Your predictions for 2023 in mobile games: sexist ads end, TikTok soars, AR, AI and more


In this week’s run of 2023 prediction posts, we’ve covered the rise of generative AI, a stormy economy and more M&A, cross-platform development and evolving monetisation models plus what’ll happen in web3, advertising, hypercasual and more.

In our final 2023 predictions post, more smart readers foresee a positive change in game ads, TikTok’s continued rise and new tech like AI and AR changing the state of play.

Wooga game director Annelie Biernat:
Misogynistic and sexist ads for games will be restricted as advertising platforms and legislators will hear an increasing amount of complaints in 2023.

It allegedly already started to be restricted in the UK, but we will see this expand to other major countries. In addition I already see richer narrative in casual games appearing and as the audience will react positive to it, we might see more of this in advertising as well.

TikTok head of global gaming, global business solutions Assaf Sagy:
A new culture of discovery, co-creation and sharing has helped propel gaming fandom into mainstream entertainment and culture. At TikTok we’re seeing creators and communities draw diverse entertainment audiences into discovering and playing games, welcoming gamers from all walks of life.

This is supercharging game discovery and is amplified by a virtuous cycle of co-creation and sharing.

Annelie Biernat, Assaf Sagy, Lea Schönfelder.

Fein Games cofounder Lea Schönfelder:
As a start-up creating relatable games for women, 2023 doesn’t appear to be an easy year to step into. Traditional business models face problems, it’s hard to buy users and competition is huge – all of which can feel intimidating.

The next year will reward innovation and progress. On the technological side, there is AR/VR, there’s AI and blockchain. Creative innovation is less often in focus but has the potential to disrupt the market just as much.

I believe the way forward is to connect on a deeper level with your audiences. If we establish stronger bonds between developers and players, that are less generic and more value-driven, ultimately we will create better (performing) games.

Bidstack gaming SVP Justin Welter:
I’m excited about the potential for growth and innovation in the mobile gaming industry in 2023, particularly with regard to augmented reality (AR) technology.

The use of AR in mobile games is expected to become more widespread, providing a more immersive and engaging experience for players. This could include games that allow players to interact with their physical surroundings in new and exciting ways, such as AR treasure hunts or VR escape rooms.

Justin Welter, Sophie Artemigi, Henri Mirande, Julia Iljuk.

Hook Up: The Game developer Sophie Artemigi:
I think the big new trends will be AR games for TikTok and Instagram. My prediction is that the feedback loop between developers and social media users will create more varied and innovative AR games this coming year.

I think the big changes in AI will happen in the legal space. It’s given new context to our understanding of intellectual property and we as a society need time to reflect on this and create appropriate regulation. Regardless, it’s going to be a useful tool for developers and I anticipate it being applied in ways we haven’t yet considered.

I hope that investment in blockchain veers away from consumer use and towards industrial and logistical use. The general public’s technological illiteracy seems to be at the root of most blockchain-related scandals. It will take time for us to educate ourselves as a society and there’s no shame in that. However, systematic information asymmetry currently undermines the trust that the blockchain supposedly provides to consumers.

Kinetix co-founder and CTO Henri Mirande:
What I like about the mobile gaming industry is its ability to quickly embrace trends and new technologies. Some of the most successful games are based on this, from runner games relying on gyroscopes to the meteoric success of AR games with Pokémon Go, there are tons of examples.

Mobile gaming also pioneered in terms of game production methods, as studios like Voodoo quickly understood that there was a possibility to build and ship games more quickly than others to win market share.

I think that the ability to integrate generative AI within a mobile game experience would be a killer feature. In the next 12 months, I am sure that AI will allow mobile gaming studios to create and release new games even faster than before. We might also see a new category of games emerge where AI will play a central role in the storyline. If not, this will come by 2025 for sure.

Balancy head of growth Julia Iljuk:
2023 is going to be the year of player experience personalisation – not only for product teams, but for marketers as well.

The mobile gaming landscape looks challenging, especially for UA teams. My prediction is that the focus of studios and their resources will be moving from ‘user acquisition at any cost’ to ‘retention tactics first’.

With the inevitable rise of CPI, it sounds logical to put more effort into retaining these expensive users rather than acquiring more and more. Studios will realise the importance of personalisation in terms of special offers, individual player paths, adjusting complexity of levels and any kind of live ops activities in general for improving retention.

For marketers, the idea of custom FTUE (first-time user experience) for new players can become defining in 2023. Imagine if players that come from a particular creative or campaign can be automatically directed to one of the multiple game scenarios that is the best fit for them. For example, players can be welcomed by a character they saw in a creative or rewarded with bonus diamonds they were promised to get in your campaign.Challenges often open up the way to creativity. I’m looking forward to seeing all the new live ops strategies game studios will come up with this year to grow their retention and LTV in these circumstances.

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