The future of gaming is going to be built on the backs of not only game developers but also the players themselves. The shift towards user generated content (UGC) is already happening and game creation is becoming a medium of personal expression, not just a hobby or career.
Platforms like Roblox (100M MAUs) and Minecraft (126M MAUs) have built out their own infrastructure for gamers to not only play but also build and socialize in virtual environments. While both take a different approach to how and what you can build, these platforms (and games) have ushered a generation of gamers into the world of development.
While these UGC platforms have been monumental in blurring the line between creator and player, they do still have their hurdles — the main one being coding experience. Players in Roblox and Minecraft still have to have at least a minimal proficiency in coding in order to create games in those ecosystems.
Minecraft’s creative aesthetic revolves around using cubes and leveraging traditional game functions like crafting. While the games you can build are limited only by your imagination, adding mods is not straightforward and the standard is usually downloading Minecraft Forge, a mod loader, and using pre-existing mods (an extension of UGC) or developing your own with Java.
The development process is more straightforward for Roblox. Like any game, you download Roblox and then are able to launch games as well as the engine. The big hurdle here is that to develop games you must learn the Lua programming language. This creates an initial hurdle for potential creators who have no coding experience.
We are also seeing a tremendous shift in who plays games and what is important to them. Gen Z has the highest population among all generations in the US and almost 90% of them are gamers (compared to 59% of the total population). While this generation is more active than any other age group on social media, their favorite social haunts aren’t YouTube, Facebook, Snap, or TikTok; Gen Z are most at home in the creative worlds of video games.
Gen Z is becoming more influential quicker than any other generation. They are the first generation to grow up in a world completely dominated by technology where their entire lives are stored in their pocket. They feel comfortable communicating online and find closure in virtual worlds where they can be who they want.
This is why we’re excited to partner with HiberWorld, a social platform for Gen Z to communicate and express themselves through games. The platform is browser-based to stay accessible and lightweight (a mobile app is coming soon). A complete no-code development environment was implemented to lower the barrier for anyone to create and express themselves.
HiberWorld is led by Michael Yngfors, Mattias Johansson, and Sean Kauppinen. Combined they have over 60 years of experience in digital media including developing and launching games at companies like Sony, EA, and Ubisoft. We’re joined by Luminar Ventures, Wild Sloths, Bumble Ventures, Rasmussen, Subway Surfers game publisher Sybo, and GFR Fund.
UGC has become a hot topic but it often doesn’t cater to all creators. HiberWorld puts everything at your fingertips through prebuilt GameKits. Whether it’s a Shooter, Platformer, or Playground, the tools have already been created and the building is straightforward because baseline logic already exists. Gen Z is going to naturally shape the future of gaming but instead of that future being built for them, they’ll build it themselves.