GDC 2024: The state of the gaming industry, from layoffs to the metaverse and more | Gaming

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Live on the show floor of GDC 2024, GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi took the temperature of the game industry in a conversation with Xsolla’s president David Stelzer and Chris Hewish, chief strategy officer at Xsolla.

Their discussion focused largely on the company’s most recent State of Play report, recapping the last five years in the game industry — from where revenue is going, current player counts, ecommerce versus mcommerce to trends like gaming web stores, alternative payment methods, and social issues like women in gaming and diversity. The report also dives into the topics that are keenly important to developers, such as current investment trends, opportunities for developers to launch or grow their companies and more.

A light at the end of the tunnel

In the hangover after COVID, the mood is shifting in the industry as revenues start to stabilize again. Mobile gaming revenue continues to grow 50% year over year. The number of players has nearly doubled, while in-app purchases dominate player spend in a playing field where the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has finally kicked into gear. Developer layoffs continue to cast a pall over the creative side of the industry but the game industry is cyclical, Stelzer said. Fewer games are being made right now – but the number of deals is picking up pace.

“We’ve heard from companies around the show that they’re already starting to increase hiring,” he added. “They’re starting to increase their portfolios, retargeting what those portfolios need to look like based on what the future of games is starting…

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