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FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

Online Gaming in 2021 - Trends & Industry Changes

Personal_Finance / Gambling Dec 09, 2020 - 03:40 PM GMT

By: Submissions


The global online gaming industry remains on a strong upward curve, and the trend looks set to continue for many more years.

Advancements in technology have helped to transform the sector, allowing gaming to become one of the most popular entertainment activities around.

From bingo to casinos, social games to video games and more, people now have a plethora of choices when it comes to finding ways to amuse themselves.

With the online gaming industry continuing to evolve at a rapid rate, we look at some of the trends and industry changes we expect to see in 2021.

Mobile Gaming

Improving smartphone technology has transformed the way that people access the internet, and this is reflected in the amount of time that people spend on mobile devices.

According to Statista, the daily time that mobile phone users spent using their devices was 152 minutes in 2014, and this is expected to grow to 234 minutes by 2021.

Smartphone gaming revenue is spiralling out of control, with forecasts suggesting that this could surpass the $100 billion mark by 2023.

The increased demand for mobile gaming will influence the kind of games made by developers to keep powering this seismic shift in consumer habits.

Licensing & Regulation

The lines between gaming and gambling have become increasingly blurred in recent years, and tougher licensing and regulatory controls could well come into force.

For instance, in some games, players can spend real money on rewards such as treasure chests for the chance to unlock random items.

While these can make the game easier to play, they also raise the possibility that players may develop an addiction that proves difficult to control.

The UK government has already launched a call for evidence regarding the issues surrounding these game elements with a view to tightening up the legislation.


The rise in popularity of online gaming in recent years spawned a lucrative spin-off that has blossomed into a truly global phenomenon.

eSports is the professional level of gaming, where the finest exponents of selected games compete against each other in leagues and tournaments.

This has sparked massive interest from major broadcasters, while many leading gambling operators have also latched on to this developing genre.

The next 12 months are likely to see even more link-ups between eSports and other sectors, thus driving further significant growth in annual revenues.

Video Game Streaming

Many gamers are already making a healthy living by live streaming their activities, and this trend will continue throughout 2021.

Platforms such as YouTube and Twitch allow users to broadcast themselves playing video games online, and many have built up huge followings.

The top gamers in the world can make six-figure salaries through advertising, subscription and merchandise revenue, highlighting just how lucrative streaming has become.

As streaming audiences continue to grow, the earning potential will rise, and more gamers will try to leverage this to their advantage.


Processing payments for online gaming has undergone numerous changes over the past few years and 2021 could see another leap forward via the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

An increasing number of sites already offer cryptocurrencies as a payment option, and more are tipped to follow suit over the next 12 months.

Cryptocurrency payments are encrypted using blockchain technology, thus giving them a much greater level of security than other traditional payment methods.

Reduced operating costs make cryptocurrencies an attractive proposition, particularly in the online casino sector, where profit is the name of the game.

Cloud Gaming

Recent research from market analyst firm Omdia predicted that cloud gaming revenues will boom massively over the next few years.

Subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PlayStation will drive cloud gaming to $4bn next year, with a further $8bn increase forecast over the following four years.

One of the major factors driving the growth is Microsoft’s inclusion of xCloud in its service, which will establish the company as the leader in the sector during 2021.

With Sony, Google, Amazon and Tencent also fighting to grab a slice of the pie, cloud gaming is undoubtedly a trend to follow next year and beyond.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) technology has long been tipped as the ‘next big thing’ in gaming, but 2021 could be the year that it finally makes a significant breakthrough.

Operators have previously been reluctant to invest in creating content for the market, with VR tech often failing to deliver consistent results.

However, the latest equipment appears to be a significant leap forward in terms of usability, and this should lead to increased adoption within the gaming sector.

As VR tech becomes more affordable, it is likely to be a more attractive opposition for people wishing to take their gaming activities to another level.

By Ahmed Bilal

© 2020 Copyright Ahmed Bilal - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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