Cloud Gaming, Neural Networks, and Unions: Key Trends in the Gaming Industry for 2024

The year 2023 proved to be a turning point for the gaming industry, bringing not only a series of exciting games such as Baldur's Gate 3 and Hi-Fi Rush but also encounters with complex organizational changes, including mass layoffs, voice actor strikes, and major company mergers. Expectations for 2024 are high as technologies continue to advance rapidly, presenting new challenges for game developers. In this article, we will discuss ten key trends that could have a significant impact in the near future. While not a prediction, many of these trends may materialize in the coming months.

Continued Industry Growth

Although it sounds like a trivial truth, in reality, it's more complex. In 2022, according to the report from the leading game market research company Newzoo, the revenue from PC and console games amounted to $92.3 billion, which is 2.2% less than in 2021. Conversely, in 2023, there is a noted growth: revenue from mobile games, the absolute leader in the industry, decreased by 1.6%, while revenue from PC and console games increased by 5.2% and 1.6%, respectively. There is no doubt that this trend will continue. After numerous high-profile and often negative events that shook the industry in 2023 (the failures of several highly anticipated projects, mass layoffs, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard), the situation is gradually normalizing. Other trends discussed below will also contribute to this.

Mobile Gaming Continues Its Ascent

Despite mentioning a decline in the mobile gaming audience over the past year, this segment remains unparalleled: in 2023, it accounted for 49% of users ($90.4 billion). There is no doubt that this figure will continue to rise, thanks in part to new trends observed last year, such as the release of Triple-A games for mobile platforms, ported from consoles and PCs (see the ports of Resident Evil: Village and the remake of Resident Evil 4 on iPhone devices). In the pipeline are also anticipated versions of popular franchises like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, and these won't be watered-down "runners" or "3-in-1" versions but full-fledged installments specifically designed for these platforms. The audience growth of miHoYo games (Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail) will be a significant factor, especially in anticipation of the release of their new game, Zenless Zone Zero.

Decline in the Number of Game Services

At the same time, games like Genshin Impact, Honkai, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and others, focusing on in-game purchases, saturate the game service market, making it less accessible for newcomers. Breaking into this segment becomes increasingly challenging and requires significant investment. For games to become profitable (especially considering they often start as free-to-play), it takes time—usually years. While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar titles on the market, earning through this model becomes more difficult, especially among projects from major studios, as giant competitors set trends with their weight and user numbers. It is expected that companies will shift towards developing more profitable, albeit more labor-intensive, AAA projects (see, for example, Spider-Man 2 by Insomniac Games). This is facilitated by the gradual transition to the new, more advanced Unreal Engine 5, as well as the development of technologies such as ray tracing.

Renaissance of Retro

The past year brought an increased interest from both players and studios in games from the past. Sequels and remakes of old hits emerged, such as Talos Principle 2, System Shock, Metroid Prime Remastered, Dead Space, and Resident Evil 4. This year also delights us with numerous projects, including Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, a continuation of the remake of the 1997 game (as well as an updated version of the 14th part!). The long-awaited sequel to Dragon’s Dogma, with the original released in 2012, is in the works. The return of Alone In the Dark—excluding the disastrous Illumination in 2015, even forgotten by fans, the previous game in the series was released a whopping 14 years ago in 2008. A remake of Silent Hill 2—carefully reworked after 23 years. A reissue of Persona 3 for new consoles—the original came out in 2006 on PlayStation 2, a decade before the release of the landmark fifth part that introduced the series to Western players. Moreover, Sega seems inspired by reissues of its old games—both those already released and those in development. Old-school gamers, get ready: this trend will only strengthen.

Company Mergers

One of the key moments of the past year, alongside massive layoffs, was Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This event holds significant importance: the deal took a whole decade due to legal issues, including concerns from the gaming community about Microsoft's potential monopoly when acquiring leading game studios. However, it seems like this is just the beginning. The new twist in this saga is the talks about Saudi Arabia entering the market: a country with controversial legislation, posing challenges for Western developers but simultaneously opening vast business opportunities. These and other cases will be discussed, if not realized, in the new year.

Expectations for Nintendo Switch 2

The successful release of the Steam Deck in 2022 confirmed the trend of recent years in the development of portable gaming. While major companies like Microsoft focus on cloud services, the competition for the title of the "Steam Deck killer" spans the entire market. However, for Valve, the creators of the hit console, the more interesting question is what to expect from the new Nintendo console. It's been eight years since the release of their previous device, the successful Switch console, and despite ongoing game development, the console-tablet has long been outdated. Talks about what the new version will bring continue: will it be just a technically enhanced version of the previous device, or, in the best traditions of Nintendo, are we in for some unique feature, as it has been in the past? In any case, the release of the new Switch this year, still shrouded in mystery, will be one of the main events.

Evolution of AR and VR Technologies

By "development," we mean not just incremental progress but a true technological breakthrough. Already, technologies like cloud gaming and blockchain significantly expand the possibilities of augmented reality gaming, and VR headsets are becoming more accessible, ceasing to be something exotic. These technologies will receive a colossal boost in development. Major studios are starting to create full-fledged AAA games for VR headsets: for example, Guerrilla Games, creators of the hit Horizon series, introduced the spin-off Call of the Mountain for PlayStation VR2.

AR is still more challenging due to its niche nature, but the rapid development of cloud services can push the development of more complex and technological games in this segment.

Promotion of Cloud Technologies

The Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard was discussed not only due to fears of a monopoly in cloud gaming but also concerns that the tech giant might become a monopolist in this field. Despite Google's unsuccessful experience with its Stadia service, which shut down, it marked an important milestone in the development of cloud gaming. Additionally, Netflix is slowly entering the game. While currently only about 1% of their subscribers play games, this figure may change in the near future, especially after the announcement of a game release based on the popular series "Squid Game." Netflix has 238 million subscribers, and this number is constantly growing.

Development of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI)

The rapid development of neural networks has a global impact on the entertainment industry. Notably, in 2023, there were famous Hollywood strikes related to concerns about the influence of artificial intelligence on the creative process. Less attention was given to the fact that voice actors in video games also participated in these strikes, which is understandable considering the considerably more modest fees in this field.

However, artificial intelligence in video games can bring not only challenges but also significant advantages. In single-player games, it becomes a key aspect. The main trend of 2024 is the development of generative artificial intelligence models, which could lead to radical changes in the world of interactive entertainment. In the RPG genre, for example, such technology could give the game the ability to autonomously create dialogues, quests, and even entire plotlines. Imagine a new installment of The Legend Of Zelda where this technology is added to the iconic open world – it sounds like a dream game, doesn't it? It is entirely reasonable to expect the development of this trend starting today

Reorganization of the Work Process

It's important to note that despite actors in the gaming industry participating in strikes, they did so within the framework of events initiated by SAG-AFTRA. For the gaming industry, this is a new stage, unlike the film industry where strikes occurred periodically since the mid-20th century. This is due to the lack of a developed union system in the gaming industry. Currently, the only influential organization, Game Workers Unite, brings together participants in the process as a whole but does not represent the interests of individual groups, such as testers and voice actors. One of the trends in 2024 is the beginning of work on this issue (there are already movements in this direction), as well as changes in working conditions that are needed for industry employees. In some companies (for example, at Splash Damage studio), a four-day workweek has already been introduced, which, they say, brings impressive results. Thus, it seems that the days of heavy work periods (crunch) may become a thing of the past.


The year 2024 promises to be exciting and innovative for the gaming industry. The development of virtual reality, cloud gaming services, the use of artificial intelligence in games, esports, and the new generation of gaming consoles will attract the attention of gamers worldwide. The future of the gaming industry looks bright and captivating, and 2024 will be a significant step in this direction.