What’s coming next in the game industry? It’s a vital question for all game developers and publishers; if you are not constantly aware of coming possibilities, you may not be able to profit from them or even stay relevant.
At Casual Connect Asia, Nelson Rodriguez, shared some exciting developments that will completely change how games are made, played and distributed. Nelson, head of Akamai Technologies media and games industry marketing strategy, has the experience and perspective to offer in how to be ready for the future. They have helped in the launch of dozens of games across every platform, from blockbusters such as Halo 3, Tekken 5 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood to the indie games Tweet Defense and A Kingdom for Keflings.
Nelson described an emerging revolutionary platform that very few developers have focused on. After talking with leading technologists and companies worldwide, they predict that within five years everyone will be rushing to catch up. Nelson pointed out, “GM attended DICE and created a research division to create gamification and infotainment for cars,” as an example of what to expect with car companies investing in game technology. This unique platform is just over the horizon, so be ready! To learn more about it and the possible effects, be sure to watch this video of Nelson’s full presentation at Casual Connect.
Casual Connect USA 2017 is coming up August 1-3 in Seattle, Washington. While it will feature details on all sides of the industry, from game creation to marketing and publishing, the Design Innovation track in particular will take place on Tuesday, August 1 introduced by EMCEE Mike Hines, Developer Advocate at Amazon.
Innovation from Experimentation
Prototyping can be productive but perilous, with great rewards coming from experimental designs. Scott Jon Siegel, Indie Developer and Game Design Consultant, wants developers to not worry about failure and focus on the rewards that can be had from experimentation.
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.
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.
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.
2017 is the year cloud gaming arrived for mobile! Now it’s possible to stream and play mobile games directly over the cloud. What will this mean for your business? Vesa Jutila, Co-Founder and Vice President of Content and Commercial Partnerships at Hatch Entertainment can help you answer that question.
Hatch Entertainment is a new social gaming service and is set to change the way we play games. Vesa and the team have built an inspiring, high-quality game collection for Hatch. Previously Vesa held a variety of executive positions at Rovio.
At Casual Connect Asia, Vesa explored the opportunities coming through cloud gaming for developers of full-featured premium games with no in-app purchases. He described, “We made it very simple and easy for ordinary people to try out new games, have fun with great games and really share this fun with their friends.” With cloud gaming we may soon be seeing mass market penetration for premium mobile games. PC and console-first developers could have a new way to reach the massive mobile game audience. Watch this video of Vesa’s session at Casual Connect and learn what you need to know to be ready for cloud gaming on mobile.
A new organization, the Nevada Esports Alliance (NVEA) is aiming to make Nevada the premiere location for esports in the world. The organization officially debuted on February 9 with the singular goal of advancing the development of Nevada as a global esports hub.
The Deep End Games made a splash on the gaming scene in mid-2015 when they announced Perception, their first-person narrative horror adventure game that puts players in the shoes of a blind woman who uses her hearing and wits to solve mysteries and escape a deadly presence inside an abandoned mansion. The game and studio has been featured in publications such as IGN, Kotaku and PC Gamer.
Here is a quick look at how the studio and game came to be – and some key takeaways other developers might be able to benefit from.
The Deep End Games is the husband-wife team of Bill and Amanda Gardner – who run the studio out of their home. Bill has a history in game development – working at Irrational Games in many positions and on multiple projects – while Amanda has extensive history in writing and English.
Have a unified lifetime value perspective for user acquisition. - Dave BiscegliaClick To Tweet
Dave Bisceglia is Co-Founder and CEO of The Tap Lab. At this mobile game studio, based in Cambridge, MA, Dave focuses on game design, product management and business development. During the past two years, since Gamesauce last talked with Dave, The Tap Lab has transitioned from self-publishing their own IP to working with major publishers and third-party IPs. Dave’s role as CEO now is concentrated much more on business development and relationships with publishers and IPs. They emphasize, “We’ve been fortunate to work with some great partners on projects we’re passionate about.”
'Getting to make games people love and playing alongside them is a beautiful thing.' - Sean LeeClick To Tweet
Translating local success to the global market can be difficult. At Casual Connect Asia, Head of Business Development for Fincon, Sean Lee, delved into the lessons learned in finding success in South Korea and overseas. By overcoming cultural barriers, differences in net infrastructure and more, including being named the 2015 Studio to Watch by Facebook, the lessons are abundant. They started off by building a community. Sean reflected, “What use is making a good game with no one to play it?” They selected two platforms to start off with: Facebook for the global community and Naver Cafe for the Korean community. Learn how they found success in the video below.
The best way to be creative isn't to follow a bullet list.'– Henning KosmackClick To Tweet
With 5 multi-million user titles already, MegaZebra CEO Henning Kosmack shared what they learned about choosing the next titles, setting up teams and creating ever-green franchises. During his presentation at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Henning advised,”Go for evergreen potential because the long tail of the game can be very profitable.”