Rock‘n’roll is here to stay, as the old song says – but in the mobile era, getting people into brick-and-mortar businesses can be a challenge. Like brands of all kinds, Hard Rock is seeking to connect with mobile users. The only question is how – and Hard Rock found its answer in the game developed in collaboration with our team here at Ilyon Dynamics: Hard Rock Puzzle Match.
Not quite friends, but certainly not enemies, the United States and China have vastly different cultures – but despite that, both sides try their best to trade and promote their country’s products and technologies in each other’s markets. Some American brands – like Apple, Coca Cola – have done well in China, while several Chinese brands, like Huawei and ZTE, are recognized by American consumers for their technology, not just the low prices that Chinese products are usually associated with.
But there have been far more misses than hits for both in the other side’s markets – especially in technology. Ebay, for example, has struggled in the Far East, while WeChat, the Chinese all-around chat and e-commerce app, has yet to make inroads in the US. Why? Both missed important cultural or usage cues that consumers in each country were looking for. Chinese consumers preferred local online auction apps because they allowed them to instantly communicate with sellers (something eBay didn’t offer), while in the US, WeChat failed (or chose not) to make deals with other app makers or services like it has done in China. As a result, American WeChat users remained in the closed environment of the app, unable to use it to order meals or other products directly from chat, or tweet a photo taken using WeChat.
The differences in the way the American and Chinese markets work are just one example of how even in a fully interconnected world – with instant communications and nearly instant travel options – cultures and countries still retain independent identities, to the extent that marketers who failed to recognize just how different the world outside their neighborhood really is lost valuable time and money before realizing that they were a lot less well-informed than they should have been before foraying outside familiar territory.
Nihao! Hello and welcome to China! Most game developers in the mobile space are starting to branch out and look to other markets. There’s been some strong interest in China. With over a billion people and about 400 million smartphones being used in China according to IDC, most developers are drooling over the idea of making a game for the Chinese market. Consultant for the Chinese game market Luke Stapley tells more.
There’s no doubt that the mobile games market is growing—even before the debut of Pokemon Go. Not only are more people playing on smartphones and tablets, but they’re dedicating increasingly more time and money as well. To grab a bigger share of this growth, developers and publishers need to target the right consumers with the right content. The first step in achieving this insight is understanding the past and future landscape of the mobile games space by addressing two core questions: Where is this growth coming from? and Where will growth come from next?
With these questions in mind, Nielsen Games recently analyzed its data on mobile gamers and their thoughts on hundreds of the top mobile games to provide industry-level insight into growth patterns. Manager Julia Valchanova and Senior Analyst Ian O’Neil share the learnings.
When it comes to the actual process of developing a game, a question often arises: how did those “big guys” make their creation THAT successful? What is that secret that makes their players press that button again and again, and how exactly did they made that button that enjoyable to tap? The Design and Development track at the upcoming Casual Connect USA has been put together in a way that both experienced and aspiring devs can exchange experience. Let’s have a closer look at who will be there.
In the late 2000s, I was the Marketing Director and shareholder of an online horse racing company called ZEturf. Our customer-centred stance soon made me realise that young customers’ demands between the ages of 18 and 35 were changing radically. Logically, this tied in with the fact that they had been raised with consistently innovative video games, leading up to their current desire to chase after the thrill of playing for money by playing games that were invented a century ago. Their expectations soared higher than a game based purely on luck, anticipating something more ambitious; a skill game, like most video games, that would subsequently enable them to prove their ”supremacy” over their peers and their community.
The question that inevitably arose is why the market was not making immediate arrangements for an offer in view of the rising demand for a new type of game.
The Future of VR Gaming: Is It Safe to Gamble on its Success?
Virtual reality (VR) has become a popular technology for different gaming platforms from video games to online gambling. Due to the hype surrounding VR, some believe that the technology isn’t only a short-term fad, but an evolving trend that’s here to stay for the long haul.
That being said, while there’s no question that the technology works, the success of VR Gaming and the future state of VR casinos and software isn’t necessarily a sure thing. This has left some debating whether or not it’s worth the gamble to invest in the market.
Here are a few notable issues VR faces in the future as well as some predictions of experts in the field.
The Price of Technology
While the baseline price for most VR headsets aren’t exactly cheap, they’re also not entirely cost-prohibitive. For instance, the Oculus Rift will cost about US$599, while the PlayStation VR headset will be about US$399.
However, the cost of headsets isn’t necessarily the main roadblock stopping virtual reality from really taking off in the gaming and iGaming industries. It’s the combined cost of all the hardware (and software) that is needed to create the complete VR experience that may cause problems in regard to full-scale mainstream adoption.
In addition to the headset, consumers will also need to spend hundreds of dollars more on the additional equipment needed to run the software, including high-tech computer gear, such as a gaming PC (a cost of $1,500 or higher) or in the case of PlayStation, a PS4 ($350+) and a PS Camera ($50) as well as the cost of the game(s).
Creating the Ideal Experience
Developing a VR experience, regardless if it is for video games or an online casino environment, requires careful strategy. An experience that is poorly designed will have the wrong – and even an unpleasant physical effect – on the player.
Virtual reality sickness – or cybersickness – does in fact exist. It occurs when a person exposed to a virtual environment experiences symptoms that are similar to motion sickness. The most common of these symptoms include, but are not limited to: headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, fatigue, disorientation, drowsiness and general discomfort.
Since the VR experience is one that is so deeply immersive on an all-encompassing level, if the software and tech that runs it isn’t designed in an ideal way, instead of leaving a lasting positive impression, the VR experience could develop a bad name among players.
Players want enhanced gaming experiences
In spite of its challenges, proponents of the technology, such as Carl-Arvid Ewebring, co-founder and developer at Resolution games, believe that “VR has a place in every home.” At last year’s Casual Connect USA he explained that the VR experience delivers a feeling of presence that can be enjoyed by anyone and that more lighthearted games could be the “familiar face” that makes the early stages of VR more relevant for all family members.
Likewise, when it comes to VR and online casino gaming, Jeff Lande, the founder of Lucky VR, explained that everything about an iGaming destination, from customer service to the actual gameplay is greatly enhanced by virtual reality.
As Lande claimed in an interview with VegasMaster’s Magazine, “In my opinion there’s no doubt that eventually virtual reality will be the way the vast majority of people play online casinos.” He believes it’s only a matter of content improving and hardware becoming cheap enough that VR can become the leading platform for online casinos.
VR is predicted to be bigger than TV in less than 10 years
According to a prediction from banking firm Goldman Sachs, the virtual reality market will outpace the TV market in yearly revenue by 2025. In 10 years, Goldman Sachs forecasts that if VR adoption continues to follow their “accelerated uptake” projection (the banking firm predicts VR will become more mainstream through advances in cellular and battery technologies) the VR market will generate $110 billion in revenue compared to TVs $99 billion.
Still, is virtual reality gaming really here to stay? Unfortunately, at this point, only time will tell but one thing’s for sure: the demand for immersive gaming is growing.
Developers have long understood the addictive quality of games. When we start to play, we become instantly unaware of what’s around us – we’re so lost in the world of the game. Technically, what’s happening in our mind is a dopamine release. This neurotransmitter controls pleasure and happiness, and makes it so that we want to keep playing in order to feel good.
Brands have recently taken notice of the power of games and are looking for ways to harness it in order to reach customers. Take for example Zynga’s partnership with Hidden Valley, Naked Juice and others to bring sponsored levels to games like Farmville. The move gives Zynga a new form of ad revenue, while at the same time providing brands with a way to engage audiences that is much more effective than a banner ad or popup.
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, predictions were made by three large companies about the results of the final phase of fifteen matches. Here, they were able to exhibit how effective and advanced their technology is in predicting the outcomes of football matches. Microsoft and Baidu were successful in predicting all the results while Google only made a single error. This presents the question of how they were able to make such incredibly accurate predictions. The answer is simple! What they did was crunch and analyse a large quantity of historic results, what we call “big data”. Using this analysis, they were then able to make these successful predictions.
What we must ask ourselves now is whether big data is indeed changing the paradigm of the sports industry.
The upcoming Casual Connect Europe conference in Amsterdam (16-18 Feb) will showcase the top speakers from the games industry, offering insight into the latest innovations, strategies and the best of new indie games. However, creating a great game is just the beginning, and a stellar marketing strategy is key to a successful venture. The BlogsRelease team has a few great tips to help you get started – their CEO Eti Nachum tells more!