Member Exclusive: Latest Trend Hunter Report Highlights What’s New in Gaming

December 8, 2023 | Toy Association members can now access a complimentary new Trend Hunter report that explores what’s new and emerging in the gaming space, including new initiatives, tools, accessories, software, and other innovations.

Some of the key trends and examples highlighted in this report include:

  • Esports Education — As the global perception of gaming continues to shift positively, companies are recognizing how investing in educational esports initiatives can lead to increased interest in technology-driven careers. Esports encourages students to pursue further education and professions in STEM while also assisting them in developing digital literacy skills that may apply to future careers. These initiatives include student esports leagues, esports management programs, and more, such as the Brag House collegiate esports gaming platform. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have reaffirmed their partnerships with the organization to fund the Golden Royale Cup, a Fortnite tournament designed to cater to students across four regions in the U.S. Following the success of similar Fortnite events in Southern California with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), this partnership extension aims to further engage with the Gen Z demographic through such gaming experiences.
  • Accessible Controllers — Gaming and consumer electronics companies are now producing modular controllers with accessible designs to accommodate the needs of gamers with limited mobility, since the traditional one-size-fits-all controller design is exclusionary to individuals with different abilities. With larger companies entering this space, prices are becoming more accessible. For example, Pretorian Technologies, a UK-based assistive product company, launched the Flex Controller for Nintendo Switch systems. This controller is a rectangular panel with large, spaced-out buttons, and numerous expansion ports that connect to each button's input. Sony also showcased its upcoming controller for the PlayStation 5, currently codenamed “Project Leonardo,” which is intended to allow players with disabilities to play more comfortably and more naturally for longer periods. The design features a round disc with a large ball-shaped joystick on the side of it and each of the buttons, including the joystick, interior, and exterior buttons, are swappable with multiple options packaged in the box.
  • Vintage Gaming — Brands are increasingly remastering classic games from the 1990s and 2000s to satisfy consumer nostalgia and offer a novel gaming experience to both older and younger audiences. The modern update for classic gameplay is evident in the recently released Sonic Superstars game, which replaces 16-bit graphics for a much more elevated look. The game's trailer highlights Sonic the Hedgehog finishing a game level in the original 1991 version and finds himself in a split-screen view that transforms him into his new 2023 version. In addition to the new look, the game features new gameplay with more characters.

This report is the latest in a series from Trend Hunter that is exclusive to Toy Association members. Trend Hunter reports offer in-depth perspectives and trends in various areas related to the toy industry and youth markets to help spark unique ideas. For additional relevant trends, members can click on the report’s consumer insights examples, scroll down, and click the images for further information. has accumulated nearly 3 billion views from more than 100 million visitors. The data research company helps clients “Dive Deeper,” “Work Smarter,” and “Save Effort” in order to increase the overall success of their companies and brands.