Unique gaming experiences in 2022

The online gaming business is undeniably one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in entertainment today, having entered the mainstream since its inception in the mid-2000s, and establishing a new standard for the gaming industry. As technology improves at an astounding rate, major firms in the market have been pushing for breakthroughs and new gaming experiences that are resulting in a complete makeover of the way we play video games.

Last year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, video games turned out to be great alternatives for those staying home to comply with health protocols and social distancing, and the online gaming industry had some of greatest growth rates in history. In this atypical year, iGaming platforms rose in popularity, self-care gaming experiences like #SelfCare burst into the mainstream, and a new generation of consoles finally debuted, bringing a whole new world of opportunities to players all over the globe.

Even though the pandemic is finally coming to an end, with vaccines spreading around the world, interest in gaming remains high, with recent studies suggesting that new gaming experiences like blockchain games, or crypto games, would have a large influence on industry sales in the next few years. As a result, it’s reasonable to assume that there’s still more to come as online gaming matures into a force in the entertainment business.

In the past few years, with the introduction of new technologies, emerging gaming platforms, and unique gaming trends that are paving the way for complete industry revamps, developers, publishers, and even software providers have become able to create new gaming activities, provide immersive environments and enhanced gameplay, allowing players to fully explore the world of online gaming and enjoy different aspects of virtual entertainment.

As we approach the end of the year, the following gaming experiences have been captivating millions of gamers worldwide, and they are unquestionably excellent alternatives if you want to explore new gaming trends in 2022, whether it’s for leisure and entertainment, self-care, or even learning.

Self-care games

Self care games

After a stressful year, in which our mental health and resilience were put to the test, a new gaming genre arose to help us cope with these difficult times. Self-care games were created to aid us with relaxation exercises and meaningful experiences, by employing techniques that are proven through psychological research to improve our mental health.

“With a renewed focus on mindfulness, relaxation and mental health in 2020, this year is bound to bring us even more creative games intent on helping us unwind while staying grounded,” said Greg Hartrell, head of product management for Google Play, in an interview to Yahoo!Finance.

One of the best examples in this genre is #SelfCare, developed by Tru Luv, a mobile gaming studio founded by Brie Code, who was responsible for creating the AI systems that powered NPC behaviors in Ubisoft’s series Assassin’s Creed. The game’s goal is to simply chill out in a comfortable bedroom surrounded by plants and a kitten. Essentially, it’s the technological equivalent of giving yourself permission to lie in bed all day guilt-free. Within the game, players go through a variety of wellness-related activities, such as positive word associations, meditative actions like petting the virtual cat, or even breathing exercises.

iGaming 

It’s undeniable that gambling is one of the world’s favorite pastime activities, and it’s estimated that around 26 percent of the world population indulge in some form of wagering, whether it’s classic casino games like roulette and blackjack, sports betting, or even instant win games. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures implemented all over the world last year, the iGaming industry, also known as online gambling, saw a boom in popularity as land-based gambling facilities were forced to shut their operations.

Today, there is a huge selection of casino websites, online sportsbooks, and online lottery games. At online casinos, game options range from classics like roulette, craps and baccarat to specialty games like keno, bingo, and even game shows. As for sports betting, punters can place wagers on major sporting events from all over the world, including popular leagues and tournaments like the NFL, MLB, UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, and UFC.

Players can choose from a wide variety of licensed and regulated operators, who offer a plethora of betting options, several payment options and baking methods, as well as special bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs.

Virtual reality

Even though virtual reality isn’t something considerably new - with the concept having been around for several decades and the gaming industry having made its initial forays towards virtual reality gaming in the late 1980s - it wasn’t until recently that it became a viable alternative. Until a few years ago, VR headsets were not easily accessible to regular customers due to exorbitant prices and poor usability, as virtual reality gaming appeared to be following the vaporware route.

Today, though, these devices have become less reliant on external hardware, which led to a significant reduction in prices. Now, studios are finally developing games that fully use this new medium, so fans of practically every gaming genre have a plethora of options on various platforms.

Some of the most popular VR titles include Arizona Sunshine and Beat Saber - both for PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest and Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index - Minecraft VR (for Oculus Rift and Quest), and Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge (for Oculus Quest).

Blockchain gaming

Blockchain gaming

Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens are presently among the most popular internet phenomena. For those who are unfamiliar with these terms, blockchains are public ledgers for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, which are digital currencies stored in a computer database employing strong cryptography, and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are unique digital assets within a blockchain.

Blockchain games, or crypto games as we mentioned above, are games that incorporate one or more of these aspects. The concept of blockchain gaming was initially presented in the early 2010s, and the first titles were introduced in 2015. Initially, most of these games were built around collectible items in the form of NFTs, such as virtual pets, collectible cards, and even virtual real estate.

As blockchain technology advanced, many new games with more intricate gameplay and mechanics were created. Currently, some of the most popular crypto games include Upland, in which players become digital landowners, buying, selling, and trading virtual properties based on real-world locations, and Bomb Crypto, a play-to-earn adventure game with mechanics and gameplay similar to old-time classic Bomberman.