Gamescom 2023: top takeaways
Gamescom is over for another year and the 2023 event, held as usual in Cologne, didn’t disappoint! Here are the top takeaways from this year's event, by our Gaming Department Manager, Camille Guillemot.
2023 has been a challenging year for many industries, but the feeling at Gamescom was overwhelmingly positive. The gaming industry has been performing well and is set to continue strong into 2024, with some highly-anticipated releases (including S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 and Tekken 8) and a slew of other AAA games.
If you couldn't make Gamescom this year, don't worry; here's what we learned!
What's happening in the gaming industry? Current trends uncovered
Focusing on a more unique player experience
Game developers are increasingly using AI, player data and analytics to create a gaming experience that is more personalised. To achieve this, studios are adding customised elements to their games, such as tailored rewards ‘handpicked’ to appeal to the individual player, which will keep engagement high and players coming back for more.
Mobile gaming continues to grow more popular
For a long time, mobile gaming has been secondary to the ‘main’ feature gaming experience on a console or PC. But recent statistics show, and so did Gamescom, that mobile gaming is growing in popularity. Revenue for mobile gaming this year is expected to top $180 billion and more than half of the world’s regular gamers (of which there are about 3.2 billion!) say they play games on a mobile. Standout previews of mobile games at Gamescom for us were Papertrail and Zenless Zone Zero, which are both due for release in 2024.
More games are offering cross-platform play
Lots of games are offering cross-platform play which lets players play across different devices without any interruption. It makes perfect sense, given that most of us now use multiple devices every day. We think this trend will continue as game developers recognise the importance of allowing gamers to play their favourite games whenever and wherever they want. A new trailer for Delta Force: Hawk Ops was previewed on Gamescom Opening Night Live and promises cross-platform playing when it’s finally released; the date is yet to be announced but pre-registration is live now.
More monetisation of hybrid-casual games
Many hybrid-casual games have traditionally been free to play, but there's a growing trend for creating revenue through advertising and in-game purchases. Common tactics include rewarded video ads, where the player is given prizes (think an extra life, or additional characters) for watching an ad. Gaming studios know that players are highly motivated to succeed at their favourite games; so the addition of rewards such as battle passes, which let players progress to the next level and bypass certain challenges, are another successful way of making money.
At the event...
An impressive indie offering
Gamescom is bursting with impressive stands from the biggest AAA studios, and we love it! It’s part of what makes the event so spectacular. But we were also impressed this time by the indie developers who are creating some really exciting games and pushing the boundaries of what they can do. In a sea of big AAA players, don't write off their smaller, indie studio counterparts!
New to Netflix..?
Amongst some of the biggest stands at this year’s event was a new, and slightly unexpected, entrant to the gaming world; none other than streaming giant, Netflix. A smattering of games are already available on the app, but they’re very much in the domain of free-to-play games found on lots of other platforms, like Facebook. Does Netflix' presence at Gamescom 2023 suggest they're going to be moving more seriously into the gaming sphere in the coming months? We'll be keeping a close eye on any developments!
A truly international feel
The unique country pavilions are a great way of segmenting and showcasing the achievements of international gaming industries. We were, of course, based at the French Pavilion, but we had a great time visiting the other booths and seeing the gaming culture of other countries.
How Bodyguard.ai works with the gaming industry
At Bodyguard.ai, we know how important it is that gamers feel safe, included and able to express themselves freely whilst playing their favourite games. It's important for the gaming studios, too. When players feel comfortable in their online surroundings, they keep playing and coming back for more.
Bodyguard.ai moderates in-game content to ensure that toxic messages aimed at players is identified and removed, in real time, before it can do damage to the individual and the game brand.
Bodyguard.ai also provides gaming studios with insights and data they need to perfect the gaming experience for their players, and respond to their needs.
We already work with some of the biggest names in gaming, and we'd love to help you create a safer, more positive environment for your players and community. Contact us to learn more.