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  • Taisiia Dobrozorova

Gaming Trends in 2024: What to Expect and Get Excited About

Setting aside the impending dominance of GTA 6 trailers, leaks, news, and rumors in 2024, let's take a moment to reflect on the events of 2023, providing a context for the discussions on video game trends for the upcoming year.


The preceding 12 months marked some of the most chaotic periods ever witnessed in the gaming industry. Microsoft successfully concluded its monumental acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a staggering $68.7 billion deal that stands as the largest takeover in the history of the gaming sector. This instantaneously granted Microsoft control over colossal franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.


acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft
Logo credit: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft

However, when we widen our perspective, the gaming industry underwent a significant process of downsizing, witnessing an estimated 8,000 job redundancies since the year's commencement. This downsizing was a reaction to various factors, including high inflation rates and the repercussions of past over-expansion. Concurrently, the ascent of generative AI in video games posed a threat to low-level jobs, introducing an additional layer of transformation.


Amidst this backdrop of disruption, the industry also bore witness to the creation of remarkable and groundbreaking games, exemplified by titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Twenty-five games achieved scores of 90 or above on Metacritic, doubling the average from the past decade. The roller-coaster journey from record highs to lows throughout 2023 was nothing short of a whiplash-inducing experience.


Gaming trends for 2024: what can we expect?


Gaming trends 2024
Gaming trends 2024

Looking at what's coming up in 2024 for gaming – what can we expect? Well, it looks like there's a new Nintendo console on the horizon, the Nintendo Switch 2, and we might see some exciting ventures into mixed reality with Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro. There's also a possibility that Apple might finally step up its game in the gaming world.


And let's not forget about the dazzling new games that are promised, especially those made with Unreal Engine 5. On top of that, keep an eye out for the rise of Godot, an open-source engine that's gaining popularity among indie developers. 2024 seems like it's gearing up to be a memorable year – let's hope for all the right reasons this time. Let's dive into what trends the gaming industry might bring our way in 2024!


1. Nintendo Switch 2: what's in store?


Nintendo Switch 2
Nintendo Switch 2

As of the current moment, Nintendo has yet to officially confirm the existence of the Switch 2 or reveal the name of the follow-up to their immensely popular Switch console. However, insights from court disclosures unveiled that Nintendo briefed Activision about the potential successor in December 2022.


Additionally, reports from Eurogamer indicated that developers had a behind-closed-doors demonstration of the Switch 2 at Gamescom in August, hinting at a possible emergence of the console in 2024.


Samuel Roberts, the former editor-in-chief of PC Gamer and co-presenter of The Back Page podcast, speculates that Nintendo might be holding back new installments of its major franchises for the upcoming console. According to him, "Nintendo Switch 2 launching with a new 3D Mario feels like a dead cert to me, with a new Mario Kart to follow."


Roberts ventures a guess that the hardware could introduce a paid upgrade element, particularly focusing on enhanced backward compatibility. He envisions a scenario where users could access a slightly improved version of Tears of the Kingdom for a small additional cost.


Recent leaks and rumors surrounding the Nintendo Switch 2 have floated ideas like a dual-screen model and suggestions that the next Switch might undergo downsizing, potentially becoming a Nintendo Switch 'Mini' – albeit with the power equivalent to that of a PlayStation 4.


2. Xbox: a breakthrough year?


xbox games 2024
Xbox games 2024

When it comes to the console race, Microsoft has been playing catch-up to Sony since the debut of the Xbox One in 2013. However, a tide of change has swept through in recent years, marked by Microsoft's aggressive acquisition strategy culminating in the colossal $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard in 2023. As the gaming community eagerly awaits, 2024 holds the promise of witnessing the fruits of these strategic maneuvers.


In a tone brimming with optimism, Samuel Roberts envisions a potential breakthrough year for Microsoft, stating, "I think this could be a game-changer for Microsoft." His speculative foresight hints at the likelihood of Microsoft kicking off the year with a substantial influx of Activision Blizzard games enriching the Game Pass library – a move that could significantly amplify its already outstanding value proposition.


Expanding on the potential highlights, Roberts underscores the graphical spectacle promised by Hellblade II from Ninja Theory. This game, instrumental in showcasing the cutting-edge MetaHuman Animation features within Unreal Engine 5, is poised to be a visual masterpiece. Turning attention to Obsidian's Avowed, Roberts predicts widespread player admiration, suggesting that if Microsoft can secure one more exclusive game to complement their lineup, it could shape up to be a stellar year for the tech giant.


3. Meta Quest 3: a virtual reality showdown


Meta Quest 3
Meta Quest 3

2023 also marked the arrival of the highly anticipated Meta Quest 3 VR headset, leaving our reviewer awestruck after an immersive play-through of the captivating title, "First Encounters." As the VR landscape unfolds in 2024, the Meta Quest 3 stands poised to dominate the race, with Henry Stockdale, a notable staff writer at UploadVR, forecasting that this year will witness the Quest 3 unveiling its true potential.


Stockdale's optimism for the Quest 3 contrasts with a more skeptical outlook on Sony's PSVR2, whose momentum he believes has hit a stumbling block, primarily due to its dependence on the PlayStation 5. Meanwhile, Apple's Vision Pro, carrying a hefty price tag of $3,499, prompts doubts about its long-term impact on gaming.


Samuel Roberts maintains a cautious stance on the Quest 3's prospects, acknowledging the challenges of surpassing the pandemic-fueled sales of its predecessor, the Quest 2. However, he raises the intriguing prospect of a game-changer – the upcoming Batman game, recently unveiled through court documents. Roberts speculates that if crafted to harness the unique capabilities of the Quest 3, it could potentially rekindle interest in virtual reality.


The success trajectory of the Meta Quest 3 is intricately linked to the adoption of its predecessor, the Meta Quest 2, and its expansive games catalogue. Seb Bouzac, a VR developer at Archiact, emphasizes that the Quest 2 remains the benchmark for developers looking to elevate their creations. This symbiotic relationship ensures Quest 3 players enjoy a colossal games library from day one, set to expand further with time.


4. Mixed Reality: Apple Vision Pro takes center stage


Mixed Reality: Apple Vision Pro
Mixed Reality: Apple Vision Pro

As the eagerly awaited Apple Vision Pro gears up for a March 2024 launch, discussions around the potential of mixed reality are gaining momentum. Despite Apple keeping specific game details under wraps, it has announced the availability of approximately 100 existing Apple Arcade titles at launch.


While Meta took an early lead in the mixed reality race with the Quest 3 in 2023, there's a prevailing sentiment, echoed by Samuel Roberts and Henry Stockdale, that Apple is set to shape the narrative around mixed reality. Roberts suggests, "[It] feels like a narrative Apple will control to me, despite Meta's best efforts," and Stockdale expresses skepticism, stating, "I don't believe mixed reality will be the success Meta expects." Apple's impact on technology adoption, coupled with advancements like the new M3 chips, hints at a potential surge in virtual reality engagement, even if the fate of mixed reality remains uncertain.


5. Multiplayer VR: get ready for some VR fun


 Multiplayer VR
Multiplayer VR

The VR landscape in 2024 is poised to be dominated by multiplayer experiences, with games like Gorilla Tag and Ghosts of Tabor capturing the attention of millions of daily users. As Meta Quest 3 solidifies its standing as the industry standard, we can anticipate a surge in innovative VR multiplayer offerings, complemented by new community features promoted by Meta.


Looking ahead, our selection of top VR games for 2024 is centered on titles with multiplayer, social, or competitive dimensions. Here are five noteworthy additions to watch:


  1. Taskmaster VR. Dive into bizarre mini-games, solve puzzles, and navigate a strange game inspired by the hit UK TV series. With a blend of physical tasks and creative problem-solving, it's poised to be a VR hit.

  2. Bulletstorm VR. The classic shooter from People Can Fly makes a VR comeback with confirmation of a co-op mode. This promises to be a smart and engaging shooter for the VR landscape in 2024.

  3. Gravity Royale VR. A VR-exclusive battle royale shooter, leveraging physics-based gravity controls for aerial maneuvers and grappling across maps. Developed on Unreal Engine 5, it presents a unique and visually striking experience.

  4. Mannequin. Fast Travel Games introduces a multiplayer game with a twist – players must strike a pose and blend in with frozen NPCs. Breaking the pose risks exposure to opposing players, adding a strategic layer to the gameplay.

  5. Ghosts of Tabor. Having gained traction in early access on PC VR, this survival game is expected to make a significant impact in 2024, especially upon its release on Quest 3.


6. Big-Budget mobile ports: shifting tides in mobile gaming


Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4

While the iPhone 15 Pro showcased the feasibility of Triple-A gaming on mobile with the ports of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Village in 2023, Neil Long, the founder of MobileGamer.biz, remains skeptical about the widespread adoption of such games on mobile platforms.


Long believes that Apple may have incentivized Capcom to port these Resident Evil titles to iOS, primarily to highlight the capabilities of its new chips. According to him, enthusiasts seeking the best experience for big-budget games are likely to gravitate towards consoles or computers.


Long identifies a few exceptions, including Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile, and the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Jade. These games, he notes, possess the polish of console titles but were intricately designed for mobile platforms from the outset. Long sees this approach, emphasizing streamlined controls and tailored play patterns for mobile devices, as the more promising direction for Triple-A gaming in the mobile space.


7. Netflix Games: streaming games take center stage


Netflix Games
Netflix Games

Netflix has been adding more games to its collection for mobile, like BAFTA-nominate Immortality and Into the Breach. However, these game services on mobile, such as Netflix Games and Apple Arcade, are still not very popular compared to free-to-play games, according to Neil Long.


Netflix is testing streaming games on TVs, and if they offer it to their 247 million subscribers, they could become a big player in games. They are also working on a big game with Joseph Staten, who worked on Halo. This could be the year that streaming games finally work well. Other companies, like Amazon, Nvidia, and Xbox Game Pass, are doing better with streaming in 2023. Sony's streaming handheld, the PlayStation Portal, sold out quickly, and even ChromeOS on the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is good for gaming. It's ironic that Google might miss out in 2024 because they gave up on Stadia.


8. Transition to Console: blurring the lines


Transition to Console
Transition to Console

Neil Long predicts an increase in mobile games transitioning to consoles and PC. While this strategy has often failed before, successes like Genshin Impact show it can work, especially as production values between console and mobile games get closer. "I'd expect more mobile-to-console and PC ports to take off in the coming years," he says. HitBerry Games' research of the gaming market development in 2024 shows the same.


Mobile gaming has been an unspoken success in the industry, with the mobile gaming market valued at $89.25 billion, according to Statista. The trend for 2024 is tied to Millennials and Gen Z gamers who prefer playing on handhelds. As platforms like PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC aim for a broader audience, the distinction between platforms is fading. With the arrival of Switch 2 in 2024 and Apple integrating its games and mobile services, high-quality mobile gaming is set to be widespread in 2024.


9. AI integration: a smarter gaming experience


Midjourney
Midjourney AI

Generative AI took the spotlight in 2023 and is set to remain a hot topic in 2024. While debates in game design often revolve around AI image-generation software like Midjourney and its ethical concerns, this technology's current randomness and issues limit its practical use in game development.


The focus is shifting towards integrating AI tools into software for tasks like coding and advanced VFX implementation. For instance, Microsoft-owned GitHub's Copilot is aiding indie developers by autocompleting code, and a version of this AI program is finding its way into Windows 11 and Microsoft 365.


Despite copyright concerns with AI art, developers are cautiously exploring limited use. Ghostrunner 2 director Wojciech Wilk notes, "AI is a powerful tool for enhancing creativity," and smaller teams find it invaluable. In 2023, tech companies showcased how generative AI could be employed, such as Nvidia's AI for NPC scripting. Expect 2024 to witness the practical implementation of these ideas, with more companies announcing similar AI integrations.


10. Retro games: nostalgia reloaded


Retro games
Retro games

Recently, there's been a surge in retro game consoles and mini consoles loaded with classic games. A new trend is emerging with releases replicating old consoles and computers, easily connecting to modern TVs. Atari's Atari 2600+ and Retro Games Ltd's upcoming 'new full-size Amiga console' showcase this trend.


Atari's revival, marked by acquiring retro remake specialist Digital Eclipse, suggests exciting releases in 2024. Speculation surrounds potential re-releases like Sega's Mega Drive or Dreamcast, Capcom's rumored Resident Evil remake, and Nintendo's offerings for the Switch 2 launch.


While remakes and remasters thrive, 2024 promises comebacks of iconic titles:


  1. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. A sequel to the PS5's massive Final Fantasy VII Remake with unpredictable narrative twists.

  2. Silent Hill 2. Bloober Team's new version of Konami's classic horror game, possibly adopting a Resident Evil 4-style remake.

  3. Splinter Cell. Ubisoft Toronto's rumored remake using the Snowdrop Engine for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

  4. Max Payne 1 and 2. Remakes of Remedy Entertainment's noir shooters using the Alan Wake 2 tech, a promising start to 2024.

  5. Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater. Unreal Engine 5 brings Big Boss' origin story to life on PS5 and Xbox Series X, generating excitement among fans.


11. Godot: the Rise of an open-source challenger


Godot
Godot game engine

Unity faced challenges this year, leading developers like Mega Crit, creator of Slay the Spire, to abandon it. Many, including Mega Crit, are now turning to the open-source Godot game engine, which could gain significantly from this shift. If this trend continues, Godot might emerge as a formidable competitor to Unity, similar to how Blender challenged Maya's dominance in functionality.


In 2023, some outstanding indie games like Cassette Beasts, Usagi Shima, Resolutiion, and Ex Zodiac were developed using Godot. Anticipate a further rise in the number of games using this platform in 2024.


12. Unreal Engine 5: a graphics powerhouse


Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5

The initial releases using Epic Games' powerful Unreal Engine 5, such as Lords of the Fallen, Robocop: Rogue City, and Ghostrunner 2, showcased the engine's capabilities in 2023. As we move into 2024, more major titles, including Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Black Myth: Wukong, and Nightingale, are expected to highlight the advanced graphics technology of Unreal Engine 5. Additionally, upcoming entries in franchises like Tomb Raider, Gears of War, and The Witcher are confirmed to be developed using UE5.


Unreal Engine 5 is becoming a key player in VR game development, suggesting that as virtual reality intensifies with competitors like PSVR 2, Meta Quest 3, and Apple Vision Pro, UE5-developed VR games will become more prominent, potentially surpassing Unity.


Here are five noteworthy games coming in 2024, all crafted with Unreal Engine 5:


  1. Avowed. An action-RPG set in the universe of Pillars of Eternity, featuring UE5-powered visuals and an expansive open world.

  2. Tekken 8. The latest installment in the renowned fighting game series, boasting designs by Mariko Shimazak, the artist behind Okami and Bayonetta.

  3. Black Myth: Wukong. Developed by Game Science in China, this game, based on the classic novel Journey to the West, has been impressing audiences since its announcement.

  4. Still Wakes the Deep. From the creators of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and Dear Esther, this suspenseful horror game set on an oil rig utilizes UE5 for stunning visuals.

  5. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Ninja Theory's close collaboration with Epic Games and early adoption of UE5 features make this sequel a visually stunning experience.


Future shocks: industry challenges and Unity 6


As we look forward to exciting trends, it's essential to acknowledge the challenges the gaming industry faces. Layoffs, downsizing, and the uncertain future of companies like Unity add a layer of complexity to the landscape. Unity 6, set to debut in 2024, could be a make-or-break moment for the platform, with developers holding the key to its success.


Your gamification strategy with HitBerry Games


HitBerry Games

As you explore trends and new horizons in the gaming world, consider working with experts who can help you become part of this technology landscape and create your first game.


HitBerry Games, a leading game development company, specializes in gaming marketing and the development of top-notch games for brands.


Why choose HitBerry Games?


  • Expertise. With a team of skilled developers, designers, and marketers, HitBerry Games brings a wealth of expertise to the table.

  • Custom Solutions. Tailored to your brand, HitBerry Games creates unique gaming experiences that resonate with your audience.

  • Innovative Marketing. Beyond game development, HitBerry Games excels in crafting innovative marketing strategies to amplify your brand's reach.


In conclusion, gaming trends in 2024 promise innovation, nostalgia, and a shift in the gaming landscape. Buckle up, gamers – the future looks thrilling!


Contact us right now to create a branded game and let HitBerry Games be your partner in this exciting journey!


With our free tools, you can also try to calculate your game cost by yourself or come up with a unique game idea!


Note: Stay tuned for more updates on gaming trends in 2024 as the year unfolds.




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