Exploring interesting options for a game you’re making? Try exploring one of these game development technologies aiming to break through into the mainstream.
Game development technologies are rapidly changing how the industry itself works. As more cutting-edge games try, succeed and fail, we get to understand these technologies better, so you can learn how to use them to your advantage. In this article, we’ll go through five game development technologies on the rise that you could consider exploring when making your game.
What are the latest game development technologies and trends today?
Game Development Technology Trend #1: Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality (VR) has been all the rage since the reveal of the record-breaking Oculus Rift in 2010. Statista’s report suggests the VR market size will rise to over US$22 billion by 2025, compared to US$12 billion in 2022.
As VR grows among consumers, it’s only a matter of time before it’s integrated into the pipeline of various industries including healthcare and manufacturing. Even community modders are integrating VR into old-school shooters like Half-Life 2!
As one of the best game development technologies, there’s no better time to get into VR game development than now.
Game Development Technology Trend #2: Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) has a giant potential to be one of the best mobile game development technologies available today in the gaming space. Pokemon GO, for example, became the fastest game to reach US$1 billion in revenue in 2016. And it uses AR to redefine the fun of hunting, exploration, and discovery.
Since then, AR quickly became one of the best game development technologies in the industry, impacting our perception of how games can be made. In fact, Apple even released its own ARKit, which allows developers to create AR experiences for handheld Apple devices.
In 2022, the AR gaming market reached US$8.4 billion, according to the IMARC Group report. It’s also expected to reach US$ 43.1 Billion by 2028, with the USA, China, and Japan being the primary drivers of the market. With AR packing so much potential, skipping out on it would mean you’re lagging behind as a successful game maker.
Game Development Technology Trend #3: Cloud-Based Gaming
A report from Mordor Intelligence suggests the cloud-based gaming market will reach a CAGR of 45.2%, attracting a huge chunk of traffic all across the globe. 2020 saw the biggest record of concurrent users of cloud-based gaming, with live streaming and online gaming services seeing the highest activity.
This trend is brilliant for multiplayer games. Why? Well, people often want to seamlessly play with their groups without the hassle of owning multiple consoles or games. It’s even better for groups who don’t wish to upgrade their hardware every couple of years, as they opt for a minimalist lifestyle.
So say you made a game anyone can play on the cloud. Then you:
- would bring a tonne of eyeballs to your game,
- might strike exclusive deals with high-profile game publishers,
- will offer convenience to players who genuinely look for it.
Not only is this an amazing branding opportunity for your game, but it’s also a chance to explore one of the rising online game development technologies in the market.
Game Development Technology Trend #4: Cross-Platform Development
At first glance, it might seem odd to think that cross-platform development is a trend. However, it has become one of the most popular game development technologies indie developers are opting for in recent years, largely for these reasons:
- Wide audience: Streamlining your game to play on mobile, PC, consoles, and web browsers maximises your audience reach. That dramatically increases the potential for more impressions, downloads, and sales.
- Unified codebase: You won’t have to worry about constantly updating or maintaining your codebase when it’s shared between all platforms you’re launching your game on. It reduces time, energy, and maintenance costs this way.
- Faster time-to-market: Porting the game from one platform to another can take a lot of time, and even specialised publishing and legal deals to make happen. This can delay the time it takes for your game to release. Cross-platform development at the time of pre-production can reduce the work involved to make that happen. It can also give you a competitive advantage in the market.
So if you’re making a game right now, think about how you can bring it to other platforms. It’s certainly long-term, but it is a trend with a massive payoff.
Game Development Technology Trend #5: AI in Games
If realistic and engaging experiences are what you need in your game, then skipping this game development trend would be a mistake. With the rise of AI, thanks to ChatGPT’s popularity, game developers can use it to enhance their development workflow. You can create more intelligent NPCs, make the physics of your game more believable, and even generate content on the fly using AI.
Last month, Ubisoft announced they will introduce Ghostwriter, an in-house artificial intelligence tool that can write repetitive dialogues. This means game writers can focus more on the meat of the narrative rather than spending time on menial tasks that could be automated. This saves the team time and the business money without affecting their existing production pipelines.
Even at Kwalee, we’ve introduced AI to produce some engaging narrative design strategies for our casual games. The results were fantastic, with our game writers setting up character backgrounds, worldbuilding, and even plotlines in record time!
If AI can do the same in other aspects of game development, we don’t see why you should skip out on this game development technology.
What other technologies are you interested in?
You won’t have to go after all these game development technologies for your game. It’s always good to pick the one that best fits your game, and see where it takes you. So before you feel you’re simply chasing a trend, think about how it can help you get what you set out to achieve with your game. Understandably, this is difficult to infer, and it’s why game publishers like Kwalee advise game developers on choosing and using trends.
As an award-winning game publisher, we know what it takes to turn your game into a big hit. Upload your game prototype on our official Publishing Portal (if it’s a mobile game) or send it to our publishing scouts (if it’s a PC and console game). We’ll analyse your game and get in touch with you about your results. Meanwhile, catch us on our social media (TikTok | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn) to get the latest on our gamedev efforts.