Genshin Impact and Among Us were two of the hottest games of 2020. And – according to Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management for Google Play – their success will spawn plenty of similar titles in 2021.
That’s not to say we’ll see blatant knock-offs, but rather there’ll be a renewed interest in high-quality mobile games that push the boundaries of the small screen. “Genshin Impact made its mark in 2020, but Google Play selected it as our Best Game of 2020 because it will shape mobile gaming for years to come,” said Hartrell in an email. ” Everything from graphics to device support saw improvement, showing the world what is possible on mobile.” The high-quality production values won’t be limited to sweeping RPGs, as Hartrell goes on to say the trend will likely “carry into the ‘casual’ and simulation genres, too.”
As for Among Us, the indie-title proved there’s a massive market for social multiplayer experiences. “Last year, social deduction broke through to the mainstream as Innersloth captured something wonderfully Clue-like and nostalgic with Among Us. It was easy to feel the familiarity of the murder mystery and social deduction elements, but the freshness of the format made it feel futuristic, challenging, and even a little real.” Hartrell believes we’ll see plenty of other titles try to put their own twist on the social multiplayer market, giving players a variety of “crowd social” experiences to choose from in 2021.
Beyond the growth of high-quality mobile games and the proliferation of social multiplayer experiences, Hartrell also believes we’ll see greater diversity in characters, new forms of casual puzzle games, and creative games that help us unwind after a busy day.
2020 was a lucrative year for mobile games, and one that brought many innovations to the field. Genshin Impact proved that it’s possible to have console-like experiences in the palm of your hand, and Among Us gave friends and family’s a unique way to bond during quarantine. And – if Hartrell’s predictions are right – 2021 might find a way to top it.
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- Genshin Impact
- Among Us
Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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