After I attended Casual Connect Asia 2014 in Singapore, I noticed three trends that could impact any game development business in the coming years:
Multi-Screen: Multiple Streams of Revenue
Multi-screen concepts provides a seamless experience as the player goes from his mobile phone to tablet computer to desktop / laptop computer looks to be a rising trend in the industry. While giving the player more of what they want (longer play time on your game, hopefully!), this also means that developers have opportunities to display more in-game advertising as well as offer more in-app purchase options.
With the availability of internet-enabled Smart TVs which can support various app stores like Google Play, there is a greater opportunity to create a more engaging experience with the game. Only a few titles seem to have a successful multi-screen strategy at the moment, one of whom is King Entertainment’s Candy Crush Saga, which is available on Facebook and on mobile devices. I’d expect that more games will offer these options in the coming years.
China as an Emerging, Hyper Competitive Market
It seemed like developers whether on stage of off the stage were talking about China in a big way. While markets like Japan and Korea are fairly inward focused with domestic developers dominating the top game chart, the Chinese market is seeing fierce competition between North American, European as well as Japanese and Korean game developers. At the moment, it appears that Chinese developers, with their understanding of the local market, are dominating the top app charts, aside from a few standouts like Fruit Ninja and Clash of Clans.
Lay All Your Eggs in Multiple Baskets
While most developers choose to launch their game on a single platform, in one language (usually English), in one country (usually the USA), this could place serious limitations on their game’s potential for success. Multiple presenters spoke in Casual Connect about simultaneously launching a game on multiple platforms (including Amazon’s app store, Samsung’s app store, Apple’s App Store and Google Play), in multiple languages and in multiple countries to maximize the chance of success.
If previous history is anything to go by, some games which have bombed in US market have gone on to go gangbusters in other countries. With the availability of technology like Unity 3D which lets game developers publish to multiple platforms simultaneously, the ability for developers to scale successfully is no longer an issue.