September 22, 2022

A Look Inside: 2022 Game Development Trends & Forecast

Game Development

Game development constantly changes. New game development trends emerge every year. And technology advances, bringing opportunities for game development studios to innovate.

There’s so much for game development studios to consider if they want to produce their next hit game. That’s why we recently surveyed hundreds of game development professionals to get their take on the biggest challenges, trends, and opportunities facing the industry today.

In this blog, we share some of their insights on the future of game development and key game development trends.

➡️ access the Report Now

Top Game Development Trends in 2022

Game developers were asked a range of questions on their current work, future work, and predictions for the industry. Here are the top four trends we saw across the board:

  1. Game developers predict streaming will become the dominant platform by 2025.
  2. Remote teams across time zones are the new normal.
  3. Most game dev teams are doing at least some of their development in the cloud.
  4. Creatives are a larger part of the game development process than ever before.

What's In the Game Development Forecast?

Cloud Streaming to See Rapid Growth By 2025

According to 40% of game creators, cloud streaming will be the largest growing platform by 2025. This isn’t a huge surprise, as of all the game platforms, streaming requires the least amount of hardware. Streaming games on a mobile device, for example, is much more accessible and transportable than a PC or game console.

Mobile was the second most popular answer at 24%, with game creators predicting an increase in the creation of infrastructure around 5G to better support mobile and streaming play.

“The future is with streaming when it comes to gaming. Everyone now wishes to play their favorite PC and console games during a bus ride, it only needs the suitable infrastructure to grow more, and I can see that this can be possible in 2025.”

Remote Teams Are Here to Stay

We have seen how COVID-19 has impacted the world and one of the most significant outcomes may be the rise of remote work. More than half (54%) of game creators said they have begun working remotely, with 15% forgoing office space altogether.

Related reading 📖 Going Remote: Build Your Game Development Team

However, remote work, while beneficial for some workers, poses challenges to teams and organizations. Because so many teams are scattered across time zones, there has been an increased need for additional processes and tools to help with collaboration – something 38% of game creators mentioned.

Another area affected by remote work is talent acquisition and retention. According to 43% of game creators, it has been difficult to recruit talent. This could be because individual contributors now have more options across the world, and/or because larger studios can out-offer smaller teams in terms of wages and flexibility.

Whatever the case, respondents say remote work is here to stay – and teams will need to overcome collaboration and hiring hurdles as quickly as possible to stay ahead of the game.

“Due to Covid, large studios have started to take more of a lax approach to development and allowed for a longer development period, which in the long run has allowed for less crunch and more time for staff to focus on not just their work but their own mental and physical health. I also believe working from home and remote work will become more common, especially in smaller studios and independent teams.”

Shift to Cloud-Based Development

Using the cloud for development eliminates the need for costly hardware. And with remote work booming, cloud-based development offers a way for teams to work together globally as teams can upload and access files from anywhere. It’s no wonder then that 60% of game creators said that they develop games on the cloud; an additional 18% say they use a hybrid model of cloud and on-premise.

Of the game creators using the cloud, 29% use AWS, followed by 15% using Microsoft Azure. If you are one of these respondents, be sure to check out these additional resources:

Increased Number of Creatives on Teams

20% of respondents to our game development survey had job titles such as animator, artist, and designer. And two-thirds of game creators shared that at least half of their team is made up of creative roles.

This finding illustrates that not only is there a need for better collaboration tools, but for ones that help creative teams share and reuse assets. A tool such as Perforce’s Helix DAM — a digital asset management tool that streamlines and secures the process of storing, finding, using, reviewing, and sharing creative assets – is clearly needed for these creative team members to work efficiently.

➡️ try Helix DAM Free

What’s the Future of Game Development for 2022 and Beyond?

We are beginning to see the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic playing out in the game development industry. The increase of remote workers has had a domino effect on other changes to the way teams work. From talent acquisition challenges to a rise in cloud-based development, teams are needing to innovate and adapt.

The 2022 Game Development Trends & Forecast report also dove into insights on how gaming in general is changing. The top prediction was the growth of streaming as a platform, while other trends such as the metaverse, VR/AR, and NFTs have a murkier future.

Download the report today to see more on how teams are working, what tools they are using, and how they are overcoming top challenges. 

➡️ gET the REPORT