Game Development Trends to Look for in 2021
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the focus in game development has shifted. VR technology now stands at the forefront of technological advancement.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
2020 was a great motivation and, at the same time, a universal delayer when it came to game app development companies. On the one hand, the restrictive measures, the lack of proper delivery systems, and the challenges of self-isolation made game developers think creatively to develop new strategies, reconsider game development balance, and change the primary direction of the gaming sector. On the other hand, the industry lost its revenue, and the analytics have yet to calculate how much the actual income differs from the projections.
Nonetheless, last year brought about many new trends that are likely to persist in the industry for quite a while. Thus, some aspects, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, have acquired a new role, while the socialization of game app development is expected to become one of the top priorities in the short run. Read on to learn about the prevailing trends in the gaming domain and keep your game app development company on track with world leaders.
Top 3 Game Development Trends in 2021
1. New Hardware – New Challenges for a Game App Development Company
The art of thought in the area of game app development always excels in the art of technology. Such a major limitation is probably the main reason why we still see unrealistic characters in video games. Nonetheless, a slow yet steady pace of industry growth is getting us there. This year, the world is expecting the new graphics card by Nvidia: RTX 3080, which is a next-gen piece of hardware that will allow for greater quality, faster processing, and an ultimate gaming experience.
Meanwhile, a similar release of AMD’s RDNA 2-based Big Navi graphics cards is projected to compete. This trend can change how a game app development company operates because the borders of graphics possibilities will be broadened considerably. In addition, it is worth noting that new consoles like Playstation 5 will support not only 4K but also 8K video, which is an important highlight in the industry.
The peaking development of virtual reality headsets brings video games into every home, making the whole concept of VR gaming accessible for a significantly wider audience. For game developers, this advancement simply means more work on adjusting their products to multiple headsets as well as consoles, especially considering the incremental console upgrades that are due in 2021. Some people believe that wearables (wearable game consoles) will also change the direction of game app development because SuperSuit technology is considered more engaging, projecting the game on the surrounding space rather than just on the screen of a PC or a phone. Still, its application in 2021 will show whether the trend remains afloat in the long run.
2. VR & AR
VR and AR have been trending in the gaming business for quite some time. The 2020 lockdowns, self-isolation, and the common work-from-home mode only promoted the need for both of these technologies in the game development world. Last year, the boom in leisure-time apps for home development and educational apps for homeschooled children spiked. The VR gaming revenue is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2021, with an increase of 21%, proving that interest in the immersive experience will only continue to grow. Besides, with the new VR headsets becoming more and more affordable, VR game developers will be more likely to push towards game releases.
AR games like Pokemon Go only seemed to have lost their place among the top players in the industry. However, new games such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite or Jurassic World Alive revealed the complete opposite.
The AR trend will keep evolving, especially when it comes to educational game app development. For example, print houses have recently started implementing VR technology into their books, thereby helping younger learners to grasp concepts faster while being away from physical classrooms. Considering that 2021 is projected to resemble 2020 in terms of education, such apps will continue to thrive, and the demand for those products is only expected to rise.
3. Socialized Game Development
Socialization is one of the basic human needs, so it's no wonder that app game development will establish the niche for this trend. Work routine changed in 2020 for many employees, just as the classroom ambiance for students did. This adjustment led to a lack of social interactions that any game app development company with promise will try to fill with its products in 2021.
This year, the trend for more useful applications will persist, including:
Apps that allow people to work together, like MeetingVR, which offers whiteboards and a collaborative space in VR for team meetings
Educational apps, like ABCmouse or Hungry Caterpillar, for students who lack teachers' supervision
Fitness apps, like Echo VR or Zombies, Run!, that help to compensate for loss of public gym space and add elements of competition
Game apps with even deeper socialization features (more cooperation, strategic planning, discussions, in-game chats, etc.)
VR is also projected to substantially contribute to the development of socialization among players. Even though one might be isolated in their home, the possibility to meet virtually and have a live chat with other gamers is expected to positively impact the psychological state of VR users and simplify lockdown times. Further, inclusivity and accessibility in the mobile game app development will also serve as significant elements of its social aspect, entailing greater voice recognition, shortcuts for disabled people, among other features. Considering that the whole world aims to foster equality for everyone, the game app development industry is also working on achieving complete equality through both end-products and development teams.
Every year global trends change and become more advanced. Every year a game app development company sits at a round table to plan the work progress for the upcoming period. And every year, the challenges only grow bigger. In 2021, luckily, most tendencies will remain unaltered; hence, the projects launched last year will still be innovative and easy-to-sell. Nonetheless, make sure that you keep in touch with game development trends in 2021, as the global pandemic heavily influences the course of events around the world. At present, it is crucial to stay on top of the market demand to survive the current slump in the industry.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.