Technology is constantly changing which means the gaming industry is awash with fads that come and go. However, there are some trends that aren’t going anywhere and these are just a few…

Free play

Gone are the days where you had to buy pay-to-play. Nowadays, rather than putting a charge on downloading the title, it’s the in-app purchases that are relied upon to create a revenue. Usually, these games will restrict progress or at least make progress much slower without making in-app purchases, making them extremely profitable for creators whose players can’t resist upgrading.

Free-to-play and in-app purchases started out as a fad themselves but considering it’s lasted long enough for sequels for some of the most popular games to have been released, we think it’s a feature that’ll be sticking around for a while longer. Don’t believe us? The Kim Kardashian app has raked in $100 million since it’s launch in 2014 purely from in-app purchases.

Mobile gaming

According to statista, there are an estimated 164.9 million mobile phone gamers in the US, with children alone spending on average 7 hours a week playing games on their mobile. Whilst not everyone owns a games console, there are more mobile devices in the world than people, meaning that mobile gaming is a lot more accessible.

The mobile phone manufacturers have managed to do what the major gaming manufacturers found impossible and got many people who would never even consider buying any kind of games console – handheld or otherwise – walking around with a library of games at their fingertips. This trend’s going nowhere.

Gesture control

Think the Wii, iPad, Wii U, Kinect, when the ideas were first coined, they were laughed at because of course gesture controls and unconventional gaming would never take off. Well it did and now all industries are getting involved.

As well as games like Wii Sports that harness the use of gesture control, e-gaming companies such as partypoker are now integrating gesture control into their app as the industry shifts to become far more dominant online. While traditional controllers will never leave us, new control systems have certainly added a lot of excitement to the industry and, just like mobile gaming, they’ve introduced a lot of people, who wouldn’t normally be considered gamers, to some form of gaming.

Virtual reality

It’s a relatively new introduction to the industry and it’s already failed once (although that was 20 years ago) so this is a pretty bold statement, but, this time it looks like it’s here to stay.

The initial release of the Samsung VR – which allows users to experience virtual reality through their mobile phone as opposed to a gaming console – sold out pretty quickly and reports suggest that its popularity is growing as there were 1 million users in April 2016 alone.

The Samsung unit isn’t the only one to be released though and research from SuperData suggests that a third of console users have said that they will purchase the new PlayStation VR.

Messaging

Messaging used to be a mobile-only entity, then it progressed to web-based instant messaging and now there are apps specifically for messaging and it’s something that’s incorporated into pretty much ever console release.

Nowadays, gaming isn’t a solitary activity and is a definite community where tips, cheats and strategy ideas are regularly exchanged.

Toys to life

Toys to life gaming is another relatively recent addition to the industry and makes use of physical figurines which go on to feature in a cyber world.

Skylanders was one of the first games to be released in this sector back in 2011 and has sold more than $3 billion worth of games and game related equipment to date.

The latest addition to the sector was the Lego Dimensions game released in 2015. This game makes use of Lego and Warner Bros characters which must be built by the player after unlocking new levels of the game.

Unlike virtual reality, toys to life gaming is something that, until recently, we’d never seen but given the billions in revenue the sector has produced throughout its primary years it’s got to stick around for the long haul.

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