Top 20 gaming trends of 2008

Video games were big news in 2008. Gamasutra put together their list of the biggest trends.

Gamasutra put together their list of Top 20 gaming trends for 2008.

As someone who got back into games heavily this year (to the point of where I had to cut myself off) I would say that the biggest gaming "issue" was DRM and the Spore debacle. As far as big changes to the whole landscape, I would say the Wii Fit is a monumental genre-changer.

My favorites from the list (20 is a lot):
3. You Don't Want DRM - You Want Services
2. Casual MMOs? For Kids!
5. The Inevitable User-Created Content Entry
9. Free To Play, Pay For Items
18. Games & Social Connectivity, Duh

Recession aside, gaming continues to be a bellwether technology segment and has been largely successful this year. I suspect next year will be a bit rockier for many studios as large public companies like EA and TakeTwo start to feel serious investor pressure which likely dry up M&A activities. Smaller studios will have a harder time getting funding and casual games will continue to proliferate but not be well-monetized.

Casual games (for the sake of argument, let's consider them Flash-based) have seen a rise in popularity but revenue has been disappointing due to the reliance on advertising, an area that only looks to be getting worse. Conversely, free-to-play games where you pay for add-ons have been growing with virtual goods becoming an integral part of the gaming ecosystem. My bet is for this trend to continue in 2009 and we'll start to see a backlash toward goods.

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom or listen to me on the Open Sources podcast series.

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