Stay up to date when it comes to gaming with predictions on changes that can happen this year.

The new year can take the gaming industry to a new level thanks to the rapid developments in technology and the ever-changing appetite of the market. As 2016 begins, let us take a look at some of the major trends in gaming and see what the market has in store for players, game developers, payment service providers and other stakeholders in the industry.

Free-to-play (F2P) model will reign

The Freemium or Free-to-play model is expected to generate revenue for games across all platforms this year. F2P essentially works by providing the audience the game itself for free, then allowing them to customize their experience through in-game purchases. At just the beginning of 2015, iPad developers were able to earn $10 billion in revenue through the freemium model, and the trend itself is expected to continue this year.

Tough road ahead for mobile gaming

The growth in the mobile gaming market could slow down due to oversaturation. However, this does not stop big companies such as Activision, Nintendo, or Konami from entering the mobile market and adapting hardcore games into mobile; which leads to tougher competition. For instance, Activision recently acquired King, publisher of Candy Crush Saga, and plans to bring the top-grossing game into consoles.

Games as a service will still remain viable

The “games as a service” will remain a viable business model for games, especially for those graded as AAA, or those with the highest development budgets. Essentially, this business model entails continuous development for games through cloud-based web services. Through analytics, developers will be able to gain insights from their audience and roll-out updates suitable to their interests, which can boost monetization of games.

VR and AR will take off, but adoption may be slow

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are already getting investments from companies, but it may take a while before the gaming audience embraces these technologies. For instance, Facebook, Valve, Samsung and HTC are banking on VR, but pricing may discourage gamers to use it. Augmented Reality basically places digital information over your physical environment through a wearable user interface, but this hardware may take time before it is fully developed.

Hype over E-sports will settle down

E-sports has grown rapidly in the past year due to growing viewership, where people can watch tournaments face-to-face or view them through live-streaming. However, the buzz over E-sports is expected to settle down this year as more people understand that not all types of games can be used for massive competitions. Nevertheless, it will not stop the revenue of E-sports from growing as more companies get involved by being advertisers, content producers and more.

Interactive channels can boost E-sports engagement

Though the hype over E-sports may settle down, there is still a way to engage its audience. For instance, Twitch, Youtube, Mobcrush and other platforms have been encouraging E-sports enthusiasts to interact, build a community and share gameplay. This introduces a new experience for the audience of E-sports, and opens new opportunities for monetization.

Multi-screen takes games to the next level

Multi-screen adds a new dimension to games as they can now be played on television and consoles, or mobile devices. For instance, Chromecast enables people to project board games like Monopoly on their TVs and play the game with their smartphones. Aside from Google, other big-name companies such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are producing secondary devices that promote multi-screen gaming and make it fun.

India and Brazil will become bright spots for gaming

India and Brazil will be the next bright spots for gaming due to rapid adoption of smartphones in these emerging markets. These regions could follow the trajectory of China, which became a robust market for games following a surge in playing digital games on PC and mobile devices . In India, the mobile gaming business is estimated to grow from 200 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, said Atul Bagga, a game analyst and former chief of Zynga Asia.

Gender diversity will grace your screens

It may have started with Tomb Raider, but more and more games are expected to feature female protagonists. These include Overwatch, Battleborn, Gravity Rush 2, Hellblade and many more. The trend indicates that game developers are addressing the need to promote gender diversity, which will also enable them to expand their audience.

Acquisitions will be more frequent

Mergers and acquisitions will become more prevalent in the gaming landscape this year as large entertainment companies and game publishers seek to boost their businesses. For instance, Activision Blizzard acquired King for 5.9 billion U.S. dollars to tap into the mobile gaming market. Asian gaming companies with large revenues may also follow suit as they seek to enter the Western market or to grow globally.

These trends may give game developers, publishers and even service providers a glimpse of the gaming landscape this year and help them to adapt their business to the demands of the market. However, with the fast-paced nature of technology, we may see more developments in the gaming industry this year that could help us expand our horizons and encourage us to innovate in developing games that appeal to our audience.

Would you like to keep up with the latest developments in the world of gaming? Read our blog to learn more.