The gaming industry has undergone a few major developments in the past few years. The popularization of digital distribution platforms such as Apple’s App Store, and Google’s Play, the widespread proliferation of highly-capable, internet connected mobile gaming platforms, smartphones, newer, faster hardware, and even new kinds of game play. This has resulted in a lot of change going on for consumers.
Gaming Industry is not limited to entertainment helps in promotion of brand and is found successful in leaving a positive impact on consumers behavior.
Some will come and go but the four trends are here to stay!
Free – To – Play
It seems like every big i OS game these days is free-to-play–rather than charging to download the title, these games rely on in-app purchases to make money. Zynga (and other Facebook) games work the same way–play for free, but bring your credit card just in case you want to buy some coins, money, or even donuts (in the case of The Simpsons: Tapped Out) to prolong the fun. It seemed like a fad for a while, I mean, how long could people be entertained while sinking money into Farm ville? The answer: long enough for a Farm ville 2 / Candy Crush / Subway Surf etc
The revenue brought in by the free-to-play model did not go unnoticed by big developers and publishers–in June 2011, Team Fortress 2 (TF2), VALVe’s extremely popular online multiplayer shooter went free-to-play, fueled by “the Mann Co. Store”, where players could buy hats, weapons, and other in-game, virtual items with real money.
Fads in mobile gaming may be short lived as games like Words With Friends, Draw Something, and Tiny Tower go from the number-one spot in the app store to clutter on your smartphone faster than the release cycle for Angry Birds spin offs, but the mobile platform and its casual gaming market is here to stay. With the proliferation and near market-saturation of smartphones, Apple, Motorola, Samsung, and everyone else in the mobile hardware industry did what Nintendo and Sony never could–got old people playing handheld video games.
The mobile gaming industry is estimated to be worth $48 bn by 2016 and companies are increasingly using its growing popularity to advertise and spread their message.
In UK alone, there are 20 million mobile gamer’s with around 6.2 million of them playing every day. Social enterprise making most of this market.
We all laughed when the Wii was originally announced. The jokes about the name rivaled the flood of cheap internet humor that followed the iPad’s unveiling. But look at us now–everyone’s got a motion game play peripheral of some sort for their system–Microsoft has Kinect, Sony has Move and in addition to the Wii Mote and Nunchuk, Nintendo has the Wii Fit as well as their new Wii U console. While we’re not getting rid of traditional controllers altogether, new control schemes are a huge boon to the industry–they not only have an inherent sense of innovation about them (it’s new, so it must be cool), they attract new consumers to the gaming market. Remember Guitar Hero? Everyone and their mother had that game and got really, really into it.
People bought multiple clunky plastic guitars (and eventually a bunch of other plastic tat with the release of Rock Band) that only worked with one game and loved every minute of it. Non-gamer’s found themselves picking up a controller (regardless of how proprietary and weird it was) and clicking away at Dragonforce tracks like mad. Fast forward a few years and publishers are on Dance Central 3 and Just Dance 4 wildly successful franchises that have players dancing the night away in front of their eerily onlooking Kinect. When there’s this much money involved, unusual controllers are here to stay.
Here’s one that is more of a hope than a certainty. More and more titles are coming out these days that involve a number of genres of game play working in collaboration in a multi-player setting and they look positively awesome. Players fight in large planetary environments, similar to the Battlefield games.
MMO players can provide assistance to FPS players on the ground, while ground troops can capture territory for players in the star ships above. Remember, these are two separate titles–how cool is that?
FPS players (the heroes) take the role of the troops being moved around, fighting in the battles their generals move them to. This style of game play is really exciting because it brings together gamers with different styles to create a game environment with strategic and narrative depth beyond that set by the developers. Cross-genre collaboration gives a new level of accountability and depth to strategy and action that is really exciting to see in the world of online gaming.