2020 saw many industries cripple under the pandemic, lockdown and social distancing restrictions — but one industry saw unparalleled growth: gaming. These online (and offline) environments have created the perfect scenario for socialisation, relaxation and testing your abilities in some cases. Let’s look at some of the expected trends in gaming this year, according to Bravado.
Let’s get competitive
If anything, the global pandemic had an adverse effect on the traditional sports industry. Teams couldn’t practice, events weren’t permitted and fans missed out on weekly matches broadcast live. It’s a sad reality, but this promoted the popularity of esports — competitive gaming sessions that could be hosted, played and viewed wholly online.
“I am very excited to see how 2021 develops for competitive and casual gaming,” said Barry “TheCaramelGamer” Forrester-Smith. “I think this period we have gone through has created a flame for esports. Once LANs are allowed to proceed again, it will be interesting to see how things develop, as the majority of events were played from the comfort of our homes, which could change the way we see esports tournaments.”
This year we will likely see esports tournaments and games broadcast online, as physical events are still frowned upon (or barred completely). As many game titles roll out cross-play functionality, we’ll likely see more cross-platform experiences across most of our favourite games. It’s just another way of making sure friends come together during the pandemic, we guess?
“Please like and sub”
Of course, YouTubers, bloggers and streamers of any kind have flourished during the pandemic. You don’t really need to leave your home to create video content, so this was the perfect storm for anyone looking to make content for an online audience.
“Using services such as Twitch and YouTube, millions could tune into people playing games live. The trend even started including more traditional types of games – for example, chess has become a big draw on Twitch, pulling in audience numbers the sport had never seen before,” the Bravado press release reads.
“I think a lot more story-driven games will be streamed, now that the new generation consoles are out with many story-driven exclusives,” said Jessica “MissLadyJay” Maij. “Since people cannot go out to sporting events, I think sports games will also be quite big in the streaming world.”
Flying off the ‘shelves’
Even though games aren’t necessarily sold off shelves anymore, let’s look at the most anticipated titles in the gaming industry. Some of the titles set to release this year include Far Cry 6, Horizon Forbidden West, Dying Light 2 and Gotham Knights.
“One game that’s been standing out is called Ashes of Creation. It’s a massive multiplayer online game that changes based on the progress of people on the server. The world evolves with the decisions people make. You can become a king and gain perks that no one else on the server has, but you need to be voted into the spot. The game is like a combination of World of Warcraft and Black Desert Online. It really takes the MMO genre to a new level. Also, Half-life 3 would be nice…”
Slot it in
One of the things that are much harder to predict, is what we’ll see from hardware companies. Of course, there aren’t any new consoles planned for 2021, but we may see some upcoming peripherals from Sony and Xbox launch throughout the year.
When it comes down to PC components, however, it’s less-so set in stone. Hardware companies continue to surprise us with unexpected launches, and we can’t wait to see what this year holds for hardware.
“I’m waiting for the launch of the new Intel Rocket Lake processors, that will have up to 8 cores and 16 threads. It said to have up to 50% higher performance than gen 9 processors. The RTX 30 series has been so successful with performance to price ratios. I look forward to seeing how the upcoming Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 TI edition compares to the rest,” says Swart.
For more insight into the world of gaming in 2021, check out the Bravado team’s predictions video below.