Mobile Game Trends in 2022; It’s Now or Never
In 2021, as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic was mitigated, the growth of mobile games boosted by a booming stay-at-home economy was slowing down and the whole market trend was becoming smooth. After many changes in the past year, you will need to learn about the following trends in 2022 in order to respond to the changing mobile game industry.
I. The P2E Business Model Will Become Mainstream
It's commonly accepted that games are the starting point of the metaverse. However, there has long been an integration of the virtual world and the real world that has been introduced to the mainstream media in the form of games, which is P2E games.
P2E stands for Play to Earn, widely known in the crypto market. P2E saw a rapid growth in the past year. Slightly different from NFT games, P2E games offer gamers real economic incentives. Such an innovative model has boosted the development of the game industry and changed the way of life of many people in the world.
It is reported that people can earn about 3000 USD a month (far more than their average income) by playing Axie Infinity, a blockchain game, in the Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic. P2E games can be a reliable source of income for people living in economically unstable countries or regions such as the Philippines.
For many working people, playing P2E games is a good way to relieve the stress of the day and a reliable way to earn some extra money. As a relaxing and original pattern of employment, P2E games are very promising in underdeveloped areas and may become mainstream in the game industry in the future.
II. Apple's Privacy Changes Results in More Difficult User Acquisition
Apple's privacy changes have had an enormously negative impact on advertisers. Lacking data from other apps and websites as a result of the changes has seriously undermined the precision of targeting users with ads and hence significantly increased the difficulty for advertisers to acquire users. Without such data, advertisers have to spend more money to achieve the same advertising effect.
Therefore, advertisers need to find other ways to make up for the deficiency in user acquisition in 2022. The most direct way is to work with KOLs. 2022 may see more advertisers live-streaming on YouTube, Twitch, or other platforms to improve user participation by interacting with users.
III. Crossover Giants Enter the Game Market
Netflix, Snapchat, TikTok, Amazon, Google, and Apple, all founded with businesses other than games, showed their ambitions in the game market in the past year.
After its Breakaway, Crucible, and other games were all poorly received by the market, Amazon Game Studios launched New World, its first MMO game in nearly 10 years. The game became a big hit upon its release.
According to SteamDB's data, on the day of the game's release, Steam recorded over 700,000 concurrent players, which hit a record high for Amazon Game and made New World as popular as Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and other popular games on Steam.
On 3 November 2021, Mike Verdu, Netflix's vice president of game development, said in a blog post on Netflix's official website that the company officially launched Netflix Games to the world. From its small-scale attempts at mobile games to providing game service to subscribers around the world, Netflix is getting closer to companies like Steam and Epic step by step.
According to reports from last year, there were over 1000 game advertisers worldwide who used TikTok. With its leadership in the short video industry, TikTok has strong influences on gamers as a whole in the world, and has become an independent and important platform to game firms. 2K's NBA2K21 posted a topic challenge of #GiftOfGame on TikTok, generating over 1.45 million related videos, a total of over 2.5 billion views and a participation rate of over 20%...
Online entertainment apps and community platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat which cover both the existing market and the increased market and are the perfect platforms for game makers to release new games, may grow bigger in the future as the Internet environment keeps evolving.
IV. Metaverse: Need Some More Time
The concept of metaverse has been gaining more and more attention since Facebook rebranded itself "Meta". But Meta's first financial report after the name changing showed that things seemed to be a little disappointing. As a result of its stagnating user growth and lower-than-expected revenue, Meta's stock price plummeted as much as 26%. It was also revealed that Meta's virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) division lost $10.2 billion last year.
Roblox, "the first Metaverse stock", found itself in a similarly discouraging situation when its stock price plunged 26.51% the same day after a bigger loss was disclosed in its fourth-quarter 2021 financial results.
From an objective perspective, it's risky to follow the trend blindly because investors' patience may run thin during the prolonged development phase of metaverse products. At present, the metaverse is still in its early stages and relies heavily on blockchain technology. Under such circumstances, the best way to achieve success with metaverse is for entrepreneurs to get down to the work of technical research.
V. Gametech Boosts the Industry Growth
The growth of game industry is heavily dependent on the updating and upgrading of gametech. Those solutions and services make it more convenient for mobile game developers to manage and upgrade their game products.
- With technological upgrading of Unity, Unreal and other game engines, it's possible for game developers to turn more of their ideas into reality. We may see more exciting game products in the future.
- Super digital scene may become the online scene of human social life in the future. Though the metaverse still needs time to become mature, with the current technologies, we can expect the following in-game experience in 2022, including movies & TV series, music, anime and manga, live-streaming, concerts, and other digital cultural consumption. And we can also expect shopping, travel, education, and other services for life to be deeply integrated with games in the near future.
- As user acquisition is getting difficult, advertising analysis products will undergo another upgrade in 2022 to offer more convenient data insights to advertisers, and help game developers capture more data about their competitive products to fine-tune their own ads so as to reduce the difficulty in acquiring users.
VI. Mergers and Acquisitions May Exceed Expectation
Market competition is constantly changing. Both political and economic environment and industrial "involution" are driving enterprises to further improve their technologies. The increasing start-ups also have brought fresh energy to the market, and some of them will get venture investment and capital investment. It's predicted that mergers and acquisitions will thrive in 2022.
In 2022, as the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control has become a new norm, people have an increasing demand for entertaining and instructive games, and they also have become more dependent on playing mobile games and building emotional connections with games. Mobile games may have more social attributes in the future. Game-related technologies will develop constantly and the mobile game market will grow bigger and bigger. Game developers can have more opportunities only by understanding the industrial trends and keeping pace with the times.