Competitive gaming is the latest trend in mobile gaming. It brings the ‘core’ gaming experience from PC and Console to mobile devices. At Casual Connect Europe, the talk entitled The Unstoppable Rise of Competitive Gaming on Mobile, Tom Wijman who is a Market Consultant at Newzoo, described in detail the rise of competitive gaming, the trends that are driving it, and what this means for mobile gaming as a whole. He explored the impact that the growth of competitive gaming is having on mobile esports and how this differs between the East and the West.
Tom Wijman is the Games Market Analyst at Newzoo, providing market intelligence to the majority of the world’s largest game publishers and brands. Tom is responsible for keeping Newzoo’s views and forecasts on the games market accurate, relevant and up-to-date through staying constantly on top of the latest news and trends in games, tracking game company performance, reading and dissecting both government and industry reports on the current state of the games industry.
From Corporate Consulting to Market Research for Games
Prior to working at Newzoo, Tom worked in corporate strategy consulting. At the time, he was already interested in Newzoo. When a friend posted on Facebook that Newzoo was looking for a games analyst with a background in market research and a passion for games, Tom felt it could be a perfect fit. It would combine work with doing what he loves, so he decided it would be an opportunity for a change in career direction.
The work that he had been doing specifically with banks and payment specialists has been very useful experience for his work at Newzoo. The games industry has continued to grow and banks, investors and other fund sources are now taking notice. Having experience working with a corporate company and advising other corporate companies has been a tremendous advantage for Tom.
Tom especially enjoys the daring and entrepreneurship of the people at Newzoo. “We never say no to a project or task that might seem impossible at first.” And he also enjoys being able to read up on all the latest and greatest games as part of his research at work. An additional bonus about being involved in the game industry is meeting other people in the industry and discovering they are just as eager to talk about the newest and most exciting games as Tom is.
However, switching to the game industry meant Tom had a lot of catching up to do. The transition from gaming fan to someone researching the gaming market for a living required plenty of reading, researching and understanding. This change in career direction also meant leaving a corporate environment with a clearly defined career path to a young, dynamic company without clear paths forward.
The rewards of this career include such things as being quoted in the media. Tom reveals that whenever his name appears in one of the larger news media outlets he shares the article with his family. And Tom also says that speaking at Casual Connect in London was one of the proudest moments of his career.
When Tom is not working, he has several interests besides indulging his passion for video games. He enjoys football, playing on three teams at the moment. Tom is also a music enthusiast, going to shows and festivals where he can discover new music. He also enjoys playing guitar.
Cross-Platform, Cross-Device and More Innovations
The game industry is an exciting place to be right now, according to Tom. One of the most exciting emerging trends he sees is the possibility of cross-platform, cross-device gaming. He describes, “We’re seeing the first major innovations hit the market right now, with Steam launching a mobile app that can stream all apps from your library (supposedly) , and, of course, Fortnite’s success on PC, mobile and console.”
Tom is also still excited about the possibilities of VR in gaming, although he does not consider it likely that we will see any major new developments there in the next several years. But in five years things could be very different.
Part of Tom’s work is following all the trends in the game industry and making sure they are properly reflected in Newzoo’s market forecasts so that they are all naturally incorporated in their current and future plans.
Using The Best Technology and Tools
Being up to date on the latest technology is part of Newzoo’s core business. This includes using the right APIs to get the latest data, using technology to gather data from the most hyped platforms of the moment and using the best, latest tools for visualizing data. Tom emphasizes that staying up to date on technology is essential for a market intelligence firm such as Newzoo.
The important tools for a market intelligence company are those that provide detailed data on how an app is performing in terms of monthly, weekly and daily active users, conversion rates, retention rates. These metrics are very important, Tom insists that it shouldn’t be the only type of metrics used because it looks at games in a vacuum. “For a complete view of performance, publishers should use a combination of these metrics with market performance and market trends such as those included in our data.”
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.