Video Gaming in 2023 – Challenges and Opportunities for the Industry

Dive into the evolving landscape of the gaming industry as it navigates challenges and seizes opportunities. Discover how gaming contributes to mental well-being, the regulatory uncertainties that loom, and the empowering rise of women gamers. The stage is set for a dynamic transformation as the gaming world continues to captivate hearts and minds.

Global video gaming may not cross the estimated $200 billion revenue threshold in 2023, with revised estimates making this more likely to happen in 2024. This is due to gains made during the pandemic not being sustained amidst an uncertain global financial climate and chip shortages.

However, despite the challenges, the video gaming industry remains healthy, and the appetite for games is strong. In the US, around 215.5 million people play video games. Globally, eight out of ten Internet users play video games. Given these figures, video gaming is likely to continue growing amidst a background of opportunities and challenges. Keep reading to discover why this is the case by examining opportunities and challenges in more detail, including mental health benefits, regulatory uncertainty, and embracing the popularity of gaming for women.

Supporting mental health is both a challenge and an opportunity. While playing video games at the exclusion of other aspects of life is obviously not healthy, there are positive mental health results of gaming. The industry can promote these results and show the benefits of gaming in order to flourish.

For example, the University of Oxford conducted research in 2020 that showed playing video games can improve mental health if the activity is not excessive. Ways in which video gaming can do this include:

●       Creating healthy brain stimulation,

●       Relieving stress

●       Combatting loneliness

●       Developing coping mechanisms

●       Allowing freedom of expression

A further study conducted by Dr. Tyler Prochnow and Dr. Meg Patterson of the Department of Health Behavior at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, and colleagues, examined the social structure of a gaming site. The results of this study confirmed a connection between social support, mental health, and online gaming. Although, the team did indicate a need for further research.

Given the current mental health crisis amongst young people, there is a place for video gaming to alleviate the problem. The industry can use this opportunity to its advantage by promoting the mental health benefits of video gaming while warning of the dangers of excessive video game play.

Moving on to an area that could present a challenge to the industry, in areas of the online gaming world like social gaming and loot boxes, control is limited, and there is regulatory uncertainty.

This means that people enjoy unrestricted access to games like Roblox and FarmVille, and US based sweepstakes casinos due to the non-financial aspect of play. Similarly, loot boxes in video games are a gray area, with courts in various jurisdictions treating them differently. Until social gaming and loot boxes are regulated at state or federal level, the uncertainty will remain.

If regulation does happen, it will represent a challenge to the gaming industry. It will need to overcome the financial hurdles that a loss of revenue due to regulation could create.

Finally, we look at one of the biggest opportunities for the gaming industry right now, women in gaming. According to current data, 62% of women in the US play video games for a minimum of one hour per week, and 46% of gamers in the US are female.

These figures show there is an obvious opportunity for the video gaming industry to take advantage of. Suggested ways for the industry to do this include:

●       Developing a narrative that appeals to everyone in the gaming community and is inclusive in nature.

●       Using the most appropriate platforms, such as social media networks, to reach women gamers.

●       Specifically targeting the increasing number of women in eSports.

●       Including more women in the creation of games.

Overcoming or optimizing these challenges and opportunities will help the video gaming industry achieve its full potential in the immediate future and the long term.

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