The video gaming industry produces billions of dollars in revenue each year. It has continued to succeed in testing times, while other sectors have struggled in a challenging financial climate.
One of the reasons for gaming’s success lies in its diversity. There is so much choice for players and many thousands of new titles are released each year. Here are some of the most popular video game niches in 2023.
Sports games have enjoyed solid success throughout the history of video gaming. In more recent years, the niche has become more popular thanks to the improvement in graphics, sound and general gameplay.
The key to a successful sports video game is its realism. Players want to enjoy a feeling that takes them as close as possible to the real thing.
Sports games are now so realistic that you could be forgiven for thinking that you are watching real-life encounters when those spectacular graphics are displayed on a big screen.
Among the top sports games on the market are FIFA, NBA2K, NHL23, Gran Turismo and Madden NFL.
The retro element of arcade and casino games will always appeal to a wide selection of players. Titles such as Angry Birds are addictive in the way that classic arcade games, including Tetris and Pacman, continue to be.
It’s a popular theme that the online casino industry has embraced, with numerous online casino operators developing retro themed slot machine style games. Many thousands of these titles are already available, and the list is being added to on a regular basis.
Slot producers look to be innovative, while exploring a range of different themes, and many look back to classic arcade games. Some also employ a ‘cluster pay’ system, similar to that seen in Berry Blast. Instead of lining up matching symbols along a pay line, clusters of those symbols will lead to cash prizes.
It may not be the most progressive niche, but arcade games are enduringly popular, and they’re clearly here to stay.
Puzzle games are among the most popular growth niches in the video industry. Whether we are looking to test our word skills, or crack a code to release a hero, they are ideal for keeping our brain sharp during the day’s inevitable downtime.
Like arcade games, puzzles can be played anywhere. They don’t need a big screen to display the graphics, and top-quality speakers are not required in order to convey the sound.
In short, they are perfect for mobile devices, and many are constructed with smartphones in mind. Among the best brain teaser games for 2023 are The Turing Test, Tetris Effect and Logic Puzzle.
The concept of speed running in video gaming involves completing a section of the game as quickly as possible before moving on to the next stage. The ultimate challenge is to complete those sections at the first attempt, without having to delay your progression.
This is why speed running is embraced by experienced gamers, but anyone can have a go. In theory, every game can involve some element of speed running, but the most popular titles on the market include Minecraft and Super Mario 64.
The Superhero theme was a popular one in 2022, and that popularity has extended into the New Year. There have always been options within this genre, but the niche truly exploded with the release of the 2008 movie Iron Man.
Since then, video games featuring a wide variety of classic film heroes have hit the market. Those that remain popular into 2023 include Gotham Nights and Wonder Woman.
Last Man Standing
Otherwise known as Battle Royale, last man standing is another niche which has been at the top of video gaming for many years. It can be played as an individual or with friends in the quest to eliminate the opposition.
Perhaps the best example of this niche is Call of Duty: Warzone. The CoD titles have been embraced by professional gamers, and that’s a big endorsement. Similar games include Minecraft and Apex Legends.
The progress made with virtual reality is set to boost the video game industry even further. There is already a strong trend for simulation games, especially those that take players into the heart of a battle or a sporting arena.
Maybe this is one for the future, but there is already a strong following for titles such as Flight Simulator, Cities: Skylines and The Bus, and the development of VR is set to take the experience to the next level.
The trends have pointed to the most popular niche games this year. Some are new entries on the list, but many have enjoyed that enduring popularity since the dawn of gaming.
Will there be a shift in those trends moving forward, or will this list remain unchanged into 2024 and beyond? Only the gamers can answer this question and it will be fascinating to see how the industry develops in the months that lie ahead.