Top Gaming Trends of 2023
Our hand-picked collection of the top gaming trends of 2023. The topics in this report on today’s emerging gaming trends are selected for their high growth across sites including Google, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon. Read more about how we track global trends.
Betano is a fast-growing European online betting or digital sports betting company with headquarters in Greece. It is known for its seamless user experience in both sports betting and a wide range of casino games. … Read more
Blox Fruits is a popular One Piece-themed Roblox game that was released in January 2019. The game primarily revolves around obtaining Blox Fruits which are 3D objects used for combat and grinding. The fruits can be used to deal damage or impart unique abilities to players. … Read more
Cloud gaming is a term used for a type of gaming that allows users to play video games without the need for a traditional video game console or without having to download or install the games themselves. Games are instead run on remote servers, and users can access them through a web browser or a dedicated app. … Read more
Leetify is a software designed to help improve CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) gamers improve their performance. The software uses AI to analyze matches to compare performance and provide feedback on how to win. … Read more
Kaiju Paradise is a Roblox game created by T Z B Studio in 2021 as a prototype for the studio's upcoming game called The Final Experiment. The game features a multiplayer fighting experience and has received over 60 million visits since its launch. … Read more
Blockpost is a 3D shooting game that features Minecraft-inspired cubic graphics. The game allows for real-time matches between players and customize their characters and arsenal. … Read more
Ayn Odin is a handheld gaming console for Android. The device features an ergonomic grip for a more immersive gaming experience, custom analog trigger buttons, high-speed active cooling fans and passive cooling heatsink. … Read more
GamerSupps is a website that specializes in selling supplements that are meant to improve gaming performance. The website offers a variety of supplements, including caffeine pills, pre-workout powders, and post-workout recovery drinks. … Read more
Honkai is a 3D action RPG game by miHoYo and was originally released in China in 2016. The game combines a variety of genres and features gacha mechanics. It has gained popularity in the United States and Europe in recent years. … Read more
Romspure is a site that allows users to download ROMs of popular games like Pokemon, Super Mario, and others from different consoles (e.g. Nintendo, Sony Playstation, etc.), so that they can be played on their computer or mobile phone. ROMs are deprecated game files on consoles that can be played on another device using an emulator. … Read more
Skinport is an online marketplace for buying and selling CS:GO skins using real money. The virtual items are not bound to the user's Steam account so it can be traded with other players. … Read more
PriceCharting is a website and app that allows users to track the prices of video games and consoles over time. The site also includes a forum where users can discuss game prices and trade games and consoles. … Read more
AI gaming is a form of gaming that involves the use of artificial intelligence or interactions with AI-controlled characters. AI gaming can be used to create games that are more challenging and realistic, or to create new gameplay experiences that are not possible with traditional gaming methods. … Read more
Fire Kirin is a fish shooting game that features an online sweepstakes and allows players to earn real money by winning. The overall gameplay is based on shooting as many fishes one can in order to earn coins. … Read more
Blockbench is a free, open-source 3D modeling web app and animation editor for low poly and pixel art. The application is known for its native support for many Minecraft 3D model formats and low-poly modeling tools to easily create Minecraft models or complex pixel art. With its animation editor, Blockbench animations can also be exported to Minecraft: Bedrock Edition or rendered on Blender, Maya, or Sketchfab. … Read more
Prime Gaming is a subscription service for gamers offered by Amazon. For a monthly fee, users get subscriptions for Amazon Prime and Twitch plus free games and in-game rewards. … Read more
Wired earphones are headphones that are connected to a device by a cable. The earphones are often favored for their better sound quality and noise-cancelling abilities when compared to their wireless counterparts. … Read more
WeMod is a platform that connects creators with gamers to use their Mods, which are tweaks that change how things look or behave in games. The platform is known to offer thousands of free cheats and trainers for games that players love. … Read more
Winbet is a platform that allows users to bet on a variety of sports and other events. The site offers betting options for a variety of sports, including football, basketball, and cricket, as well as other events, such as the Oscars and the Eurovision Song Contest. … Read more
Mecabricks is a web-based 3D modeling platform that allows users to create, share, and customize 3D LEGO models. The platform is designed to be easy to use, with a simple interface and a wide variety of models to choose from. … Read more
CDRomance is a gaming site where users can download ROMs and ISOs of retro games from mostly abandonware and 8-bit games up to the 6th generation of consoles (128-bit). The site also features romhacks, translations, emulators, and game guides. … Read more
Gaming earbuds are earbuds that are designed specifically for gaming. The earbuds typically have a more spacious soundstage to create an immersive gaming experience and may also have features such as noise cancellation and surround sound. … Read more
Toca Boca is a company that creates digital toys and games for children. The company’s games and apps are designed to be open-ended, allowing for children to explore and create without being restricted by rules. … Read more
An earning game is a game where players can earn real money or in-game rewards by completing tasks or challenges. The rewards can be in the form of real money, virtual currencies, or exclusive in-game items. Earning games are designed to incentivize players to continue playing the game and to promote social interaction between players. … Read more
Sportingbet is a website that offers betting on a variety of sports. Customers can place bets on events such as football, tennis, and horse racing, and can also bet on the outcome of political elections or the results of reality TV shows. … Read more
Eneba is an online marketplace for buying and selling digital games. The platform also allows users to buy game keys, prepaid gift cards, and game points at a cheaper price. … Read more
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A merge game is a game in which players are given a set of objects and must combine them to create or unlock a new item. Merging may result into acquiring bonuses, new characters, items, coins, or special treasures. … Read more
Xbox Storage Expansion
An Xbox storage expansion is a storage device that is designed to be used with the Xbox One gaming console. The expansion allows gamers to add more storage to the console, which can be used to store games, videos, and other media. … Read more
Roblox coding is the process of using the Roblox programming language to create games, worlds, and other objects for the Roblox platform. The language is based on Lua, and can be used to create a wide variety of objects. While not all users need to code, it is a skill that is becoming increasingly important for those looking to create and design in the Roblox world. … Read more
Mod Pass is a type of subscription service for video games that allows users ongoing access to MODS (Macros On Demand) to their existing Strike Pack controller device. The MODS achieve results that are typically too difficult to do by hand in the game. … Read more
Roblox Bedwars is a game on the Roblox platform where players are dropped into a world of swords and guns with the goal of being the last one standing. The game is a battle royale-style game where players must scavenge for weapons and armor to protect themselves and take out their opponents. … Read more
A wireless neckband is a device that is worn around the neck to provide wireless audio. The band is typically adjustable to fit different head sizes and can be used to play music, answer phone calls, and listen to audio books. … Read more
A foam keyboard refers to a keyboard modification wherein a thin layer of foam, usually polyethylene (PE) foam, is placed between the keyboard's plate and PCB. This is meant to reduce the vibration or dampen the sound that the keyboard makes when typing. … Read more
Royal Kludge is a brand known for making high-quality wireless mechanical keyboards. The company is based in China and has a wide range of wireless gaming mechanical keyboards and other gaming accessories. … Read more
Gaming leaks are information or footage that is leaked from an upcoming video game. The leaks can come in the form of screenshots, videos, or game code. They often provide a sneak peak or spoilers at the game's content and storyline or reveal new features that were not announced before. … Read more
Gasket Mount Keyboard
A Gasket Mount Keyboard is a keyboard that uses gasket material between the plate or PCB and the keypad housing. The gasket material is placed both on the top and bottom sides of the keyboard to give it a more cushioned feel and make it quieter when typing. … Read more
VRoid Studio is a 3D character creator and animation app. It allows users to create and animate 3D characters, and then share them online. The app is free to download and use, and includes a variety of features for character creation and animation. … Read more
Gacha games are video games where players can earn random rewards by playing. The games are often free to play, but include microtransactions in order to get better rewards. The games have become popular in mobile gaming, and often have anime-inspired art styles. … Read more
Reworld is an open-world game and mobile creation platform that allows users to build and play 3D games and interactive content without coding using its advanced 3D engine (Reworld Engine). The platform also allows users to interact with other players through text or voice chats while in the game doing missions, fighting enemies, or completing team tasks. … Read more
Townstar is a play-to-earn (P2E) NFT game developed by Gala Games and built on the Ethereum blockchain. The game is based on competitive farming similar to Farmville. … Read more
Blockman GO is a mobile game that allows users to create and interact with 3D worlds. The game is designed for players of all ages and encourages creativity, exploration, and social interaction. It allows users to socialize and play with others online. … Read more
Gods Unchained is a digital collectible card game. The game is based on the Ethereum blockchain and allows players to battle each other for control of powerful mythical creatures. … Read more
Splinterlands is an NFT card game that was designed by top players of Magic: The Gathering. The game is a strategy game that is set in a post-apocalyptic world where players must gather resources and build armies to take over territories. … Read more
Zed Run is an NFT horse racing game built on Ethereum blockchain technology. Within the game, players can buy, sell, or breed their digital NFT racehorse. … Read more
Trend Highlight – The Growth of Video Game Playbacks
Consumers report that photo anxiety increasingly interferes with many memorable events since people are constantly wondering if they should be taking a picture rather than enjoying the experience. But as cameras and wearables get more common, it will be more and more practical to just record everything and then go back and select the best moments after the fact.
Part of the issue is that it's hard to snap a photo at the perfect second. A recent change in how iPhones take pictures solves some of this: the photo is actually a 3-second video (with the 3-second window starting just before the button press), so it's possible to go back frame-by-frame and capture the perfect moment. This idea is now extending to online games, where a new service, Gif Your Game, lets players convert perfectly-timed gameplay videos into easily shareable GIFs that they can then post on Discord, Reddit, and Twitter.
Sharable snippets have been an increasingly important driver of cultural awareness in the last few years; an apt reaction GIFs play the same kind of linguistic role today that a well-chosen Bible verse might have played in the 19th century. And media companies know that GIFs are a powerful marketing tool, a low-cost means of raising awareness, and of promoting peer endorsement.
For games, traditional GIF generation was challenging, because recording the screen could introduce performance issues during gameplay. Gif Your Game uses a different approach: it's really recording the changes in game state, not the video itself, which means that there isn't a performance hit and also that the replay can be viewed from different angles. The product can be configured to automatically record specific in-game events, so someone playing a first-person shooter can know that there will be a video of every kill, or a sports gamer will know that they can review every goal.
This doesn’t just improve performance for computer hardware, but for the gamer, too; they want to be thinking about playing the game, not about whether they should be recording. It’s a tool for gamers to never lose their best moments.
This is especially interesting because anxiety about when to enjoy the moment and when to start recording is common in the real world, too; ironically, the digital world is coming up with solutions for living in the moment faster than the analog world can. While recording everything then going back for what you want is currently restricted to gaming, cheaper cameras, storage, and connectivity mean that it will spread to other parts of life, too.
Many online media sites put substantial effort into optimizing their sharing process. For example, when a TikTok video is being viewed in a browser, ⌘-L, the hotkey for selecting the URL, gets hijacked to show a sharing dialogue instead, with prompts to post the link to various social media sites. Sharing is especially important in gaming since so many games are multiplayer; sharing a gameplay GIF is practically inviting someone to buy the game and try it out themselves.
Many image- or GIF-creating sites add a watermark to raise brand awareness, but Gif Your Game does not. Instead, the service operates on the assumption that there's wide awareness of its brand in the gamer community, and that if anyone asks how the video was recorded, someone else will chime in and say it was through Gif Your Game. This is much more organic than merely including the watermark; it’s a peer endorsement, rather than an ad.
Trend Highlight – The Rise of Supplements for Gamers
Fitness surprisingly wasn’t always popular. The Olympics inspired a running surge in the 1970s. In the 1980s, stationary bikes first started making their way into gyms everywhere. And the release of Jane Fonda’s Workout exercise videos in 1982 is largely credited with kickstarting aerobics’ popularity. In the grand scheme of things, the commercialization of fitness is a relatively recent phenomena.
As the fitness industry boomed, everything from supplements to courses took off and turned into a massive industry. The sports nutrition market in North America alone clocked in at a whopping $12.6B in 2020.
Today, gaming is a massive and growing market - some estimates size the gaming market as even bigger than the movie business and North American sports put together. Another way to look at it: Top-grossing games earn $10B+ while top-grossing movies earn low billions. Many argue too that the gaming industry is still early in its days of commercialization and, as the space gets more commercialized, gamers are increasingly looking for real life powerups.
This has created a growing category of products and brands – everything from finger sleeves which are like sweatbands for gamers’ fingers to emerging brands like GamerSupps, Gamerbulk, and G Fuel which sell what is essentially caffeine for gamers. Sometimes the biggest categories start out as a new take on an old product.
And while the gaming market is bigger – financially speaking – than most people realize, it’s also broader demographically. Women make up 46% of U.S. gamers and almost 40% of gamers are older than 35.
Trend Highlight – Gaming Coaches are Becoming More Common
If there's a large skill gap between trained and untrained players, it can be demotivating to get an accurate assessment of one's play. So Leetify, which tracks players' actions automatically and summarizes them after games, uses a different kind of metric: it calculates players' relative abilities, showing where they're stronger or weaker. In other words, Leetify tells players that someone who is as good as they are at aiming should be much better at dodging. This is a way to simultaneously provide both guidance and encouragement and, in some cases, is an alternative to a leaderboard. If you’re 99th percentile at one thing, Leetify implies, there’s no reason you can’t work up to being 99th percentile at everything. Since people develop unevenly, Leetify is always giving users something new to work on.
The rise of competitive gaming, more broadly, has created a two-tiered gaming culture. Some players just want to relax and have a good time, while others want to excel competitively. As games get more challenging, and players refine their techniques, it gets harder and harder to leave the first group and join the second.
Even for casual players, the required skill level is rising. Gen Y treats video games the way an older generation treated golf: as a way to socialize while also competing. This has led to a profusion of companies that offer training and analytics to help players build up their skills. Leetify is popular in this space, focusing on improving players' skills in a specific version of Counterstrike. Counterstrike is one game of many, and far less popular than games like Fortnite, indicating that this is a large market with room for more participants.
Trend Highlight – Why Voice Changing Tools Are So Popular Among Gamers
Voicemod, a voice changing tool for gamers, uses a creative pricing strategy and a similarly brilliant defensive SEO strategy.
For years, video games have let players customize their character’s looks. But if they chat with other players during the game using services like Steam (over 100M monthly active users), they still have their real-world voice. For a number of reasons, gamers are increasingly using products like VoiceMod to customize their voice the same way for in-game chat.
Many freemium products get caught in a classic pricing paradox where total value is zero sum so the more value you give up front to free users, the less there is to give to paid users. But Voicemod creatively gets around this.
They offer a free version of the product, which includes a set of voice modifications—but they rotate which ones are available every week. It’s free to try out identities, but costs money to keep the one you like. It’s a form of price-discrimination; VoiceMod doesn’t bother selling to people who want to use a funny voice for a prank call, but does want subscription revenue from anyone who wants to choose their online identity.
Voicemod also has a clever SEO strategy. Because they're targeting gamers, who are tech savvy, have lots of free time, but may not have much disposable income or even a credit card, they also engage in defensive SEO: their site has blog posts designed to rank for terms like “voicemod crack” and “voicemod license key download” so they can capture users who are looking for a free copy and encourage them to pay up instead.
This has been moderately successful: Voicemod is the first non-video result on Google for “voicemod crack”.
This dynamic of renting an identity holds true in realms outside of gaming: if your identity revolves around being fashionable, fit, or up-to-date on pop culture, it requires a constant investment of time and money. Cosmetics might be the most extreme example: you can use samples to look a certain way, but you have to make continuous purchases to keep your chosen appearance
Trend Highlight – Why Gasket Mount Keyboards Are So Popular
While one would expect cars to be getting quieter as the world goes electric and engines get more efficient, many cars are actually getting louder because auto companies add fake engine sounds to the internal speakers.
The companies want the cars to still feel powerful similar to how vacuum cleaner brands sometimes add artificial vacuum sounds to make their vacuums feel more effective.
Sometimes consumers want products to feel loud and other times they want the opposite. Simply by tweaking a product’s noise level, a new market can be opened up: EV companies, for example, can more easily help traditional car owners make the transition to electric.
And sometimes these preferences change. Consumers went from buying ringtones in the early 2000s to today where anything but keeping your phone on silent can be considered a public nuisance.
The world of loud keyboards is changing too. As the white-collar workforce increasingly works from home, some workers’ preferences are shifting too: from quiet keyboards in open office layouts to loud mechanical keyboards with maximal haptic feedback.
The rise of the mechanical keyboard industry leans into this and some users are spending thousands of dollars on bespoke keyboards. Gasket mount keyboards, an early and growing niche in the mechanical keyboard category, help users better control the sound and haptic response of their bespoke keyboards. As consumers invest more time (dedicated WFH desktop setups) and energy (socialization through gaming), we expect this category to grow.
Trend Highlight – The Rise of Gaming Earbuds
Gaming earbuds represent the divergence of two separate trends: some people game to relax, and some people game to win.
Sites like Twitch have made it possible for gamers to earn a full-time living by playing video games and chatting with their audience. While some of these players are skilled, their role is not just to demonstrate elite gameplay; it's also to keep the audience engaged and entertained, whether or not the game itself is interesting. For these players, an important part of their work is their physical appearance, and they often opt for gaming earbuds, as opposed to more bulky over-ear headphones, as a way to look better while staying engaged with the game.
This also affects more than just professional streamers, as gaming is increasingly used as a way to socialize and how you look when you socialize—even when gaming—is sometimes important to gamers. Consumers even say they favor earbuds to over-ear headphones when going on pandemic Zoom dates, as they report the over-ear variety can look bulky and distracting.
Earbuds are a category that has rapidly grown in popularity in the last few years, and as demand rises, there’s often pull from the market to offer niche-focused variants. In addition to gaming earbuds, there are earbuds designed for swimming, earbuds for sleep, even earbuds designed for pets. Since each of these products is optimized for one specific use case, it’s often suboptimal for others—a great set of noise-cancelling earbuds, for example, is dangerous while driving. Meanwhile, this same proliferation makes users more sensitive to price and features; no one wants to overpay for elements that don't benefit them, and gamers in particular are sensitive to the "gamer tax"—the fact that some high-performance products have a higher price point when targeting gamers.
Trend Highlight – Price Arbitrage in Games & Digital Goods
For digital goods, arbitrage is easier. Eneba is a site that helps people buy game license keys, which can be used to download a copy of a game, for less than the sticker price of the games. Often, these license keys are purchased in countries where the price of games is low, then redeemed in richer countries. Other sources of keys include review copies (some people who source keys for gray market sales will create fake game review blogs, and use these blogs to solicit review copies of games).
Game platforms take action against sites like Eneba; they’re engaged in an arms race to maintain regional pricing differences. For example, some users have tried to use VPNs to access the gaming platform Steam from cheaper geographies. In response, Steam doesn’t allow these users to make a purchase at local prices until they’ve used a local payment method; they’re outsourcing localization to banks. Even within a country, it’s relatively easy for consumers to use a service like Privacy.com to create a credit card associated with a low-tax zip code. While this isn’t worth game platforms' time, they do try to stop sites like Eneba, and will often prevent buyers from redeeming their keys.
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