Presented by TreasureData
The gaming industry is at a turning point. Learn how advances in mobile gaming, the integration of AR in real-world environments, the growth of streaming audiences, and 5G is about to transform the gaming world when you catch up on this VB Live event hosted by VentureBeat’s own Dean Takahashi.
Industry experts gathered to discuss the state of the gaming union and came to a consensus: While there are a number of trends converging right now on the industry to set the stage for the next evolutionary loop, mobile has been the single most transformative technology in the past twenty years.
The conversation ranged widely over a number of topics, including the history of mobile gaming and the opportunities that are opening up right now, and took a deep dive into the changes that 5G is about to bring to the industry as a whole. Here’s a look at just some of the topics the panel covered — for the whole, in-depth conversation, access the webinar here, free on demand.
Overall, our experts agreed that free-to-play on mobile has had the biggest pivotal impact on gaming revenue, bringing in more gamers to gaming, and increasing the overall gaming culture, which drives more purchases and subscription services.
It’s been a 15-year arc, says Nick Thomas, VP of commercial partnerships at Hatch. About every five years or so there’s been a change in the economy or the delivery mechanism of the content that’s moved in parallel with the advances in mobile device technology and power.
“Smartphones now rival the last generation of consoles,” Thomas says. “You have a combination of free games powered by these very powerful consoles in your pocket, which has essentially shifted the industry in a massive way.”
Looking forward, you can’t talk about mobile gaming without looking at the rollout of 5G networks. The lower latency, greater capacity, and tremendous speed of 5G means mobile games can get more and more sophisticated and offer better performance and deeper engagement. It’s making higher-end gaming experiences more portable.
“Even in the early days, it’s remarkably better than 4G, but it will get better from here on forward,” says Bryan Fries, VP of 5G strategy at Sprint. “It takes what’s already a very good experience and supercharges it.”
Along with the increase in mobile players, 5G will bring a demand for diversity of content. It will be harder to establish franchise titles, and the challenge will be to ensure the quality of content does not suffer in the rush to satisfy demand.
5G is also going to generate more data because of the increased bandwidth, says Marc Cook, solution account director at Treasure Data. This will be a huge advantage to developers looking to analyze and understand their game performance and their audience.
The next stage is how content gets redefined, Fries adds. Increased capacity and improved latency offers huge leaps in the responsiveness of interactions, making them real-time and opening the door to technology like augmented reality and quality VR games. You can detach yourself from wires once you’re able to do ultra-high-definition streaming into each eye over a wireless network.
“AR can be very addictive and well-received,” Fries says. “As the technology enables the experience in richer ways — greater capacity, better latency — those experiences will only get better, and that’s going to stoke demand.”
To capitalize on these trends, Thomas says, the most important thing to do is to have an open mind about this new reality on our doorsteps and to get engaged.
“This will be an evolution,” he says. “Nothing changes overnight. It’s going to take time for these new platforms and technologies to proliferate, for customers to find them, and for the models to grow. If you accept the premise that 5G is a game-changer, then this is a pivotal moment.”
The second step from there is to get involved, learn more about the platform: how it works, what’s involved, how you participate, what the revenue opportunity looks like. How can you begin to experiment and engage in a way where you can gather first-hand information and data on what’s working, what’s not, what games are successful, what games are seeing the best results and so forth. That can then inform your strategy and thinking moving forward as you consider your business and where you want to place your bets, invest your time and resources, in order to see the best return on those investments.
“With the increased data volume and capacity to move the data that 5G will offer, you also need to get ahead of that from an analytics standpoint and shift toward the strongest analytics systems that you can possibly have and afford,” says Cook. Look at systems that can handle all the telemetry, touch and tap, session data from mobile games and then bring that into a place to combine that with an understanding of the customer from transactions, from marketing, and from social, combining that with the game data into one platform to have true 360.
Too many gaming companies, even some of the biggest in the world, have silos, and don’t have a complete view of the customer. With 5G it’s easy to get data moved around into a system where you can have that greater understanding and continue to iterate on your game.
Data is also essential to drive personalization not just across your game, but how you’re touching the customer in every other way offline, and 5G is a part of that story.
Imagination and collaboration are the biggest keys, Fries adds. It’s always hard to imagine something that doesn’t exist yet, but publishers need to start thinking how to use the massive increase in the amount of data available about customers and their behaviors to get more familiar with them in ways that will be value-added. How it can empower more seamless interactions, less irrelevant engagements, and more relevant engagements.
On the other side of this is content creation.
“We need to break down legacy ideas about what content is, how we’ve defined it to this point, and how it can be used for customer entertainment going forward,” he explains. “For a while we’ll continue with the content we’re familiar with, just consuming it in different ways. But how that content evolves is a tremendous opportunity.”
For the whole conversation about the ways that 5G is already transforming the industry and creating new breakout opportunities, the massive changes that are already happening as developers of every size and tech companies start to collaborate, and what the new 5G-powered world is going to look like, access this industry roundtable now!
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What this webinar will cover:
A historical look at gaming revenue and the impact of mobile networks Analysis of gaming demographic shifts, and what could happen when “peak millennial hits peak gamer” Inside data on esports, streaming audience growth, and what we can learn from “stick and ball” revenue models Predictions on the next generation of gaming experiences, and when these trends will converge and disrupt the industry
Marc Cook, Solution Account Director, Treasure Data Nick Thomas, VP Commercial Partnerships, Hatch Bryan Fries, VP 5G Strategy, Sprint Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat