- Gaming continues to go digital as subscriptions and cloud gaming see adoption, even as physical games remain important to console gamers
- Gamers give NFTs the cold shoulder, with more than 4 in 10 saying they will quit games that introduce NFTs
- 3 in 10 gamers view game developer acquisitions as a negative impact on the gaming industry
- Nintendo is voted as gamers’ most beloved video game developer, with two of the most anticipated games of 2022
3 in 10 gamers view game developer acquisitions as a net negative for the gaming industry
Microsoft and Sony’s recent acquisitions of Activision Blizzard and Bungie (respectively) are raising concerns about the quality of games created post-acquisition. Overall, 30% of gamers believe that such acquisitions are a bad thing, compared with 15% of those who think they are mostly good, 17% seeing no difference, and 36% who express uncertainty.
Desktop and console gamers are much less receptive to acquisitions than gamers overall:
- 39% of desktop/laptop gamers and 35% of console gamers believe acquisitions are mostly bad for gaming, compared with 30% overall
- 36% of desktop/laptop gamers and 35% of console gamers believe acquisitions lead to lower quality games from developers who are acquired
42% of gamers have heard of the recent deals; among those who are familiar, 4 in 10 (38%) believe that acquisitions of smaller studios by larger corporations such as Microsoft and Sony to have a negative impact on the gaming industry, and an equal proportion (38%) believe that new games created by newly-acquired video game developers decline in quality.
Nintendo is voted as gamers’ most beloved video game developer, with two of the most anticipated games of 2022
Despite the recent developments of microtransactions, NFTs, and industry consolidation, gamers largely believe that video games released today are better than they were 5 years ago: 41% believe releases are better now than 5 years ago, 19% think they are worse, and 35% think they are about the same.
Nintendo continues to charm gamers, with nearly a quarter (24%) of gamers voting the Japanese company as their favorite game developer. EA trails in second at 10%, followed by multi-way ties from most other players. Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 also leads as the most anticipated game of the year in 2022, with Pokemon Legends: Arceus close behind.
Gaming continues to go digital as subscriptions and cloud gaming see adoption
Gamers overall overwhelmingly prefer purchasing games via digital downloads as they continue to move away from physical discs. Only 1 in 4 gamers say they purchase physical copies of a game, while 84% download their games. Console gamers, however, continue to hold on to physical discs (63%) despite a high adoption rate of digital downloads (84%).
Game ownership is also proving more optional:
- 21% are subscribed to a game subscription service (such as Xbox Game Pass or Playstation Now)
- 10% play games via cloud gaming
- 7% are subscribed to both a subscription pass and a cloud gaming service
Adoption of subscription passes and cloud streaming are driven primarily by console gamers:
- 45% are subscribed to a game subscription pass
- 16% play via streaming or cloud gaming
- 12% are subscribed to both
Gamers give NFTs the cold shoulder, with more than 4 in 10 saying they will quit games that introduce NFTs
Nearly half (48%) of all gamers make microtransactions, with 21% spending money on in-game transactions at least once a month. There is, however, little fanfare for game developers’ plans to introduce NFTs: an overwhelming majority (84%) of gamers say they are not interested in purchasing NFTs in their games, with 71% ‘not interested at all’.
Fewer than 1 in 10 (7%) say that NFTs will have a positive impact on their gaming experience. Uncertainty toward the technology prevails, with 43% unsure of how NFTs will impact their experience, 27% expecting no real impact either way, and 21% expecting NFTs to negatively impact their gaming experience.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm, gamers are split on their reaction to developers advertising and selling NFTs within games: 44% of gamers say they are ‘very or somewhat likely’ to stop buying or playing video games from such developers, while 52% don’t expect to take any action.