Game Tech: Richmond gaming scene trends for the year 2024

Trends this year will include more movies based on videogames, according to The Gaming Stadium CEO

Movie adaptations of video games and rising local game developers are two of the trends the gaming industry is expecting to see this year.

Spiro Khouri, CEO of the Richmond Gaming Stadium, and Clint Forward, program coordinator of entertainment arts KPU, shared their thoughts on what they anticipate for the gaming world both online and for large-scale events in North America.

Khouri told the Richmond News the local gaming stadium has seen a reincarnation of large-scale live events where companies put on conventions to promote their games and upcoming game releases.

But for gamers in the know, this is only a replacement for the loss of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, one of the gaming world’s largest events held in California every year.

Both Khouri and Forward described the end of E3 as “a bit of a heartbreak” for many people who are in the gaming and entertainment industry.

E3 was an event where all major developers such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft would have keynote conversations about what’s upcoming for them in the next few years and where they make huge announcements, explained Khouri.

The event allowed people to play and test new games and interact with developers and designers.

E3 was cancelled due to COVID-19 and was never restarted.

“A lot of game developers started to realize that they could put on their own mini versions of this show and just do it themselves,” explained Khouri.

“In the industry, there is a lot more going on in-house now versus going to one show and interacting with everybody.”

Richmond is also seeing smaller events similar to E3 such as a local group called Full Indie, a group of independent developers that meets monthly in person.

The Richmond Gaming Stadium hosted a handful of small events last year and they expect to see three or four again this year.

Khouri believes online games is a trend that has carried over from 2023 and will continue growing in 2024.

“The beauty of the online world in gaming is that games have a successful base of players who will always get invested in and updated by the developers,” said Khouri.

Games like Apex Legends, produced by Entertainment Arts in Vancouver, as well as League of Legends and Rocket League have seen growing interest for a while.

“The interesting part about our industry, specifically on the competitive gaming side, is there is not often a new game will come out. More often, existing games that are super popular will just continue to get developed and upgraded over time, leading to an influx of new players participating.”

He added this could include new characters or game design and they are generally all free to download.

Video games a personal preference

When asked what he predicts will be an up-and-coming aspect of the gaming industry, Khouri suggested a lot more games being turned into movies and shows, following on Halo and Mario Brothers which were released as full movies last year.

“Gaming itself is a massive industry, and there’s so many different nuances, genres, likes and dislikes so it comes down to personal taste,” said Khouri.

Meanwhile, KPU instructor Forward, expects virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to grow in the industry.

“We had a great year in games last year in both VR and AR happening and I would assume that in 2024, it is going to be another huge resurgence,” said Forward.

Like Khouri mentioned, Forward also highlighted that gaming console games are also determined by personal preference.

Aside from computer games, the Playstation 5, Xbox and Microsoft are pushing into the digital space with more cloud gaming space, explained Forward.

However, he’s also seeing more old-school gaming consoles like the little Nintendo NES console re-appearing on the market bringing back 1990s nostalgia.

“When I talk to my students about all these things, I actually implore them to go and play these old titles and things, especially stuff they can’t buy,” said Forward.

“Those old systems resurfacing are definitely targeting kids nowadays and it really shows the evolution of games. What’s interesting is they seem to really enjoy them even more.”

Forward told the News major game titles that he believes many people are keeping their eyes peeled for are the latest Grand Theft Auto and Electronic Arts’ FIFA games.

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