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Streaming, the cloud, and creative teams are the future of game development

Cloud streaming will become the leading gaming platform by 2025, and as gaming development teams continue to move toward hybrid/remote work environments, the ability to easily share and reuse assets will be critical to their collaboration efforts, according to a new report.

Perforce Software, which specialises in versioning, collaboration, and planning tools across the software development lifecycle, has published its 2022 Game Development Trends & Forecast report, which outlines trends, challenges, and predictions for the future of game development.

The report found that 40% of games developers predict that cloud streaming will be the dominant platform by 2025. With less reliance on hardware and more accessibility for gamers who are unable to afford a console or PC, cloud streaming helps gaming move forward faster.

“Gaming has traditionally been constrained by the hardware limitations of the console or device. Cloud streaming is exciting because it enables gamers to play more graphically, hardware-intense titles without requiring upgrades to their device,” said Perforce’s Chief Technology Officer, Brad Hart.

As the preferred platform adapts to community preferences, so too has the work environment. Spurred by Covid, teams have steadily transitioned to more hybrid/remote work environments. In fact, nearly 70% of developers say they work remotely and 15% of game creators have completely forgone the traditional office space altogether. This has enabled developers to hire top talent outside of their region or country (29%).

By expanding their pool of potential candidates, studios have also increased the number of artists, designers, and animators on their teams. As games have become more cinematic and strive to tell more engaging and affecting stories, the overall look and feel of a game has become even more critical to its success, which has made creatives essential. In fact, nearly 60% of developers shared that at least half of their team was made up of creative roles. 

With teams no longer restricted to a shared space, a top priority for many studios is ensuring that development remains collaborative and fluid. This has contributed to an increase in using cloud-based development as teams can access files from anywhere. An overwhelming majority of participants (nearly 80%) are developing games either solely in the cloud or using a hybrid model of cloud and on-premises. In addition, over half of the game developers (54%) indicated that sharing and reuse of assets will be critical to increasing collaboration within the coming year. However, effective management and collaboration on a large number of art and game engine files can prove to be a challenge without the proper tools.

“As teams continue to opt for hybrid/remote work environments, it is essential that artists and designers are able to quickly locate and share all of the assets that their teams need. That is why we created Helix DAM,” said Hart.

“Helix DAM enables creative teams to find, review, and track the progress of every art asset in one easy-to-navigate place. In addition, it is built on Helix Core, so it can provide a single source of truth for a team’s code and digital assets, as well as handle huge projects and global teams with ease.” 

Teams can try Helix DAM free for 14 days, no setup, configuration, or commitment is needed. The full results of the survey are available in the 2022 Game Development Trends & Forecast.