The gaming industry is rapidly growing around the world as technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) are making their presence felt. Gaming has emerged as a major entertainment venue, attracting people from all age groups, as about 68% of all Americans over the age of 18 are gamers, as of 2020. Moreover, 70% of Americans under 18 years of age are gamers, too, which amounts to 51.1 million. With the world spending over 2 billion hours every day on games; it is expected to grow another $200 billion by 2023.
Changing Trends for the Gaming Industry
The future outlook of the gaming industry is bright. The total revenue of major players in the industry, such as Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years. Game streaming services like PlayStation Now created by Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) and GeForce Now by NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), etc. provide access to limitless entertainment options for their users.
The most important factor to drive the industry’s growth over 2020 is the impact of eSports. The global gaming industry is expected to be valued at higher than $256.97 billion by the year 2025. Keeping in mind the extensive use of emerging technologies such as VR and cloud computing, the future outlook of the industry is extremely positive over the years from 2021 to 2025.
With a projected worth upwards of $175.8 billion by the end of 2021 to over $200 billion in 2024, the video game industry has been growing at an exponential rate since its inception, according to Global Games Market Report from Newzoo. Virtual reality service provider predicts that total amount spent on AR/VR apps will exceed $100 billion by the end of 2021. This indicates that more companies will produce high-quality software for these devices to capture a broader market share in the coming years.
Key Players in the Gaming Industry
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) manufactures video games and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. On August 4, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) declared a dividend of $0.17. Moreover, it was reported on August 13 that the company’s sales increased by 10% in a year, recording the highest revenue of $4.6 billion. For July, revenue was reported as $323 million while the year-over-year rise for July was 98%.
Operating since 2008, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is an American video game holding company that is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) came into existence through the merger of Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games. Andrew Uerkwitz, an analyst at Jefferies, predicted that the revenue of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) would be significantly higher than that of 2019 and 2020. Moreover, he gave the stock a “Buy” rating and set a price target of $120 on the stock.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) is another major player in the American video game industry. It was founded in 1993 and owns two major publishing labels, Rockstar Games and 2K as of 2021. After several delays in releasing its video games, the company was downgraded to Market perform from its previous position of Outperform by Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (NYSE: SNE) owns the popular brand PlayStation and its whole family of products and services. Under this brand, the company not only manufactures video game consoles but also provides video game streaming using “Playstation Now”. The subscription service boasts 2.2 billion subscribers as of April 2020.
Impact of the Coronavirus
The gaming industry depicted considerable growth annually as shown by the latest statistics from eMarketer, which forecast $3 billion in industry revenue in 2019 just from in-game ads in the US. While the recent coronavirus pandemic impacted almost all the economies around the world and considerably slowed down many industries such as the tourism and hospitality industries, the global gaming industry was not affected negatively. Instead, it witnessed an increase in profit of 20% from 2019 to 2020, reaching a mark of $175 billion in 2020. This increase in revenue was owed partly to the emergence of new technologies such as virtual reality and partly to advanced processors of mobile devices that allow their users to play games. Unsurprisingly, more people are investing not only their time but also their money on video games.
To gauge their popularity, we scoured internet forums such as Reddit, especially its subreddit dedicated to gaming, and forums specific to gaming discussions such as Steam Discussions and GameSpot Boards. The games are ranked according to their popularity on Steam Discussions.
With this context in mind, let’s now discuss the 10 most anticipated upcoming games in 2022. We ranked the companies based on their popularity in the market.
10 Most Anticipated Upcoming Games in 2022
10. Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
The game takes place during the middle of a Masquerade Ball where there has been an outbreak of a disease that turns people into Vampires, ruled by their animalistic instincts instead of their higher cognition. Players must take up the roles of brave kindred souls fighting for survival against overwhelming odds using their cunning and abilities.
The player plays as a vampire with different disciplines in this narrative-driven, single-player role-playing video game. The players are faced with difficult moral choices throughout the game and each decision shapes the storyline ahead. Supernatural abilities are not appropriate for use in many social situations, because they may reveal the player character as a vampire. The game is scheduled for release in February of 2022 for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. The game is tenth on our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
In addition to Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Nacon is a video game developer that created Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong.
9. Blood Bowl 3
The third game of Blood Bowl, a football simulation strategy that ranks at ninth place in our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022. The first part was released in 2009 on PC and PlayStation Network for PS3 which was well-received. It sold 200,000 copies worldwide but sadly failed to convince critics. Fortunately, Cyanide Studio did not give up easily and continued to work on a sequel, which was released in 2012 that is now considered as a reference in the genre. The second version reached 100,000 sales by June 2015. Now, the third installment is bringing up the expectations very high with the hype worldwide.
Like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Cyanide Studio is also a video game developer that created Blood Bowl 3. The game will be released in 2022 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
8. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction is a first-person shooter video game that is ranked eighth on the list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022. The game is part of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series, serving as a prequel to 2006’s Rainbow Six: Vegas. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction 2022 takes place during the 2021–2022 United Kingdom riots, with players fighting against rioters that have taken to destroying private property and attacking police officers. It features cooperative multiplayer gameplay that supports up to three players.
The upcoming game will be released for Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, PC (Steam and Uplay), and Xbox Series X/S. It features cross-platform play between the console versions of the game, as well as continued support for DLC on older systems, making it a huge player base for gamers around the globe.
Like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Ubisoft is also a video game developer that created Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction.
7. Evil Dead: The Game
With the Evil Dead reboot series currently in pre-production, news about the status of Ash Williams’ next video game outing is coming to light. The first screenshots have surfaced depicting Ash once again battling his way through hordes of demons and monsters. The look and feel of the game are very similar to 2010’s successful remake which one press outlet described as “a cross between Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War”.
The game takes place 10 years after the events of last year’s Regeneration and follows Ash as he returns to his hometown of Elk Grove, only to find that it has been hit by an epidemic outbreak connected to the nearby woods. The game is long-awaited by the fans of the franchise which has already built up a fair share of expectations; it, hence, ranks seventh in our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
Evil Dead: The Game was developed by Saber Interactive, a video game developer just like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
6. Star Wars: Battlefront 3
The rumors of this game have been circling the web for several years now, but EA has yet to confirm anything about it concretely. Thankfully, LucasArts veteran Haden Blackman was hired by EA to oversee future development on Star Wars games. He is rumored to be working on Battlefront 3. There are also rumors that the developers will use this title as an opportunity to reboot the series with new content set between Episodes III and IV.
The game is ranked at sixth place on our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
5. Bloodborne 2
This has been talked about quite a bit in recent months, specifically following the reveal of Dark Souls 2 and From Software’s subsequent denial that it is working on another title.
The new Bloodborne Game is expected to be a sequel to the 2015 action RPG game developed by FromSoftware Inc. and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (NYSE: SNE). There are many changes since the first game, such as Health regeneration and Stamina limitations by only 1 bar instead of 3 from the original. The game ranks fifth on our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
Bloodborne 2 was developed by FromSoftware Inc., a video game developer just like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
4. Half-Life 2: Episode 3
Following closely behind Half-Life 2: Episode 2, this episode has been awaited a long time. No information about this game is released besides the rumors from various sources around the web that the game is scheduled to be released in 2022.
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will be the third and final installment in the Half-Life 2 episodic trilogy; it will feature new weapons, characters as well as a fresh storyline. The title will come with improved graphics, thanks to recent advances in Source technology. New physics effects are implemented, but not many details have been given out yet.
3. Star Citizen
One of the most successful crowd-funded video games, Star Citizen still seems to be in development and growing rapidly with new content every month according to the designer, Chris Roberts. There is no release date for MMO/space simulation hybrid yet, but the developers have promised to keep giving out more content for free until the game is fully released. The game ranks third on our list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
Star Citizen is a space simulation with realistic physics and ship construction. Players will be able to trade commodities between planets, build their virtual versions of ships from different periods or in different parts of the galaxy, work as a government mercenary, pirate, or merchant. Virtually anything can happen in this massive persistent world that is sure to keep expanding outward over the next year.
Star Citizen was developed by Cloud Imperium Games, a video game developer just like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
2. Half-Life 3
Not to be confused with Half-Life: Alyx, Half-Life 3 has been rumored in development for a long time, but not much has come out about it besides fan rumors of concept art and features being developed. Valve possibly does not want to give out any information until it can show a full-length game trailer. Now, there has not been any confirmed information released about the game, but it can safely be assumed that the game is being developed by Valve and will be a first-person shooter with new gameplay mechanics. Half-Life 3 is ranked second on the list of the 10 most anticipated upcoming games of 2022.
The release date of Half-life 3 is unknown since it is expected to be in production, but if Valve follows the schedule, Half-Life 3 might come out in 2022. Half-Life 3 has been in development since 2010. The franchise has become one of the most influential series of all time, and fans have been waiting an eternity for a new title after 2007’s Episode Two. Some people believe that Half-Life 3 will take the form of a VR game since Valve has commercialized its own headset now.
Half-Life 3 was developed by Valve Corporation, a video game developer just like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
1. Destiny 2: Queen Witch
Since the success of Destiny, Bungie has been flooded with fans wanting a sequel to hopefully expand on the last one as a big success. The trailers for the game have given a better look at the graphics and the aim to make it feel like more than just an expansion pack. Bungie has been working on the latest installment of their hit franchise, Destiny. While Bungie hasn’t given too many details about Destiny 2 so far, it revealed a cinematic trailer for E3 and announced a beta for later in early 2022.
In addition to changes in combat gameplay, Bungie is exploring other ways to add depth to their games’ storyline. For instance, it is planning on adding a social element where players can interact with each other while playing. Hence, there is no doubt that Destiny 2: Queen Witch is going to be one of the biggest releases of 2022. Therefore, it is placed first in the list of 10 most anticipated upcoming games in 2022.
Destiny 2: Queen Witch was developed by Bungie, a video game developer just like Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).