**First published on Sumo Digital**
From great games, to events and awards, we’re excited to see what the next 12 months holds for the games industry. Here, our experts share some of the trends and highlights they're looking forward to in 2024.
Community driven games
Senior Community Manager for Stampede: Racing Royale – Chris Groves – expects that community managers will become more embedded in development teams throughout 2024: “In an incredibly competitive market, I think more development teams are understanding that reaching and retaining an audience is extremely difficult, regardless of how awesome your game is! Discovery and engagement are often forged through social media and online discussion areas – places that a Community Manager is responsible for looking after.
“It’s not just external factors, either – social elements inside a game are just as important, so players can share their experience creatively and connect with the world. Community Managers provide valuable expertise on how players want to tether their in-game experience with their online activity, which can really help with areas of game design and live service. In 2024, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more developers embedding Community in the process, so that when a CM looks to work their magic on these channels, they’re equipped with as much knowledge as possible.”
The quest for cosy
Ali Fraser, Publishing Commercial Director at Secret Mode, predicts there'll continue to be a growing demand for cosy gaming: “Cosy games are such an important genre which I expect will only continue to grow in the coming years. In a world of constant updates flooding the news and social media to grab your attention, cosy games give us the respite to relax, escape the fast-paced world and to take our time.
“We [at Secret Mode] have lots of games on our roster that fall into the ‘cosy’ category and have seen great demand over the last 12 months – with our wholesome tidying title, A Little to the Left, reaching a milestone million sales last year alone. Combined with our hugely successful Cosy Quest event, it’s clear that enthusiasm for this genre is stronger than ever!”
Celebrating the games industry
There are so many great events coming up in 2024, and Sumo Group's Business Development Team will be heading out to events including DICE in Las Vegas (13th – 15th February), GDC in San Francisco (18th – 22nd March) and Reboot Develop Blue in Dubrovnik (22nd – 24th April).
Sumo Group’s Director of Business Development, Nina Cliff, said: “2024 will see Sumo’s business development team attending many of the industry’s flagship events. If 2023 is anything to go by, I anticipate the turnout for these events may reach record levels. We’re not only looking forward to catching up with our colleagues and partners, but are hoping to see more of our teams take to global stages to deliver inspiring talks on their projects, tools and technology!”
Accessibility in games
2023 was a year of innovation for accessibility in games, and as the industry continues to create games for everyone, Projects Manager at SpecialEffect Bill Donegan gives insight into what he hopes we’ll see in the world of accessibility in 2024:
“As accessibility in games continues to develop this year, we’re looking forward to sharing the accessibility features of new releases with our players. These features can increase the accessibility of a game when used alongside the customised controller setups we create. On that note, we’re excited to be using the new PS5 Access Controller that was released in December, and look forward to exploring how it can be utilised and customised to suit the individual needs of the PlayStation players we work with.
“Microsoft’s Accessibility Feature Tags and PlayStation’s Accessibility Tags also have a lot of potential impact this year following their release in 2023. These tags allow developers to share game accessibility information with potential players and enable the developers themselves to learn more about accessibility features and how to implement them into their games. We’re hopeful that the tags can improve both the available information for players and the accessibility of games.”
Also included on this year's list is some of the biggest games due for release in 2024, the industry continuing to be at the centre for creative excellence and more. To read the full piece, visit the Sumo Digital website.