Analysts who pay close attention to the world of video games utilise research to tap into consumer trends. This is not just curious information that is passed around the desks of publishers, but essential data to inform how these games are developed and marketed to the general public.
By examining the trends of customers who buy and interact with these products, developing companies can manipulate their designs to match standards and demands across the board. As the innovation of technology evolves over time, traditional modes of playing these games is changing each year.
The advent of Twitch and streaming video games is a phenomenon which has altered the landscape entirely. The website allows participants to view live streaming of game play and interact with users through a chat platform. Professional gamers and companies are getting in on this action, using it as a vehicle to promote new products and interact with their fan base.
This can be used as a free service or a paid subscription for following certain accounts. There are approximately 140 million Twitch users and counting, seeing the gaming streaming service valued close to $4 billion. Since Amazon bought it out, other big players in this market will look to replicate the model given the data that is provided by researchers.
Major tech giants like Apple want a slice of video games, researching and investing in this consumer sector through their Apple TV platform. Their exclusive Apple TV+ program Mythic Quest: Ravens Banquet would be an acknowledgement of the growth of the industry, but they are looking to replicate their own gaming service given the approximate 2.5 billion active gamers around the world as of 2019.
Although the big brand name developers of video games still own large portions of the consumer market, recent studies have indicated that customers are not wedded to those outlets exclusively. With so much invention and enterprise with these systems, there are indie developers who have won widespread acclaim and recognition from the community.
Some of these brands will compete in their own right or be bought out by a larger business down the line. There are plenty of case studies to demonstrate the indie success in this market, with the likes of Blendo Games, Mobius Digital, Studio MDHR, Extremely OK Games and Heart Machine showing that there are other channels outside of the big sellers.
With approximately one in three global citizens owning or having access to a smartphone, video games are quickly making the transition to the mobile market. Games are now regularly packaged and crafted for mobile-friendly devices, including Apple and Android designs. This domain offers another level of interactivity given that participants don’t have to venture out to purchase a console to access the material.
Esports is quickly blurring the lines between our love for video games and actual professional sports broadcasts for younger viewers. These single and multiplayer competitions are broadcast on ESPN, giving users of NBA 2K, FIFA and NFL 2K another dimension. Yet there are first-person shooter games and other formats like Dota, Counter Strike and League of Legends that enjoy their own following. Such is the growth of this market explained by analysts that Esports is already valued over $1 billion.
The top developers of video games through the PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and XBOX brands continue to dominant the market commercially, but they have been forced to innovate their platform in order to stay abreast of these evolving trends. Their in-house teams are running internal diagnostics everyday, collating data sets on user behaviours all across the globe.