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Beyond Gameplay: Gaming Trends in the Metaverse Era

The gaming industry, like many others, underwent significant evolution during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging technological trends, such as the use of AR/VR and gaming within the Metaverse, are poised to revolutionize the conventional nature of the gaming sector. Gamers today are experiencing novel and diverse concepts of gaming, shifting from mere gameplay to encompass content creation, content viewing, and participation in gaming events.

According to projections featured in our recent publication titled “Global Digital Gaming Market 2023,” the revenue of the gaming market is expected to achieve a single-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2025, reaching a value in the billions of euros by 2025. Simultaneously, the number of players is projected to swell into the billions over the same period. The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to capture the largest share of total gaming revenue, with North America following closely behind, establishing these regions as hubs for a substantial number of gamers globally compared to other parts of the world.

Segment-wise, mobile gaming emerged as the highest revenue generator as of 2022, crossing the billion-euro mark. This segment also boasted the highest count of global gamers during the same period. In response to the growing desire for immersive gaming experiences, the exploration of gaming within the Metaverse has gained considerable traction. The Metaverse’s growth enables players not only to play games but also to socialize without engaging in gameplay and to make in-game purchases. A survey conducted in April 2022 revealed that globally, attending virtual events and games within the Metaverse ranked as the second most popular activity after purchasing physical and virtual goods.

Moreover, the younger generations, Gen Alpha and Gen Z, exhibited a higher willingness to spend on in-game purchases compared to their older counterparts, with items like gear and playable characters being their preferred choices. The primary reasons cited by respondents for making purchases within the Metaverse were enhancing the in-game experience and gaining advantages. As the popularity of the Metaverse within the gaming community continues to surge, gaming companies are taking significant steps to establish their presence in this virtual universe. For instance, the collaboration between the luxury fashion brand Burberry and the online game Minecraft highlights the creative initiatives being pursued. Gamers are now extending their involvement beyond mere gameplay, participating in events, exhibitions, conventions, and competitions within the Metaverse. Notable examples include gamers participating in live events and concerts organized by Fortnite artists.

The adoption of gaming within the Metaverse is progressing at varying rates across nations. In the USA, over half of the surveyed Gen Z gamers expressed their interest in experiencing economic opportunities within the Metaverse as of February 2022. Despite the growing appeal of the Metaverse, data privacy remained a significant concern for gamers across different generations when it came to both the Metaverse and video games.

A similar trend is observed in the UK, where the prevalence of gaming within the Metaverse is on the rise. As of October 2022, nearly two-thirds of Metaverse users indicated their usage for gaming purposes. However, more than one-third of gamers expressed reservations about security breaches, considering it premature to fully embrace the Metaverse as of March 2022. Another noteworthy trend gaining traction is cloud gaming, with almost three-quarters of gamers in the UK leaning towards cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass.

In summary, emerging trends, such as gaming within the Metaverse, blockchain gaming, and cloud gaming, are poised to reshape the traditional gaming landscape. Brands and gaming companies are forging collaborations to attract and engage gamers in these innovative avenues.