Recently, the video game industry has experienced tremendous growth and is only getting more popular among the global population. This growth is driven by interlinking gaming software trends which include the rapid popularity and growth of esports; which are organized multiplayer video game competitions and technological advancements like virtual reality(VR) and augmented reality(AR). This synergy between these technologies is creating new formats and enabling a more immersive gaming experience for users.

Here are a few of the top software technology trends in the gaming industry:

Cloud gaming
Cloud-based gaming software models are already gaining a lot of popularity and are poised for tremendous growth. The aim of using such models is to provide frictionless and immediate access to games that are hosted on the cloud rather than on discs or hardware like PCs or gaming consoles. In the next decade, we can expect the traditional gaming setup of PCs and consoles to shift and become replaced by games hosted on a cloud-based system that provides instant access to any games a user wishes to play.

Basically, esports is a form of online multiplayer competition and it is witnessing spectacular popularity and growth in the gaming market. This shift to player(s) vs player(s) concept is causing game developers across all industries and franchises to invest heavily in developing an esports platform for their particular game or franchise. This has, in turn, led to the emergence of professional esports leagues and tournaments. Due to its popularity among the younger demographic, advertisers have shown interest in using the medium for showcasing products and services.

Fantasy sports
Fantasy sports are a type of online gaming tournaments or leagues in which participants, based on the particular sport, can choose and draft virtual teams based on real-life professional sports athletes. Fantasy sports are played online and have experienced a lot of popularity in the past decades, especially in sports like football, American football and cricket. However, it should be noted that this form of gaming faced significant legal challenges due to its connotations with gambling.

Virtual Reality(VR)
One of the best and most popular applications of virtual reality technology has been in gaming. Many of the world’s gaming console giants have already started including VR headsets as a separate purchase option. Although still in its relative infancy, VR gaming will steadily grow in prominence due in part to falling headset prices, the creation of new content and the growing influence of the esports community.

Online gaming ecosystems
A major and significant segment of the video games market is digital distribution. While console platforms have the option of owning physical game discs, mobile games are exclusively available on application stores. The digital distribution provides a variety of benefits to users and is a good indicator to judge customer demand for this service. This is ideal for game developers as it removes the costs associated with shipping as well as the selling of physical products. The use and prominence of digital distribution portals is only expected to increase and in the long term, these portals will create a more reliable and accurate route streaming tool for game developers.

Mobile gaming ecosystems
Despite the popularity of gaming on consoles and PCs in the past couple of decades, smartphones have emerged as the devices that have the biggest player base. This is due to their ubiquity and easy access to games through the application store. Some of the major game development companies have also entered the mobile gaming market. Another key aspect that will lead to the growth of mobile gaming is the development of cloud gaming. As cloud computing facilitates convergence, game titles and franchises will no longer have to be platform exclusive. This is a major benefit for gamers as they get to experience their favorite games without having to spend high for specific hardware or different consoles.