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The Future of Videogames: What will it look like?

 What Will the Future of Videogames Look Like?

the future of video games

This isn't a new question by any stretch. I'm reminded jokingly of the Playstation 9 commercial which was a very tongue-in-cheek commercial for the PS2. Admittedly, we're somewhat close to extreme immersion video games with VR arenas popping up all over the world, but something "Matrix" style won't be around for at least 50 years. We've just begun to see the emergence of twitch streaming where people literally make money playing video games, so streaming has a long way to go first before we can see something close to full immersion. But for now, I think we can fill in some of the gaps to see where the future of gaming might head.

The Future is Definitely About Diversity

I think it took the 2010s for people to recognize that gaming wasn't just about white guys doing their thing. With the rise of social media, people became a little bit more "internet aware." I think that was the biggest "fast-pass" to gaming in general—that it could finally be a social thing instead of the opposite. I recall playing Half-Life for hours and hours on end every day, barely leaving my room except for food and the occasional social interaction. 

But we can see now that gaming is the exact opposite. People need social interaction (unless you're just a mountain man, in which case you're an odd one), and I think gaming needed to grow up first to pull social interaction into it. The rise of Vent, Teamspeak, Discord, and Guilded empowered gamers to build communities—not just people to exist in some space, but to actually share camaraderie. To have a voice. To share an opinion. And since gaming suddenly was thrusted into a space where we could be ourselves, the main demographic of videogaming was definitely changing—for the better.

With some major events happening in gaming—Activision Blizzard's recent troubles, ArenaNet's public debacle, and the event in 2014 I only reference in vague terms, gaming had to change. And I think there's still a long way to go. I'd love to support development teams fully staffed by minorities, non-binary individuals, and people that identify as whatever. I think in the near future of videogames, we'll see a lot more diversity—not for the sake of it, but because gaming is definitely changing.

What will games be like?

As someone who's been playing videogames since 3 years old, I've had a very large gamut of genre experiences. Fighting, sim, RTS, FPS, racing, whatever. It took my later years to recognize what systems I actually enjoyed (I've recently dived into a little bit of game design) and what were just rehashed systems that didn't appeal as much (Life is Feudal comes to mind—resource management sims are tired to me). But I have a strong suspicion we're going to see a lot of genres die out, or at least see genres with extreme system development. 

It's definitely aged, but Portal comes to mind. Portal's success hinged on one intuitive but extremely poweful system—a mobile capability to pass through walls. That kind of system saw a debut with Prey (the 2006 game) where "wall-walking" was possible, just not mobile. And so this kind of advanced systems design is probably going to be a heavy element when it comes to the future of video games: first-person shooters, only with systems that are unique. As someone who hasn't played Deathloop yet, I can only assume I'm eating my words as I think of them. 

Cloud-Based Gaming

Phil Spencer, the head of XBox, admitted in an interview that Google and Amazon are now competition for Microsoft: "When you talk about Nintendo and Sony, we have a ton of respect for them, but we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward.” Game companies develop highly-sophisticated consoles which tend to run cheaper than PCs, which is the reason why they make very little money on consoles to begin with: it's all made back with the games. But with cloud-based services like Amazon Luna and Google Stadia pioneering streaming-based services that will undoubtedly be a strong tenet for the future of video games, I think we'll start to see the end of console hardware. 

Is that a good thing? I don't know.

I'm certain they're disliked in the mod community because you can't get access to the data in order to do "what you want." In addition, companies can basically structure their pricing tiers how they want. Do you receive "channels" for games? Do you get a "play per hour" rate? That remains to be seen. As I've said many times, "corporations are gonna corporate," so I don't think "savings" for corporations will be passed on to us via game selections. 

One thing is for certain: in the future, the game is gonna change.

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