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Businesses throughout the gaming space are currently gearing up for what is likely to be a definitive year for development in the industry. 2023 will see further cross-pollination of gaming IP within mainstream media, the tiger economies of Asia and the Middle East are set to create a surge in mobile gaming growth, and multi-platform expansion is on the horizon. The global gaming market is on track to generate revenues of over $365 billion by the end of 2023, so what trends does the year have in store that will quicken its growth? 

Video Gaming  

From being a niche hobby during the latter half of the 20th century to the entertainment powerhouse it is today, the global gaming industry has evolved significantly over the past two decades. 

Now widely known to be one of the most popular at-home entertainment industries, video gaming has become thoroughly mainstream and has, in turn, created new markets like eSports and P2E (play to earn). After the impressive growth experienced by the industry from 2020 to 2022, 2023 holds significant promise.  

Multiple Monetisation Models 

This year, we can expect both the PC and console markets to embrace hybrid monetisation strategies previously implemented in the mobile sector. Utilising multiple monetisation models has become a standard across mobile markets, and PC and console developers are now starting to realise the potential of this methodology. 

A number of video games already feature in-game subscription offers and microtransactions, but hybrid strategies will see developers offer in-game marketing platforms to increase video game revenues. 

Big Tech Takeover 

Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard in 2022 has set a precedent for the big tech takeover of the video gaming space. With entertainment giants like Google, Amazon and Netflix now significantly increasing their gaming output, 2023 is the year that big tech corporations will likely invest substantial resources into gaming as a driver for growth. This will no doubt disrupt the strategies of incumbents Sony, Nintendo and Xbox, and could result in further acquisitions and overall content diversification. 

Online Gambling  

Digital technology has had a revolutionary impact on gaming activities, including casino gaming and gambling. Online gambling is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the gaming industry, with a projected value of $172 billion by 2030. 

Online platforms like CafeCasino have become increasingly popular thanks to the variety of games they offer, which players can access from the comfort of home. Meanwhile, in the UK alone online gambling contributes as much as £6.4 billion to the country’s annual gross gambling yield.  

The Impact of Cryptocurrencies 

One key trend that will continue to impact online gambling throughout 2023 is the ongoing integration of cryptocurrencies. Although the crypto industry is in a period of recovery following the crash of winter 2022, nevertheless, a high proportion of consumers have become accustomed to using decentralised currencies and digital assets. 

The rise in popularity of play-to-earn gaming will leave a mark on the remote gambling sectors as players expect ways to pay with, play with and earn cryptocurrencies.  

Improved Personalisation 

Online gambling sectors are typically competitive marketplaces in which gaming experiences often have a similar look and feel from platform to platform. Differentiation is becoming ever more critical to operators looking to stand out in over-saturated markets, making improving user experience a top priority. 

During 2023, we can expect to see operators and gambling suppliers hone in on player personalisation features, which will tailor gaming content, bonus offers, communication and all other aspects of the online experience to player preferences and behaviours.

Mobile Gaming  

After several years of outperforming both the PC and console markets, the mobile gaming sector again came out on top in 2022. According to Newzoo, mobile gaming generated $92.2 billion in revenues – representing 50% of the global gaming industry. It’s no surprise, then, that forecasted mobile gaming revenues now stand at around $211 billion by the year 2025.  

Widespread AAA Growth 

Playing premium games on the mobile platform is far from a passing trend, as several big publishers continue to prioritise mobile content as we move further into 2023. Companies like Tencent are already reaping the benefits of diversifying into the mobile space, with approximately three-quarters of its annual revenue in 2021 being generated from gaming on the go. 

Consequently, leading gaming companies Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are now growing their mobile output, while Ubisoft is set to rework some of its biggest AAA IP as mobile releases.  

Female-Friendly Design  

One of the more unfortunate aspects of gaming is that, historically, it has primarily been a male-dominated environment. Gaming experiences have been skewed towards male consumption, with only a handful of verticals possessing a genuinely universal appeal. 

With female gamers now comprising almost 50% of the global gaming audience, mobile developers and publishers, in particular, are keen to capitalise on the opportunity to produce more female-friendly output. 2023 will bring about mobile games emphasising playing for achievement and community building, while development teams will push for further inclusion and diversity.