Gaming has its trends. In the 2000s, it was first-person shooters and MMORPGs, and in the 2010s, it was survival games and battle royales. And although we are already a few years into the 2020s, it’s not yet clear which genres or styles of games are going to rise and dominate this decade. So, let’s take a moment to speculate what the next big gaming trend could be.
Social Survival Games
One trend we saw emerge throughout COVID-19 was the number of social survival-style games. These games incorporated the battle royale genre and added social spice. Titles like Among Us epitomize this genre.
Social survival games are ones in which you have to thrive in a social setting, whether that be through collaboration, building loyalties, or deception. These games have grown in number over the last 5 years and almost gained enough steam to be titled one of the biggest gaming trends of the 2020s. But, they have stopped slightly short, with too few major titles. But who knows what the big studios are cooking up?
Procedurally Generated Worlds
Procedural generation became a core part of the 2010s, with games like Minecraft and No Man’s Sky. However, we think this may become a genre of its own. Such a genre would focus on large, diverse worlds generated dynamically to suit players’ desires in a game. For example, different worlds may be produced for different players in a single game based on whether they play more combatively, narratively, or cooperatively.
Procedural generation will continue to be a big part of gaming in the future. Oh, and speaking of Minecraft, you can purchase Minecraft Hypixel coins to help you get ahead.
Emergence of Sustainability and Eco-conscious Games
If you’re into indie games, you may have noticed several new eco-conscious takes on classical genres like RTS games and city builders.
This is because many developers have started expressing their concerns about climate change through games. If one or two major studios pick up this trend, we may see a new style of eco-conscious games coming out—potentially ones focused on non-combative variants of classical game genres.
Narrative-Driven Multiplayer Experiences
If the 2010s taught developers anything, gamers love multiplayer experiences. Developers have flooded the market with competitive titles, but it might be time for narrative-driven co-op titles to take the lead. This means we may see a resurgence in MMO-style games, albeit under a new and improved guise.
Adaptive AI-driven Games
While most games we’ve ever played have been fully scripted and tailored experiences, the rise of AI suggests a new alternative: totally bespoke experiences. This might lead to personalized experiences where you can have real-time, open conversations with NPCs, participate in quests (or even make them yourself), and much more. We have already seen some adept modders integrate AI into Skyrim to allow you to speak to NPCs.
If such a trend becomes a reality, it will first appear in single-player games.
Virtual Lifestyle Simulation
Games like sims and social applications like VR Chat or High Rise have long been a staple of the gaming industry, but few have remained in the mainstream for long. VR, AR, and other technologies may begin to change that. Bringing a whole new type of virtual lifestyle simulation to the market, seeing people build real virtual relationships with other players, work on in-game projects, and much more. Think Second Life, but built today.
Deep Role Playing Games
It’s hard to understate Baldur’s Gate 3’s shockwaves through the gaming industry. Almost unanimously lorded as game of the year and widely praised as the most important game in a long time, the game’s systems are sure to be replicated by other studios. This means we will start seeing decision-driven, deep role-playing games become a staple of the 2020s, with branching narratives, unique playthroughs, and hard-to-find content becoming a mainstay.
Collaborative Creation and User-generated Content Platforms
Over the last two decades, one type of game has been growing—games that thrive on user-generated content (UGC). UGC games like Minecraft, Roblox, or The Sandbox allow players to create their own games within the larger world, creating entirely new thrills within one platform.
While this space has hot competition, we can imagine plenty of other major studios jumping on board in the race to create some great UGC games.
It’s impossible to predict the future perfectly, but these are some gaming trends that we can see on the horizon. Of course, many of these genres may not emerge or crash and burn, but who knows? All we know is that we can’t wait to play the amazing games that will be released in the future.