20090508 Friday Food
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20090508 Friday Food Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Jan Van Looy Jan Van Looy MICT – IBBT / Ghent University Video Games, a Medium for the 21st Century? Ghent, 8 May 2009
  • 2. This Presentation
    • Introduction: a (new?) form of popular culture
    • Game industry today
      • Segments (platforms)
      • Actors & value chain
      • Financing
      • Market
    • Game industry in Flanders
    • How to support Flemish developers
    • The importance of research
  • 3. Some History
    • 1962: Space War , Steve Russell (MIT) -> mainframe games
    • 1972: Pong , Nolan Bushnell (Atari) -> arcade games
    • 1981: Donkey Kong , Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo) -> consoles, homecomputer, PC
    • 1993: Doom , John Romero (id) -> 3D gaming
    • 2000: ??? online persistent worlds à la World of Warcraft, Playstation Home ?
  • 4. Games and Film
    • Both:
    • technological origin (vs. artistic)
    • initially not taken seriously: movies, games (vs. cinema, interactive fiction)
    • popular background (cf. novels, comics)
    • played on public fairs (cafés, arcades), coin-operated
    • then move to private home (TV, consoles)
    • slow but steady move to become storytelling medium
    • move towards industrial-size production
  • 5. Gaming today
    • 95 to 100% of British teenagers games (BBC 2005)
    • 75% of Flemish teenagers games (OIVO 2008)
      • 90% of boys, 60% of girls
      • “ do you play sometimes” vs. “have you played in the last six months”
      • Have you?
    • Average gamer: 26 to 31 years and rising
      • Grows with generation
      • Diversification of game genres (party games, casual games, mobile phone games, facebook games)
    • Move towards social play (natural condition)
  • 6. A Billion-Euro Industry
    • Global turnover: > €25 billion
    • Development budgets: up to €20m (+ marketing, boxing, licensing: up to €50m)
    • Turnover blockbuster games, e.g. Grand Theft Auto : €600m
    • More at stake: convergence, battle for the living room (console as media hub)  games, web browsing, chat, pictures, music, video rental, video recording, VOIP, …
  • 7. Industry segmentation
    • Console
      • ‘ living room’ devices: Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360
      • Handhelds: Nintendo DS, PSP
    • PC
      • Premium AAA games
      • Web (flash) games
      • MMOs, e.g. World of Warcraft
      • Serious games
    • Mobile
      • Java games, e.g. Snake
      • Smartphones: IPhone, Nokia Ngage, Blackberry
      • Location-based, e.g. City Games
  • 8. Actors & Value Chain
    • Game Developers (e.g. Larian)
      •  Create the game: programming, graphics, 3D, animation…
    • Game Publishers (e.g. Electronic Arts)
      • Bankers of the sector, financing based on prototype or subcontract work for hire
      • Often control IP, organize marketing, merchandising
    • (Distributors)
      • Distribute games to retail, fewer and fewer
    • Console makers (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft)
      • Make hardware, guarantee compatibility
      • Make DVD, Blu-Ray
    • Retail (Fnac, Mediamarkt)
  • 9. Financing
    • Differs greatly between segments, e.g. AAA vs. mobile
    • Console game (biggest market):
      • Developer has idea, seeks initial funding (bank loans, business angels etc.)
      • Developer builds prototype, vertical slice, 1 level (100 to 500k), goes to publishers
      • Publisher believes in prototype, pays for development (5 to 20m), per milestone
      • Console maker presses DVDs, takes up to 10% per ex.
      • Retailer sells DVD, takes %
      • Developer starts receiving royalties only after break-even for publisher
  • 10. Tendency: Value Chain Broken
    • Publishers buy developers
    • Distributors are sidestepped by publishers (direct contracts with retail)
    • Console makers become publishers
    • Publishing console makers buy developers
    • Console makers become retailers, open online stores (Xbox, Playstation)
    • Developer becomes publisher, distributor, e.g. Valve (Steam platform for PC)
    •  Full vertical integration
  • 11. Game Sales in Belgium
    • Turnover 2006 (software): €154m
    • Strongest growth of home entertainment segments: +10%
    • Last year passed audio, video soon
    * Source: Blisa
  • 12. Study “Youth and Gaming” ”
    • Commissioned by viWTA (Flemish Parliament)
    • Three parts: society / education / industry
    • What does the Flemish game industry look like and how can it more firmly be embedded?
    • Literature survey & stakeholder interviews
    • Led to Parliamentary resolution, July 2008
  • 13. Why a game industry in Flanders, culturally?
    • Popular cultural form like any other  certain cultural images, preconceptions  film, tv, theatre, literature, visual art, graphic novel etc are all supported, why not games?
    • ‘ collateral’ cultural impact: copywriters, concept artists, musicians, animators, 3D designers, storyboarders etc.
    • Belgium has a rich history in comics and animation film (cf. Japanese manga/anime & Nintendo)
  • 14. Why a game industry in Flanders, economically?
    • Foreign investment
    • Employment
      • Work-intensive (up to 150 people/game, e.g. Killzone 2)
      • Average to high-profile jobs
      • High motivation (danger of flight of human capital)
    • Industrial periphery: computer simulation, visualisation, 3D scanning, advergaming, film special effects etc.
    • European knowledge economy
  • 15. Game development in Flanders
    • Around 10 relatively young SMEs
    • Three segments
      • Console/PC: Larian, Oudenaarde, Divine Divinity , 1m ex., Ketnet Kick, 40-60 pers, 3y
      • Internet/casual: Nuclide, Antwerp, 5 people, 1y
      • Mobile phone: AIM, Antwerp, 3 people, 4 months
  • 16. Challenges for the sector
    • Startup cost (development prototype, up to 10 people, 1y, €500k
    • Qualified personnel
    • Investment climate (lack of knowledge, figures, bad image)
    • Lack of research: technological, market, user
    • Weak negotiating position on intellectual property
  • 17. Possible initiatives
    • (Pre-)production fund (cf. VAF)
    • Master in Game Development (international, industry-oriented, cf. HKU)
    • Activation of venture capital (tax shelter)
    • (Applied) research (cf. Sweden, Holland ‘Gate Project’, €10m)
    • Incubator, grow and spin off companies
  • 18. What Kind of Research?
    • Technological research, e.g.
      • Facilitating middleware, e.g. format conversion
      • MMO server balancing
      • Sensor tech for input devices
    • Applied research, e.g.
      • Serious gaming: apply game tech to other fields: education, training, simulation
      • Research new forms of gameplay, visual representation
    • Experience research, e.g.
      • Link gamer motivations with types of gamers, genres
      • Develop powerful methods for measuring ‘depth’ of experience
    • Problem: [2] & [3] currently not widely accepted as research
  • 19. MICT C urrent & Future Gaming Research
    • Map gamer motivations, identify different groups, correlate with preferences e.g. media / gaming survey, see www.mict.be
    • Develop scales for measuring different types of game experience, e.g. serious games
    • Develop methods for cost-efficient playtesting of prototypes  IBBT, iLab.u, GameXP Lab
  • 20. More info:
    • Studie “Jongeren en gaming” www.viwta.be
    • Parlementaire resolutie http://jsp.vlaamsparlement.be/docs/stukken/2007-2008/g1735-3.pdf
    • [email_address]  Questions?