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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.

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.

ContributionsResearch

Predictive Analytics in Games

May 12, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By devtodev analysts, Vera Karpova and Vasiliy Sabirov

Currently, product analytics reached a sufficiently high level of development. Many analytical systems are equipped with a variety of tools that will tell in detail how users behave in the application: when they buy, where they live, how much they cost for the company and how they leave.

These tools have become a part of daily life, regular monitoring; assistants in the decision-making process – now it is a must-have for any project.

Funnels and segments don’t surprise anybody anymore, and as in any other business, having reached the top of one reveals a will to go further and improve.

In this regard, the sphere of analytics is no exception, and in the past few years a new kind of data analysis – predictive analytics – began to develop.

You’ll also have an idea of predictive analytics, if you monitor the metrics on a daily or even hourly basis.

For example, you know that usually at 12 a.m. there are about 20,000 users in your game, and today this indicator is much lower. It equals 15,000 users. You understand that there is a trend for decline, which means that it is necessary to find the cause as soon as possible and improve the situation before the indicator falls even more.

ContributionsIndustryResearch

The Next Level of Game Analytics: Biometrics

February 22, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Aleix Canals, Founder at Sekg

Video games certainly have evolved over the years and are different from one to another. However, there is one thing they have in common: the players. We all have a different experience while playing, as well as different emotions: frustration when losing, happiness to successfully finish a mission, angriness over an unfair or puzzling situation. Players all react differently during their gaming adventures, and it’s a major challenge to understand what makes the audience vibrate or, on the other hand, abandon the game. We wondered how to address this issue and be able to see what is on the other side of the screen; with the goal to create an engaging, long-term successful game, while understanding perfectly the audience’s expectations.

ContributionsResearch

Why “Big Bang” Games Die Out: Unmet Demand for New Content

November 15, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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A mobile game is able to soar up to top charts, and this is not that impossible: through raising high awareness before launch and getting fast adoption in the first few weeks after (or when awareness reaches critical mass). But the challenge lies in staying on top of the charts, not that much in breaking in there.

What usually happens to the so-called “big bang” titles (think of Clash Royale, Fallout Shelter and Pokémon Go) is that in a few weeks the passionate early adopters become less satisfied, and move on to the next big title or back to previous games they’ve played. “Leaving with them is the buzz and excitement that started the momentum behind the title to begin with. If developers can re-engage early adopters before they lose interest and switch to a different title, it can prolong the momentum behind mobile games and lead to more sustained user acquisition”, researchers from Nielsen suggest. They have analyzed several titles released in the last year that fit the “big bang” adoption curve and found the probable cause of this departure: unmet demand for new content.


ContributionsResearch

New Industry Report Reveals that Only 2 out of 10 Game Downloads Retain Users after 30 Days

July 26, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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By Connie Hwong, global content marketing director at Verto Analytics

Whether you’re a big-time game publisher or indie, the challenges that every mobile game developer faces are the same: acquiring users and keeping their attention well past download. It’s simple to say but hard to do: less than 20 percent of all game downloads result in active users after 30 days.

Even with real-time data and sophisticated mobile analytics, how many mobile gaming industry insiders really know what’s working well? Almost all game developers struggle to answer these questions:

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Finding (and Acting on) the White Spaces in Mobile Gaming

July 23, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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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.


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DFS: The Story of a Blue Ocean in Europe

May 12, 2016 — by Valery Bollier of Oulala Games

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ZEturf
First there was ZEturf, then came Oulala.

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.

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Oulala: Revolution in Fantasy Football

February 10, 2016 — by Valery Bollier of Oulala Games

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Oulala's website
Oulala is the most advanced daily fantasy football (soccer) game in Europe.

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.

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