Mobile gaming gave development a medium to spread across the world. This presents a challenge for developers to generate jobs and interest in their games over the many evolving types of technology. The rate of change is accelerating and each region needs to be competitive. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat at VenturBeat, guided attendees on a world tour and provided insight into how Europe fits in to this. During his presentation, Dean pointed out that “Mobile games now lead the game industry for revenue.” Furthermore Dean explained, “If there is a reason to change the order of things in the world, then new platforms are the way to do it. To maybe invest heavily, to dive into these new regions, new platforms in the game industry is a way to create new jobs.”
Dean Takahashi is the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, where he covers the news of the day for video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades.
“I am the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. I cover both tech news and game news, and I help run our GamesBeat events,” said Dean. “I have worked at VentureBeat for nine years, and I have worked as a journalist for 25 years. I have covered tech news for 25 years, and games for 20 years. I’ve written two books about Microsoft’s video game business, Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. I enjoy doing day-to-day coverage of the game industry, and our GamesBeat team publishes about 90 stories a week on games.”
“I am trained as a technologist and a writer. I have written about a wide range of technology companies,” Dean noted. “That has helped me cover the game industry from a variety of angles, giving me insights into game hardware and new platforms such as virtual reality.
Dean especially enjoys traveling the world in his role at Gamesbeat. “I always wanted to be a foreign correspondent, but I never expected games to be the reason I could do it,” said Dean. “I’ve been to many game conferences all over the world, including China, Japan, Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and across the United States. I have been able to learn so many things about the game industry by meeting interesting entrepreneurs, investors, creators, and executives. I enjoy that my job is different every day, and I still get paid to play games.”
Dean loves gaming and loves covering the gaming industry. To him, there is no better job to have, both enabling and validating a love for video games.
“My favorite game is The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. I play Clash Royale, Pokemon Go, and Dawn of Titans on my iPhone. I play most of the new releases in AAA console and PC games,” detailed Dean. “I started covering games at the Wall Street Journal in 1996, since I was the youngest guy in the office. I got into gaming as a kid, and I played Pong when it first came out.”
“Playing games is fun, but so is talking to dynamic people in the game industry and writing about their endeavors,” said Dean. “Game developers and publishers are some of the most interesting people I’ve met. The gaming industry is always changing, and good companies and games can come from anywhere.”
Still, Dean knows the hardships of writing with a small staff. “We’re a small company, with a few dozen employees,” detailed Dean. “We compete against much larger publications and events companies. It’s not easy, but we are scrappy and aggressive. We can get access to the right people, we can get some of the best stories about games, and we can introduce the right people to each other.”
The job is a result of a lifetime of passion for Dean, but he acknowledges that it can be a challenge to break into. “You have to be able to explain technology to novices, and you have to write in a compelling way,” said Dean. “But you can learn it by just doing it, possibly from other journalism directions. You have to have a passion for the subject.”
While a mountain of virtual ink has be spilled over virtual reality and alternative reality, it still hasn’t been proven out as a dominant trend. Dean has seen all the devices and still isn’t convinced that VR/AR will live up to some optimistic initial projections.
“I think the big question remains whether virtual reality and augmented reality will take off and become the biggest part of the industry,” said Dean. “The jury is still out.”
While Dean has accomplished much over a long career, including helping put together the GamesBeat events with several leaders of the industry, there’s a mountain not yet climbed that Dean might attempt. “Maybe I would try to make a game, rather than just write about them,” said Dean. “I’ve always wondered if I could make a game, but I never have. One day, maybe I’ll do it,” concluded Dean.
David Radd is a staff writer for GameSauce.biz. David loves playing video games about as much as he enjoys writing about them, martial arts and composing his own novels.