At Gamescom Asia 2022 in Singapore, Wizards of The Coast Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming Tim Fields held a talk titled ‘A Look 20 Years Ahead: Game Development 2042’
According to Fields, there are five major forces in the industry that developers need to take notes of while looking forwards to the next 20 years of gaming.
These five major forces are:
- Hardware advances in CPU power, battery power, and input accessibility
- Pervasive machine learning & autonomy fueled by a vast increase in data
- The ubiquity of high-speed high capacity data networks
- The effect of Social Networks and human connectivity
- Demographics and an increase in the amount of leisure time available for humanity
With computers continuing the increase exponentially in processing power, Tim suspects that the type of processing in 2042 will be a million times more powerful than now, more than enough to make modern AI look basic. Combining this with the fact that most computers will have much higher battery lives, and people will likely be able to play games from anywhere they want.
Likewise, there will also be heavy advances in machine learning. He also gave an example of how an AI was used to do a Steve Job interview a few days ago. He believes that if this technology was used in gaming the effect would be of even higher quality, particularly for NPC characters who could emote and move in a far more realistic and relatable fashion.
In addition to changes in technology he also says one of the most important things in the future will be audience demographics as well as changes in the amount of leisure time that people have. Audiences currently have now a lot more leisure time compared with people from two hundred years ago, and this is only going to keep on increasing in the future (even if it certainly doesn’t feel like it sometimes).
As the population keeps increasing, the amount of leisure time available will also keep increasing, and a sizable amount of that time is going to be spent gaming. By 2042, we should be expecting the number of gamers to be hitting 4.5 billion which is more than half of the current population of the planet Earth.
Of course none of this is one hundred percent confirmed. We don’t know what the future holds and how it could change, but considering how much knowledge Tim Fields has of the gaming industry and gaming markets, these are some insightful ideas of what the future of gaming could be in the long run.
For all the indie developers out there looking at where technology is going, these major forces are things to keep in mind as we continue advancements into gaming and technology in general.
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