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ContributionsIndustryResearch

Will Virtual Reality Entertainment Ever Reach Mainstream?

July 11, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Valentina Ferrari, Consultant, Executive Search

Based on the reports of several intelligence forecasts, the virtual reality (VR) industry is growing strong and is only likely to become stronger in the future. For instance, according to Greenlight Insights – the global leader in virtual reality and augmented reality market intelligence – by the end of 2017, global VR revenues will reach over $7 billion and, by the year 2021, revenues will skyrocket to a total of nearly $75 billion.

This is a very bold prediction and one that not everyone is buying into. According to an article by Todd Spangler on Variety, Spangler – a NY Digital Editor – is highly skeptical that VR will ever hit mainstream because he believes that for most regular non-tech and non “bleeding-edge creative” people (the vast majority of us), while virtual reality is fun and enjoyable, it simply isn’t a must-have product the average person needs or wants in their home.

The Roadblocks of VR Mainstream Success

In addition to Spangler’s belief that most people aren’t likely to make VR a part of their staple entertainment diet, he also points out that Millennial and Gen Z consumers (the demographics most likely to jump on the VR bandwagon) have short attention spans. This could be a problem, considering – at the moment – immersive VR entertainment experiences require the user to wear a VR headset, demanding their full and undivided attention.

Why might this be problematic? Spangler points out that according to Deloitte’s 2017 “Digital Democracy Survey”, 99% of Millenial and Gen Z viewers take part in an average of four additional activities (e.g. texting, social media, shopping, etc.) while watching TV.

With roadblocks such as these, Spangler doesn’t see how virtual reality could “deliver enough bang for the buck to ever become a mass consumer market.”

Several Industries are embracing VR

Although the NY Digital Editor has made some valid points, the fact remains that there are several industries rushing to embrace VR. In addition to gaming, some of these include: Retail, Advertising, News, Music, Hollywood Films, Adult Entertainment, Travel, Space Travel, and Health Care.

Even the gambling industry is seeing the “casino connection” between gaming and VR, noting the many ways that it can make use of the tech to enhance the experience of customers in the land-based gambling arena. More specifically, VR may benefit the rise of skill-based gaming and the inclusion of VR booths could entice non-casino gamers into the casino.

Moreover, it’s not just the land-based casino market that’s latching on to the idea of an immersive gambling experience. An in-depth look at VR casino games, reveals that virtual reality and gambling is a growing trend among casino operators (e.g. SlotsMillion) and software developers (e.g. NetEnt, Microgaming and Lucky VR) alike.

Huge investments are being made in Virtual Reality

It’s no secret that giant corporations like Facebook, Samsung and Google (each of which have their own VR headsets) are making massive investments in the industry to evolve their own products and customer base. In fact, earlier this year, Co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said that Facebook plans to invest more than $3 billion over the next 10 years in VR to bring the experience to hundreds of millions of users.

With so many diverse industries taking a step in the VR world, experts in these sectors clearly feel that the possibilities virtual reality has to offer are worth the risk of exploration and investment. Such a broad interest says something positive about the future adoption of this tech.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is due to the fact that virtual reality entertainment is still in its very early stages, it is impossible for anyone to know if it will one day garner mainstream success. Still, positive predictions about the industry, huge corporations investing billions into the VR market, and more industries embracing virtual reality, could be a sign that there’s more to VR than it being a hyped-up short-lived fad.

ContributionsIndieIndustry

Bus Beat Down: Using Real-Time Traffic & Weather Data to Fuel Gameplay

July 10, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Mike McCann, Creative Director OF Bus Beat Down, GoRound Games

It got me thinking… I like my job. But the commute? Not so much. And if there’s one thing that’s even worse than the wearisome ride, it’s having to share it with so many inconsiderate boobs. I’ll admit, thoughts of thwarting them has at times consumed me. Having commiserated with an army of like-minded commuters at the Park & Ride, it was plain to see I’m not alone in that sentiment. Yet we suffer through it, quietly wishing for a way to avenge the jerks… without getting arrested. That insight inspired the concept for Bus Beat Down. And that army of like-minded commuters may just be a built-in market that’s ready made for this project.

ContributionsIndieIndustry

Six Tips to Help You Be a Successful Indie Game Developer

June 26, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Matt Garrett, Writer for LaptopNinja

The indie video gaming market is booming today, but although times have never been better for indie developers, it can still be tough for new indie developers to get things off the ground. If you are an aspiring indie developer and you need just a little help getting that first game released, keep reading. Below you will find five tips to help you become the next successful indie game developer.

ContributionsIndustryResearch

5 Steps for Building the RIGHT Mobile Game

May 21, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Peter Fodor, founder of AppAgent

Surprisingly, many developers invest enormous amounts of time, effort and resources in developing games or apps that are built on very shallow foundations. It’s great to have a strong product vision, but without understanding the market situation, competition, target group, acquisition costs and performance benchmarks, you are navigating blindly. As a result, it’s highly likely that you will run into trouble – wasting your time and your money in the process.

The cost of producing a mobile game has increased dramatically, and so have the marketing costs associated with getting your game noticed. Big publishers like Kabam work with strong IPs – Marvel in this case – and budgets of around $14M per game. They also have a large user base waiting for new titles. If you’re looking to compete with these industry giants, it’s vital to start the journey by heading in the right direction.

ContributionsIndustry

Let’s Play: What it Means for the Gaming Industry

May 5, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Sara Parker, Writer and Editor

Gaming has become much more social and communal in recent years. Instead of being limited by your physical location and the number of controllers you have for a gaming console, you can connect and play with other gamers around the world. With this type of connection, new gaming platforms and types of interactions have emerged, such as Let’s Play. But what does this mean for the gaming industry?

What is Let’s Play?

Let’s Play is a style of videos that gamers make of themselves playing video, computer and mobile games. You can watch these videos on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. There also are different styles of Let’s Play. For example, Rooster Teeth has a whole series devoted to them playing video games badly. Twitch, on the other hand, usually shows off some of the most skilled players you can learn from and admire. Let’s Play videos are easy to watch from your computer at home or while you’re on the go with streaming options for smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus. If you pre-ordered the device from T-Mobile, you can get the Gear VR, controller and Oculus bonus content for free. Plus, with VR becoming more popular for smartphones, you may also be able to watch Let’s Play videos on VR headsets in the near future.

It’s Entertaining

Gamers love watching Let’s Play videos because they are a good source of entertainment. There are brands, podcasters and YouTube stars, such as PewDiePie, that put out these videos as part of their media and entertainment series. Many of these people became popular because they are funny, witty or sarcastic.

You also may be interested in these videos because many of the players are truly amazing. This is how Twitch exploded onto the scene. You can learn tips and tricks from these players, or you can just see how professionals play some of your favorite games.

It Encourages New Game Play

One of the main benefits for Let’s Play videos is that it gives you a way to find new games you want to play. Many Let’s Play streamers try to hit a wide variety of games that fall under different genres and styles of game play. For example, they may upload videos for several horror games one week and then focus on fantasy games the next week.

If you’re looking for something new to play, this is a great way to preview games. If you like the look of the video game world or the game-play style, then you’re more likely to feel confident about spending money on the game.

It Could Affect Sales

Many people within the gaming industry are against Let’s Play videos, though. Their argument is that you may get your fill of the game by watching someone else play it, or you may see how the story line plays out and not want to play it yourself. This would then mean that you wouldn’t spend money to buy the game, which affects game developers’ bottom lines. The result in the industry could be that developers produce fewer games.

Let’s Play videos have been around in various forms for some time and don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. The gaming industry needs to keep this trend in mind when they’re developing games and find ways to use them to their advantage. In the meantime, enjoy watching your favorite personalities show off their skills (or lack thereof)!


Sara started her writing and editing career in the world of technology and gaming. She has written numerous articles about the tech world and knows more about the cloud than she ever thought she would. She’s an Android enthusiast and is always looking to learn about the next big thing in tech. She is an experienced writer and editor who’s always up for a good Oxford comma debate.

ContributionsEventsIndustryNews

Esports for Indie Mobile Developers: Mad Skills Motocross Championship Deep Dive

April 4, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Simon Sundén, head of Esports at Gumbler

With over 31 million downloads, Mad Skills Motocross 2 has continued to be a success for developer Turborilla since its launch in 2014. This is primarily due to a loyal player base, many of which are involved in real-life Motocross, as well as partnerships with the likes of RedBull for exclusive events. Looking to drive more community engagement, Turborilla decided to up the ante in October 2015 by introducing real-money challenges via Swedish skills-based esports platform, Gumbler.

Based purely on a player’s skill, Gumbler brings esports to mobile games by enabling players to win real cash through placing money on their abilities. After integrating Gumbler, Mad Skills Motocross 2 saw players win upward of $900,000 in 2016 – with some individual players earning as much as $6,000 per month.

Having seen the high levels of engagement from the Mad Skills Motocross 2 community, Gumbler worked with Turborilla to host its first World Championship at the beginning of 2017 with a prize pot of $20,000.

For Gumbler, the goal was simple as its Head of Esports, Simon Sunden explains:

ContributionsIndustryPR & Marketing

Six Ways Chinese Mobile Game Devs Can Improve Their Western PR Launches

April 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By James Kaye, Director of Big Games Machine

Lots of attention is given to helping Western developers launch their games in China. Virtually every gaming conference will feature at least one talk on the topic. Yet, there is little focus the other way round. This is largely because Chinese developers will often use a Western publisher. For the few that decide to self-publish, they will often seek the help of an agency partner.

James Kaye is Director & Co-Founder at Big Ideas Machine

Over the past few years, we’ve worked with several Chinese game developers wanting to launch their games in the West. As specialists in gaming PR and marketing, this means we often see developers making the same common mistakes, time and time again.

If you’re a Chinese developer, a publisher or even PR who has never worked with Chinese game developers before, here are six core areas we think deserve your attention. If you’re not a Chinese developer, then many of these tips will still likely apply to you.

ContributionsIndustry

Ever Wanted to Experience the World of the “Whale”?

March 17, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Sam Forrest, Director of Global Communications at KamaGames

In a high class, sophisticated casino in the 1960’s, Sylvia Trench sits at a Baccarat table. Luck is not on her side and so after losing 3 hands in a row, she decides to up the stakes. “I admire your courage Miss…” says the tuxedo wearing stranger across the table…“Trench, Sylvia Trench, I admire your luck… Mr…?” he lights a cigarette and replies with the line that will become synonymous around the world with, action, adventure, sophistication and cool…

“…Bond, James Bond”

In Sean Connery’s first appearance as Ian Fleming’s super spy James Bond in the 1962 film Dr. No, the movie opens with 007 playing Baccarat Chemin de fer. Chemin de fer was the original version of Baccarat dating back to when it was first introduce to France in the early 1400’s and was a favourite amongst French Royalty. The same version is still the most popular there today.

From French Royalty to the modern day “Whales” as they are known, Baccarat has always been a firm favourite of the serious player. In casino circles, a Whale would be a player that has a credit line of between $1,000,000 and $20,000,000 USD and often leaves the tables either millions of dollars up or millions of dollars down.

ContributionsIndustry

10 Ways to Kick Ass at Conventions

February 27, 2017 — by Chris Natsuume of Boomzap

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View from the Marriott Marque Hotel in San Francisco, California, photo by Emily Baker

Let’s face it, conferences aren’t cheap. Hotels, flights, dinners… even a small 3 day show is quickly hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. When you factor in lost time for travel and preparation… You’re going to want to maximize the value of that commitment.

For this article, I am focusing on B2B conventions, where you are mostly interacting with other companies in your sphere of influence. Consumer-based conventions require different skills and strategies, but much of this will still be meaningful.

ContributionsIndustry

Monetising Social – How Free Games Can Mean Big Business

February 25, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Ian Jones

Social gaming has been one of many fundamental shifts in online gambling in the last few years. Online casino operators in particular were quick to move on opportunities in social gaming, and the result was a new, pseudo-gambling form of gaming, where players could compete against friends within their online social networks, or just against other players more broadly in the style of arcade gaming. These games traditionally differed from gambling insofar as they didn’t pay any monetary return, leading some to question whether these games could really be described as gambling at all.

Game developers found workarounds, allowing players to pay for in-game advantage, or for extra chances to compete against their peers. But now, some operators are taking the business model to a whole new level, with alternative streams of revenue being generated in the process. But to what extent could this shape the social gaming environment in the months and years ahead?

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