“Play Wherever, Whatever and Whenever You Want”
VP GLOBAL CREATIVE AT UBISOFT
Fawzi Mesmar is an award-winning Game designer, leader, author, and public speaker who has been in the gaming industry for almost two decades in a career that spanned the Middle East, New Zealand, Japan, and Europe working for companies such as Ubisoft, EA, Activision Blizzard, Gameloft, and Atlus to name a few. He has worked on over 20 titles that have been enjoyed by millions of players worldwide including entries in Mario Rabbids, Battlefield, Persona, and Star Wars franchises. He is also the author of “Al-Khallab in the art of Game Design” the first Arabic language textbook on game design.
What major trends do you foresee shaping the game industry in 2024?
– I can see that in the upcoming year and years to come the lines between traditional PC/Console gaming and mobile gaming will continue to become more and more blurry. With powerful hardware and streaming capabilities on mobile devices, we’re already seeing many experiences that were traditionally limited to the big screen becoming available everywhere. AAA games running natively on mobile devices such as Resident Evil Village, the remake of RE4 or the upcoming release of Death Stranding or AC Mirage are only the beginning. We’re heading toward the future where players can play whatever they want, whenever they want wherever they want. Together.
The tech industry has experienced a year of strong focus on AI. How is AI being discussed in the game industry? Do you see a rapid adaptation or a conservative approach to integrating AI tools that actually could have a significant impact on game development as a craft?
– From my point of view, people make games, and we need talented people to make amazing games. Like all others, I view AI as a powerful tool that makers can use to augment their craft and enable them to be more effective at doing what they do best. AI has great potential to have a positive impact on our processes and pipelines. As well as being a cool brainstorming tool as well. I can see us as an industry utilizing its potential while focusing on what makes our medium so unique. The people behind the screens.
The game industry has a long track record of selling digital products and skins well before the metaverse became a buzzword. In the last two years, numerous fashion brands have entered established gaming platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite to reach new audiences with digital skins, products, and avatars. But does it ever work the other way around? Is there a curiosity within the gaming industry to learn something from fashion brands?
– Oh that’s a fun question. I think we’ve already seen so many interesting collaborations between gaming and fashion brands from the clothing side as well. There were many releases in Uniqlo collaboration lines with Nintendo. Many e-sports and brand collaborations such as League of Legends and Louis Vuitton, Kojima productions released a fashion like with GU, and even Dior had a collaboration with GT7. Gaming is the most popular form of entertainment, so it’s only natural that players would like to express themselves through their apparel too.
What was your favourite game release in 2023 and which one are you looking forward to in 2024?
– I loved playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it’s one of my all-time favorite franchises and they keep getting better with every release! I’m looking forward to playing the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth from Square-Enix in a few months, I’m a long-time fan of the original and the remake series has been very nostalgic for me.
– The game industry in 2024 is likely to see continued growth in cloud gaming services, increased integration of blockchain and NFTs, and a sustained focus on augmented reality, while subscription-based models and cross-platform play become more entrenched. Esports will likely continue its rise, and the industry may witness further advancements in AI applications within games.
Emi the Magic Fabric AI Oracle:
– One of the prominent trends that shall shape the game industry in the aforementioned year is the advent of cross-platform and cross-play capabilities. Gone will be the days of restrictive boundaries between different consoles and devices, as game developers embrace a more inclusive approach, enabling seamless multiplayer experiences across various platforms. Furthermore, as game predictions for 2024, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will revolutionize game mechanics, enhancing player immersion and personalization.