17th of December 2012 by Evgenia Kutsa, Marketing Associate at Ciklum
The world video gaming industry is expected to hit 9% yearly growth through 2013, to exceed $76 billion, according to Business Insights. Innovative mobile and online gaming formats will encourage the market, with customers taking benefit of broader and faster mobile internet access. Console gaming, the market’s current segment leader, will see its rate of sales decrease, according to Industry Reports.
The video game industry has taken a central place in entertainment culture for both children and adults since the first video game was presented on the market around 45 years ago. Far from the lonesome activity it may have been traditionally, online gaming presupposes communities and is grounded on interaction.
Gamasutra kicks off its annual year-end roundups with five trends that defined the gaming market in 2012. Let’s have a look at them.
Even though there had been a large number of Kickstarter campaigns for games in the past couple of years, it was Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure in February that opened the doors to crowdfunding for gaming market, introducing new possibilities for the industry and giving the lead for the rest of the year. Double Fine Adventure raised more than $3.3 million and beat previous records for Kickstarter. Still not all creators used Kickstarter for crowdfunding. For example, Chris Roberts, best known for his work on Wing Commander, launched a crowdfunding campaign on his own website, and only then added a Kickstarter campaign. In the long run, he reached a combined total of over $6.2 million in funds for his spacefaring game Star Citizen.
This year, social game developers appropriated even more time and finances to mobile platforms, as Facebook’s most dedicated players embraced games on their smartphones and tablets. Facebook has assisted in facilitating the mobile adoption for game developers who were previously focused on browser-based social games. With millions of new phone activations happening each year, mobile hardware becoming more dominant and Facebook itself concentrating its efforts on mobile, 2013 will continue to see the development of this transition, in all parts of the industry.
The global market for MMO games keeps on growing at a rapid pace. Meantime, the number of MMO titles is rising even faster year-on-year and blockbusters such as League of Legends and World of Tanks take the growing share of the pie. As the result, the global competition has enhanced and individual game revenues are under pressure. The recent series of reports released by games market research firm Newzoo shows a 28% increase in this year’s consumer spending on MMO games in the European Union (EU) countries compared to 2011. It is worthy of the note that the US market is lagging behind: it only shows 14% increase of the average gamers’ spending.
This process already started last year, but the tendency continued in 2012 as well – mid-level developers and their games are falling out of the picture. If you want to withstand and prosper in triple-A, and compete with the Call of Duty, the Gears of War, the Assassin’s Creed and the Halo, you’re going to need a whole lot of money and a whole lot of talent. And even if you possess those virtues, nothing is certain.
This formula works for big budget games as well. The competition in the free MMO space has gotten so intense in the past few years, that more and more top notch games get converted into free-to-play models, and new games hit the market with no need to pay for them. Ubisoft’s boss (French global video game publisher and developer) Yves Guillemot says that free-to-play games are a publisher’s best chance to make money in a PC gaming market where piracy is eating severely into profits.
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