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With technology going through a period of massive change, we peer into the future of video game development to see the impact it will have on the world of gaming. Read on — and share your thoughts.
A Generation Of DIY Games Developers
Games development is something less and less done by big, well-funded studios and more and more by independent outfits and, yes, people in their bedrooms. In the future, expect there to be much more DIY games-making as the availability and affordability of the relevant technology improves.
Already there are examples: The Raspberry Pi microcomputer, which is primarily designed to help people learn how to code, can be used to create games. And you can buy one for around $40. Then there are the legion of platforms like Ouya, through which developers of all sizes can build games in stunning 1080p.
Cyber crime is now widely recognized as one of the most significant threats facing businesses. In the last two years alone, cyber criminals have made at least $25 million from ransomware attacks, where machines are infected and their files scrambled so they can no longer be read — they are only accessible after the victim pays a ransom. But could this type of online crime make its malicious way into gaming?
There have already been some examples in the gaming world. Gaming platform Steam has already been targeted by hackers. And with gaming increasingly driven online, such as through Sony’s PlayStation Network or Microsoft’s Xbox Live platforms, the potential for criminals to exploit games through the cloud is certainly there.
Your very own gaming room (complete with voice assistant) “OK Google... load up ‘Call of Duty’ for me. Smart robot, fetch me a beer!” It was once a dream, now a reality. Given the rapid rise of smart technology and ‘connected tech’, expect to see more and more people setting up their very own games rooms where they can kick back, relax, and play away to their heart’s content, with all their desires catered for by an army of technological devices.
Research suggests there is a significant appetite for such a thing: a poll of more than 1,500 gamers by Liberty Games found that a significant 74 percent of people want their very own arcade machine at home, compared to just 26 percent who would rather play at an arcade.
VR, VR, And A Bit More VR
While it once threatened to be merely a passing fad, signs show that virtual reality (VR) is well and truly here to stay. OK, so the headsets might be expensive but with so many companies investing in and building VR machines — Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR to name just three — expect the cost to come down, the technology to improve, and the gaming world to be well and truly revolutionized.
A New Breed Of Retro Games
Depending on your generation, you’ll have your very own set of ‘retro’ games — from Amiga classic Lemmings to worldwide smash Super Mario Bros, to the one that started it all, Pacman. But as the years roll by, expect these tried and tested favorites to make way for a newer breed of retro games. The Liberty Games research asked respondents what they think the retro games of the future will be. In a sign of the times, the top two are app-based:
- Candy Crush – 51%
- Angry Birds – 39%
- Snake – 20%
- Pokemon Go – 17%
- Other – 18% (Including Clash Of Clans, Tetris and The Simpsons games)
More Than Just Old-Fashioned Fun: Digital Medicine
We’ve known for some time that technology has the potential to help us in areas of our life other than leisure, and one of the most significant is the role tech has to play in our health. The Verge recently reported on the efforts of a company called Akili who, alongside the University of California, San Francisco’s Neuroscape lab, are working on a game called ‘Project: EVO’ — a prescription-based video game that could help treat children with ADHD.
And unlike other so-called ‘brain training’ games which are released onto the market with little information as to their efficacy, this product has to go through all the tests and processes required by the US Food and Drug Administration, just like other drugs and medical devices do. So while, in the future, we’ll certainly continue to enjoy video games for pleasure, we may well use them to keep healthy, too.