4 trends that could revolutionize the world of video games in 2023 | digital trends

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Each passing year seems to be a milestone for gaming. The 2020s in particular have really added momentum to the industry with landscape-changing trade deals that will undoubtedly have an impact for decades to come. Some of the less flattering developments in gaming have been just as seminal, with workplace scandals slowly changing what goes on behind the scenes.

With that in mind, there is no reason to think that 2023 will be a slow year. Not only is it destined to be important to software thanks to titles like final fantasy 16 Y The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but we are likely to see some big stories unfold in 2023 that will shape the future. Some are as simple as technology showing its full potential, while others are potentially monumental business changes that will trickle down to players one way or another.

That looming wave could have you reaching for a life jacket before heading into what could be a rocky news year. To help you prepare for what’s to come, here are four predictions for where the gaming industry could be headed in the next 12 months, for better or worse.

The FTC changes the game

Looking ahead to 2023, all eyes are on Microsoft. The company dominated the gaming news cycle in 2022 when it announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for an astronomical sum of money. At the time, people were wondering if such a deal could be legal, citing potential antitrust concerns. As it turned out, the Federal Trade Commission felt the same way, as it closed out 2022 by filing a request to block that plan.

If you’re concerned about the video game industry, this is going to be a must-watch story in 2023. Historically, the government doesn’t pay much attention to video games unless it’s in the context of discussions about gun violence. Studio acquisitions tend to happen under the FTC’s radar, with sales like Bethesda and Bungie going smoothly. Activision Blizzard’s situation shows that those tides are turning, as the games’ massive financial success is becoming hard for outsiders to ignore.

Whatever happens here, the FTC filing is critical to the future of gaming. We are currently living in an arms race where Sony and Microsoft try to consolidate major third-party studios under their umbrellas. If the FTC blocks the Activision Blizzard deal, it could put an end to that. That could mean fewer games being console exclusives, which is a positive for fans. However, if the deal goes through, expect Sony to get more aggressive than it has historically been, potentially making plays for major third-party studios like Square Enix down the road.

Unionization gains ground

The Raven Software Syndicate logo.

In many ways, 2022 could be seen as a battle for the soul of the industry. You’ve seen that in everything from the pushback against an impending web3 push to the battles to create safer workplaces. This last part is the part to watch out for, as last year the industry began flirting with the idea of ​​unionization thanks to workers at Activision Blizzard and Vodeo Games.

In 2023, you can expect unions to be the hot topic of the year across the industry. There is currently a lot of momentum for the organization thanks to the success of recent efforts. Previously, unionization was a pipe dream in the video game industry that seemed unachievable. Now that some unions are operating in North America for the first time, that is likely to inspire confidence in workers across the board.

You may not think the theme affects you as a player, but in the end it will. Unionization has the potential to change the way games are made, creating more guarantees for developers that can leak. For example, a cut in crunch can cause less rushed games to be buggy (see cyberpunk 2077). It could also go a long way towards reducing burnout, ensuring there is less turnover caused by talented developers leaving the industry. Healthier work environments could raise the bar for quality in the industry in the long run.

The next generation finally becomes the next generation

Cal Kestis.

When the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launched in 2020, it seemed like we were on the brink of an exciting new era. Ultra-powerful consoles were primed to deliver high-tech experiences that would make gamers feel like the games were progressing. Actually, the last two years have been a bit more stale than expected. Most major console titles are still cross-released on the latest generation hardware, leaving games like Forbidden Horizon West feeling less spectacular than players might have expected.

That may change in a big way this year. So far, 2023 is shaping up to be the year that developers finally ditch the PS4 and Xbox One to focus on truly next-gen experiences. We are already seeing it in games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which looks absolutely spectacular thanks to its focus on recent technology. We’ll see even more games like that at the beginning of the year, from the PS5 exclusive. abandoned to a technically promising new version of Dead Space.

If you have yet to invest in a new console, now might be the time to do it. With games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 By skipping PS4, you’re unlikely to experience many of this year’s biggest releases unless you invest some money. This isn’t just related to center consoles, either. Equipment like PlayStation VR2 and Razer Edge will also raise the bar for hardware in their respective niches. Be prepared to budget if you want to keep up.

The Embracer Group takes over

A screamer yells on a beach in Dead Island 2.

Although it was hard to keep track of all the acquisition news in 2022, there was one name in the rat race that stood out: Embracer Group. The publisher made some huge power plays last year, seizing everything from Square Enix’s Western studios to Lord of the Rings intellectual property. The company made it very clear that it intends to be more than an AA company that operates on the edge of established gaming players.

While Embracer’s moves in 2022 further set the stage for its future, you can expect to see a lot more of the company’s name come in 2023. According to the parent company’s financial reports, Embracer currently has 234 games in development, which will be released. sale in 2023. March 2026. We know some of those games, like dead island 2 Y Alone in the dark, but much of its slate is a mystery at the moment. That number becomes especially intriguing considering that he now owns the rights to several classic IPs.

With so much potential, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Embracer Group logo before you head into E3 2023. There’s a good chance you’ll see it in more games than any other publisher. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a sea change in the publishing world, but with enough success, Embracer could become the next EA.

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