The Top Gaming Trends of 2018

With each new year, there come new trends in gaming, which are usually fueled by other influences outside of gaming. However, some of these trends are dependent on you having other equipment or being a fan of that type of genre. Plus, if the gaming companies realize that there is a hit, you will soon see many such games along the same lines. Like other years, 2018 has developed its own trends that are soon to be taking the industry by storm.

Semi-Gen Gaming

It used to be that every few years, you would see the console manufacturers announce their next generation console to big fanfare. These were usually teased for at least a year in advance, and it would send the gaming world into a frenzy when they were shown at the E3 gaming convention. However, while you might get another version of the same console a year or so later, which was smaller and cheaper, the big console companies have started a new trend. Although the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were only released in the past couple of years, they were already developing an upgraded semi-gen version called the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. These consoles have upgraded specs and the ability to display 4K. However, there’s no denying that they are more expensive, and you need a 4K TV to get the best from them. If you want to get one, you need to think about the additional expense; you can always get a no credit check loan or trade-in your other console. However, as the price of these consoles drops, and more people are upgrading their TV’s, these semi-gen consoles will become more popular.

Games from Movies and TV Shows

In previous years, there were many new games developed which were primarily based on famous movies and TV shows. These included James Bond, Kung-Fu Panda, and many others, but this trend soon became more a way to promote the movie than creating a good game. For that reason, gamers started to move away from these genres, assuming they wouldn’t be any good. However, in 2018, there is a new way of creating games from movies that seems to be bringing the best of both worlds together. Movie studios and game companies are starting to become wiser and choosing the movies carefully. Furthermore, there is also a growing trend for some of the movie and TV show games going straight to mobile gaming rather than consoles.

Open World Games

The development of open world games has given gamers some of the most amazing experiences ever. These sprawling spaces, at one time, featured immersive gameplay and beautiful scenery that were the high-end of what gaming was about. But once the technology became available to other developers, the quality of the games started to drop. 2018 is set to be the year that this genre reinvigorates itself with some great titles like Anthem being able to push the boundaries once again. Look out for more of these open world games coming to consoles and PC’s in the future.

More Inclusive Games

In recent times, a number of game developers have come under fire for their use of women and cultural appropriation in their games. It isn’t only the games themselves, but also the cover art and the publicity photos that have caused a lot of unhappiness. It has led gaming companies and console manufacturers to look at how they treat women, ethnic groups and the disabled and making them more inclusive in their games. Microsoft also started to introduce new avatars with prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs to try and cater for everyone. While this is a step forward for gaming, there will need to be further movement in the future, and that could be developing further this year.

Hybrid Games

The success of the Nintendo DS and more recently the Nintendo Switch has shown that gamers are still actively wanting to play games on the go. However, for the PlayStation, their portable PSP wasn’t as successful as it might have been. Mobile companies such as Android and Apple have been cornering the market on mobile gaming, mainly because people use their mobiles all the time. It is also easier for people to have games on their phones than carrying around another device. Sony has started to take advantage of this by bringing their console games and merging them with their mobile app PlayLink. The PlayLink app allows you to use your mobile as a controller for your PS4 games. However, it goes a little further than that; it also uses the phone’s camera and gyroscope to interact with the game.

Virtual Reality

Although virtual reality has been around since the 1990’s, it hasn’t fully fulfilled its potential. There have been a number of versions available including Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, but the games have not always been up to the standard you would expect. Fun games like Job Simulator have lent themselves better to VR than other games, but there is now a move to make VR even better. The world cup in 2018 saw channels like the BBC show live football games in VR, which placed you in the stands with the other fans. Gaming companies are also working on ironing out the bugs and trying to make VR an effective way to get immersive gameplay.

Microtransactions

The term microtransactions are used when a gamer is forced to either build currency in the game or pay real money to progress to new levels or unlock content. These types of transactions have been increasingly used in mobile games, but they are also now starting to creep into console games. As seen with Star Wars: Battlefront II, this hasn’t been met with approval by gamers, but it seems something that is destined to continue as gaming companies strive to make more money from their titles.

These are some of the trends that are looking to influence gaming in 2018; it remains to be seen how these will influence gaming next year.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!