5 industry profiles share their prognosis for the gaming industry in 2023
We invite industry insiders to navigate us through the current state of gaming. Learn what trends, games, and mindsets to expect on the playing field this year.
By ERIK SEDIN
Michelle Boman, better known as MichiRage, is a content creator and gaming streamer that focuses on inclusivity and offering a safe space for viewers. Thomas Melzer is the technology spokesperson at Intel Nordics, with inside knowledge of hardware. Marcus Toftedahl is a business coach for game startups at Science Park Skövde and an industry analyst at Sweden Game Arena, helping startups to navigate the game industry in the highly competitive video game domain. Johanna Nylander is the head of policy and analytics at the Swedish Games Industry, keeping up to date on everyone from larger AAA studios to upcoming indie teams. Johan Persson is a gamer, developer, and the CEO of G-Loot, a competitive gaming platform where enthusiasts come to compete in more casual everyday E-sport events.
How has your 2022 been?
Michelle ”MichiRage” Boman: 2022 has been quite an interesting year for me. Personally, I think the biggest challenge has been finding a good balance between work and personal time. I love being a content creator and with that passion, I think it’s easy to get caught up in it and forget to stop and take time for myself and explore other things that stimulate the brain a little differently.
On a positive note, we got to dive into one of my new favourite games, Elden Ring, which also won the title of ”Game of the Year” at The Game Awards. This game has the most beautiful scenery, and interesting characters and the soundtrack is out of this world. It gives me goosebumps. I’m happy I got to share this experience together with my viewers on stream.
Johan Persson, G-Loot: For me, it has definitely been an intense year. G-Loot made a complete pivot at the beginning of the year, launching an entirely new platform which we have been pushing hard to develop further thought the year. On the home front, we have a new puppy and a baby on the way, so you could say I’ve had my hands full.
The highlight for me has been the massive strides we’ve made in our product offering during the last 12 months, as well as the focus and dedication of the entire organization to make it happen. Since we’re not a profitable company, balancing growth vs runway has been a challenge for us. I believe we’ve made the right decisions throughout the year, but time will tell.
Thomas Melzer, Intel: This past year has been very good for us. Intel took the step into discreet graphics with the launch of the Arc series of GPUs and we also launched the 13th Generation of Intel Core CPUs. When looking at the games that were launched by developers over the year, I must say it is quite astounding how far we have come since I started working at Intel in the early 2000s, especially when it comes to vivid graphics and smooth gameplay. One of the largest challenges has been the shortage of many key components for gaming PCs and other gaming devices, largely due to the pandemic, which made it hard for a lot of gamers to get hold of the upgrades they were looking for. This looks to slowly turn around and I think we will see changes for the better in 2023.
”One of the largest challenges has been the shortage of many key components for gaming PCs. I think we will see changes for the better in 2023.”
Johanna Nylander, Swedish Games Industry: It’s been a great year for games, and for the industry in general. Swedish companies again made a record year in terms of revenue, and Swedish-owned studios are now present all over the world. Personally, I’m happy it’s also been a year when we finally got to meet international colleagues and partners from all over the world again (important when working in a personnel-wise rather small industry). There’s still a huge challenge in finding the right talent, especially for companies who are expanding with new upcoming game projects.
Marcus Toftedahl, Science Park Skövde: Finally things have started to return to normal after the Covid years. Even though video games are a digital product, it is very difficult to form new teams and foster the creativity needed to produce great gaming content purely via online channels. The physical meetings are vital, and the feedback you get from your players, from live play tests is difficult to replicate using Team, Zoom or Discord. From the perspective of our startup incubator, we have seen an increased flow of new teams. From an industry perspective, the Swedish game industry is, again, stronger than ever with many Swedish titles topping the charts around the world.
What are your anticipations for 2023?
Johanna Nylander, Swedish Games Industry: There are some upcoming games from Swedish studios that will be announced and released that I’m certain will get a global impact in the industry and be loved by players. I can’t wait to see more of that. We will also see some new technologies tested, and more content built with AI tools —interaction and involvement with the players will be even more important.
Thomas Melzer, Intel: Gaming is on the cusp of a new era of immersive gameplay as the quality of today’s hardware and software continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Gaming is becoming bigger, better, and more equitable. With E-sports participation on the rise, graphics improving, the emergence of cloud gaming, and the line between reality and virtual words blurring, the future of gaming looks more exciting than ever. It’s not an exaggeration to say that in the coming years, the advancement of graphics hardware will enable developers to create even more realistic and immersive experiences — with some rivalling blockbuster cinema quality. I think there are quite a few gaming titles coming in 2023 that will blow our minds in terms of both visual quality and innovative gameplay.
”We will see more content built with AI tools — interaction and involvement with the players will be even more important.”
Michelle ”MichiRage” Boman: I would love to see some more story-driven games that I can get fully immersed in, I love good storytelling! And some more scary games in virtual reality, as I have enjoyed exploring VR a lot lately and it would be cool to see some more innovative games released for it.
Marcus Toftedahl, Science Park Skövde: All things point towards a continued growth of the game industry even in 2023, even though we face a tough time overall regarding the global economy. I hope that we will see more new ideas, using the true potential of the super powerful devices we carry around in our pockets on a daily basis — more innovative games on smartphones! Also, we need to move away or at least provide a strong alternative to, the long ongoing and not-so-sustainable trend of using loot boxes and similar mechanics in games on all platforms.
”We need to provide a strong alternative to the long ongoing and not-so-sustainable trend of using loot boxes and similar mechanics in games”
Johan Persson, G-Loot: On the competitive gaming scene, I don’t expect things to change drastically. There are quite a few high-profile game releases in 2023, but the E-sport scene is slower to move. Personally, I’m pretty hyped about THE FINALS from Embark Studios.
I’d like to see more developers and publishers really adopting the third-party ecosystem. Exposing APIs and enabling third-party developers to create content, competitions, and other applications creates value for players as well as extends the lifetime of the game.
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