay
By Taehoon Kim
1. Crossplay Changes the Game: Many Screens, One Experience
In 2019 we will see more games that run on all the major platforms (mobile, PC, console) with a single build. Another interesting take on this, is that in 2019 we will see games that are designed for VR, AR, mobile, console and PC to play together in the same game session. Each platform will have a different role in the game that’s optimized for the platform.
2. The Traditional Gaming Console Isn’t Going Away
Whereas at one point people felt consoles were becoming less relevant, convergence has made it so that they can stay relevant because their platforms are all opening up. The ability to play with friends outside of your platform means more engagement and better chances at virality. As evidence of this, games that traditionally were PC only are now flourishing in console. Additionally, Games as a Service (GaaS) will represent a new revenue model for console game makers that are used to more traditional/longer product release cycles. With GaaS console makers can now benefit from additional revenue streams from a singular title.
3. Esports Will Be Designed for Players and Non-Playing Viewers
The winners in the esports space will be games that are fun and thrilling to watch regardless of whether you are a gamer or not. We will start to see esports designed more like reality TV shows and games designed with non-playing audiences in mind.
4. Games Adopt Blockchain To Bring in Non-Gamers
The more successful blockchain games we’ve seen so far has trading at the heart of it. Engagements of these games have been mainly driven by speculators and crypto enthusiasts. 2019 will see cryptogames with real gameplay at its core, with the blockchain components being secondary, attracting core gamers to the category. We will also see the first IP based game to use blockchain for secondary market trading of in-game assets in 2019.
5. We’re Hitting Peak Platform Play
Everyone is becoming a digital distribution platform because it’s getting easier to do so these days — just look at Discord and Epic. We should see more platforms popping up in 2019, but the main shift, led by Epic Games, is that the existing platforms are going to have to add more value to justify the 30 percent tax. We should see more innovation and disruption in this space in 2019 as the platforms clash.
6. Gaming Subscription Models Make a Comeback
Before free-to-play took off, the early online games that were very successful were all based on the subscription model (e.g. MMOs like World of Warcraft). In 2019, we are going to see this model come back for all types of games. We will see games that are mainly built around the subscription model with in-game-purchases as an added feature.
7. More Innovation and Completely Novel Games In The Real-World Gaming Space
We saw this space take off with Pokémon Go, and soon after that a number of with similar game mechanics like Jurassic World Alive, Ghostbusters World, and Walking Dead Our World all became successful. We anticipate 2019 will bring more innovation in game play and that these real-world games will go beyond just mobile, and into console/PC platforms as well.
8. Virtual Streamers Comes to the West
We are now seeing thousands of virtual streamers / artists take off in Japan. Riot Games League of Legend created a virtual pop group called KDI that’s getting over 100 million views on their music video. We will see virtual artists being born in the West with appearances in both traditional and gaming related entertainment business.
Taehoon Kim is co-founder and CEO of nWay, developer and publisher of free-to-play mobile multiplayer games