5 Gaming Industry Trends in 2020

9 December, 2019 | By Anzu

We’ve gathered a list of the gaming industry’s hottest trends in 2020.
Join us as we count down to the decade, one trend at a time

Trend 1: Adoption of 5G

The industry is waiting with bated breath for the rollout of 5G, a technology that can revolutionize our interactions by bringing ultra-fast wireless broadband to our smartphones and other devices. Gamers, too, would be eagerly anticipating enhanced gaming experiences. With the promise of wider availability of 5G, we can expect to see a spur in innovative technologies and offerings. For one, game developers will be able to deliver richer content as speed and latency improve. This, in turn, will also impact in-game advertising for brands, making it more dynamic.

With 5G, multiplayer gaming could also see a boost as developers begin to set up environments in which gamers can play online while away from their home internet. Nintendo is already contemplating a 5G version of its popular Nintendo Switch, and more devices in the market are expected to offer on-the-go gaming, too. 5G gaming will also boost the already-competitive cloud gaming space. More on that to come!

Trend 2: Growing demand for cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is offering the gaming experience across devices. This means that games can be purchased and played without having access to a console or PC. Google recently launched its much-awaited cloud gaming platform, Stadia. Close competition in the space is already expected to emerge as Microsoft gets ready to bring Project xCloud to the market.

According to
Newzoo’s research, cloud gaming’s serviceable obtainable market (SOM) will grow to 124.7 million users by 2022. By allowing players to access games anywhere and on any device, cloud gaming is expected to change the future of video gaming. No longer will players have to obtain special software or equipment, they will simply log in and start playing. Leading publishers like Ubisoft are already embracing the phenomenon. As the demand for cloud gaming grows, more companies will offer new ways to play with new subscription models. But the question remains: how will the nature of console gaming change in the face of cloud gaming? We at Anzu are waiting to see what kind of transformational impact this new advancement will have on the future of gaming.

Trend 3: Mobile esports are here to stay

Since it first came on the scene, esports has been steadily growing, both in revenue and in audience numbers. 2019 was a particularly stellar year for esports, with estimated revenues to hit the billion-dollar mark. 2020 will also be significant for esports, particularly on mobile. In fact, in November 2019, mobile esports dominated live stream viewership over many traditional esports titles.

With deeper smartphone penetration, new markets such as China and India, and competitive data charges, mobile esports is clearly on the rise. According to a
report, mobile esports are likely to overtake PC/console-based ones over the next few years. Popular games PUBG and Fortnite have already grossed top slots and with other popular esports titles such as League of Legends coming to mobile, we are excited to see what new mobile monetization opportunities lay ahead.

Trend 4: Live video game streaming intensifies

The live video game streaming market — with platforms like Twitch, Mixer and YouTube Gaming — has seen an incredible growth this year. In 2019, competition in this space has seen some serious action when popular streaming stars moved platforms, signalling a shift in perception of the value of less saturated platforms.

As vendors of live streaming expand, we expect innovation in market offerings to gain the confidence of the gaming market. On the back of improved 5G services and the popularity of esports events, live video game streaming is also likely to see a steady growth in 2020. It will be interesting to see what kinds of games drive this growth. So far, Fortnite has remained one of the most popular titles for streaming, though recently, it has seen a slight decline. What kind of new consumption patterns will we see in the next year? We are eager to find out!

Trend 5: Popularization of gaming as a service (GAAS)

Gaming is undergoing a transformation in its business and subscription models. Within this, Gaming as a service (GaaS) is emerging as a new continuing revenue opportunity for studios, offering monetization after a sale or through a free-to-play model. The consumption patterns of gamers are changing — users want to pick and choose the games they want to play and have the autonomy to play them wherever they can (whether it is console, PC, or mobile). As studios recognize the shift in consumption habits, they are beginning to transition to deliver their games via the GaaS model, hoping to extend the life cycle of their games, and in turn, the profits.

Through microtransactions, GaaS also offers rich content opportunities for developers to make their games more experiential by updating them every couple of weeks, keeping the gamer’s interest high. With distribution channels such as Steam, we expect GaaS to make further in-roads with more publishers choosing to offer their games this way.

Thank you for joining us as we countdown to the new decade!
Which trends are YOU most excited about? Let us know!
We are looking forward to an exciting new year for the gaming industry.

From team Anzu, here’s wishing all our readers, friends, clients and partners best wishes for the Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Anzu.io is an in-game advertising platform that brings real-world brand ads to video gaming and esports. Backed by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, WPP, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Anzu redefines digital advertising through seamless integration of non-intrusive ads into the gameplay. Bringing real-time data and programmatic to the video gaming world, the platform promises native advertising, brand safety and ad viewability. Follow Anzu on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.