Platform Games
Since the last generation of consoles were released 7 years ago,the gaming industry has been through a seismic revolution ...
Contributers to this piece are:Mike Masuku, Senior Marketing Manager – Digital, SEGAPrash Mistry, Playstation GamerChris D...
In the latest 7 year console cycle, at least two newand powerful types of gamers have emerged with the rise inprominence o...
Mike Masuku:               ‘There are still some commonalities, particularly around demand               and quality. A ga...
Prash Mistry:           ‘Most of us would have grown up playing ‘Snake’ on the old Nokia           5146, but we wouldn’t b...
Tom Botting:               ‘…I’d say those that play games through social media and mobile               don’t necessarily...
Chris Dring:               ‘I would categorise social and mobile players as ‘casual players’               or as I prefer,...
Do you think that the social and mobile gamers valueconvenience over quality and what implications does this havefor the l...
Chris Dring:               ‘Not all gamers of social and mobile titles are casual gamers.               And there are plen...
Tom Botting:               ‘…I think convenience over quality, but also gameplay over               graphics, content or t...
Prash Mistry:         ‘Convenience is very powerful. It also helps that in times of         boredom or time passing, a gam...
Mike Masuku:‘social and mobile game developers remove the barriers tosuccess, which encourages a different kind of engagem...
Are we seeing a natural maturation of the gaming industry,where theres a far broader and more diverse audience thatcannot ...
Chris Dring:               ‘Developers need to put their games where consumers are. And               they are spending so...
Mike Masuku:               ‘In my opinion, right now the hierarchy is Publishers, Hardware               then social platf...
Tom Botting:               ‘I think social/mobile gaming has created a new audience of               gamers who would neve...
Prash Mistry:                ‘An all-round integrated service for gaming will be most useful to                everyone, s...
In part two of this piece we willexplore how these different gamingaudiences can be engaged and howpublishers, platforms a...
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Platform games

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Since the last generation of consoles were released 7 years ago, the gaming industry has been through a seismic revolution with social media and mobile technology creating completely new types of gamer. With the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft likely to be available later this year, we wanted to explore this fragmented gaming audience landscape and measure the challenge that lies ahead for the two giants.

In the first of a two part post, we interview four people from within the gaming industry to understand how they see the landscape and where the power to engage and own gaming audiences lies.

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Platform games

  1. 1. Platform Games
  2. 2. Since the last generation of consoles were released 7 years ago,the gaming industry has been through a seismic revolution withsocial media and mobile technology creating completely newtypes of gamer. With the next generation of consoles from Sonyand Microsoft likely to be available later this year, we wanted toexplore this fragmented gaming audience landscape andmeasure the challenge that lies ahead for the two giants.In the first of a two part post, we interview four people fromwithin the gaming industry to understand how they see thelandscape and where the power to engage and own gamingaudiences lies Gaming Insights
  3. 3. Contributers to this piece are:Mike Masuku, Senior Marketing Manager – Digital, SEGAPrash Mistry, Playstation GamerChris Dring, Games Editor MCVTom Botting, Xbox Gamer Gaming Insights
  4. 4. In the latest 7 year console cycle, at least two newand powerful types of gamers have emerged with the rise inprominence of social media and mobile. How wouldyou categorize this fragmented gaming audience and what, ifany, commonalities exist between them that can be exploitedby the new generation of consoles?
  5. 5. Mike Masuku: ‘There are still some commonalities, particularly around demand and quality. A gamer always wants quality, irrespective of the platform. It’s just that our interpretation of what quality is has to change dependent on the platform. For a mobile game, quality can actually mean the ease of play. It’s about repetition and retention. Short quick bursts. This is completely different from a console title, where quality is measured in the look and feel of the graphics and how long it takes for the narrative to unfold. It’s five minutes versus an hour. But it’s the same Price is also another commonality; the perspective of getting value for money can be transient across platforms. Whether you’re paying 1.99 for a mobile game or £50 for the latest console game…’
  6. 6. Prash Mistry: ‘Most of us would have grown up playing ‘Snake’ on the old Nokia 5146, but we wouldn’t be classed as a ‘gamer’. I wouldn’t categorize gamers by platform but by behavior. I’d say: Social gamer – All my friends are playing so it must be good Bored gamer – I only play because I have nothing else to do Entertainment gamer – I enjoy playing games and get a buzz out of it Hardcore gamer – I am going home especially to play my favourite game.’
  7. 7. Tom Botting: ‘…I’d say those that play games through social media and mobile don’t necessarily take gaming as seriously as those that invest in consoles and are more concerned with playing something to pass the time whilst on the go. The type of content they download and engage with is normally whatever is top of the charts or new that week, so it’s based on trends, in many ways it’s comparable to the Harlem Shake or LOLCats. I think the two are separate to some degree, I think that any mobile versions/extensions of XBOX games are pointless, but I think console gamers like the idea of retro games such as Golden Axe, Sonic and Streets of Rage being available on mobile and at the same quality they are used to at the time of release so that opens up a whole new area for ‘gamers’ ‘
  8. 8. Chris Dring: ‘I would categorise social and mobile players as ‘casual players’ or as I prefer, mainstream gamers. This is the same sort of audience that invested in DS and Wii. People that aren’t interested in 40-hour story-driven epics, but something light, well-built and with social elements. Consoles face a challenge to win over these players as buying a dedicated gaming machine is not something they feel the need to do anymore. If they can get a fun, simplistic (although I’m not saying all games on tablets and mobiles are simplistic, just the most popular ones are) gaming experience on a tablet, why would they need to go out and buy a PS4, Wii U or PS3? ’
  9. 9. Do you think that the social and mobile gamers valueconvenience over quality and what implications does this havefor the likes of PlayStation and Xbox in terms of engagingthem?
  10. 10. Chris Dring: ‘Not all gamers of social and mobile titles are casual gamers. And there are plenty of deep, hardcore experiences on these platforms. However, on the whole I believe the casual fans of these products do like the convenience and immediacy of mobile and tablet. The accessibility of Angry Birds, in terms of it being on your phone and its affordability, is far superior to New Super Mario Bros 2 on 3DS. However, consoles are starting to learn a thing or two from the mobile world. The fact that you can boot up PS4 in seconds, with all updates happening behind the scenes, is significant. As is the fact you can start playing your game before it is downloaded. This accessibility might make it easier for PlayStation to engage these fans. However, Sony’s marketing pitch – the future of play – is a telling one. PS4 isn’t being pitched as a multi-entertainment device like a tablet (although it is). It wants to win over the high-spending gaming audience first and foremost.’
  11. 11. Tom Botting: ‘…I think convenience over quality, but also gameplay over graphics, content or theatrics. Games like Angry Birds have become successful due to their addictive nature through simple gameplay. In my opinion the likes of PlayStation and Xbox don’t really compete however old school games are available to Xbox users to download via the dashboard so they can offer this service too’
  12. 12. Prash Mistry: ‘Convenience is very powerful. It also helps that in times of boredom or time passing, a game is always available in the palm of your hand, on a device that you will be carrying either way. The key things about playing on a console and why I would ideally like to play on one if I had the choice of both would be so I can be fully immersed into the gaming experience; with a large HD screen with amazing graphics, high quality surround sound, and communication with peers via a headset. If there was a way to continue my game, via my mobile, that doesn’t require those other facets of immerse gaming I mentioned earlier then that would be amazing!
  13. 13. Mike Masuku:‘social and mobile game developers remove the barriers tosuccess, which encourages a different kind of engagement withthe games. These gamers value ease, speed, price andaccessibility – if you want to call that convenience then yes, butit’s a different paradigm to console gamers. But consolesmanufacturers are looking to remove those barriers to quick andrepetitive gamely with the FTP market. We could see this at thePS4 event, when Sony mentioned nothing about the cost of thenew machine but spoke at length about enabling FTP andstreaming games. This ‘arcade mode’ is the middle groundbetween mobile & social gaming and immersive console games’
  14. 14. Are we seeing a natural maturation of the gaming industry,where theres a far broader and more diverse audience thatcannot be dominated by one type of technology or service? Inwhich case who has the most power to engage and retain theseaudiences? Game developers, hardware manufacturers or thesocial platforms?
  15. 15. Chris Dring: ‘Developers need to put their games where consumers are. And they are spending so much time on Facebook and iPhone and Android, and these are dominant players in the broader games industry. However, content is key. It is always about the games. Facebook and iPhone would not be interesting gaming platforms if developers aren’t making interesting games for them. The power to retain and engage audience has always been with the developers. Top game makers will pull gamers with them. Nintendo may be struggling right now, but its fortunes will turn around the moment they release Mario Kart (just look at 3DS) or another of its top, quality IP. The mass audience is particularly fickle, and will go from playing Wii obsessively on minute, to spending all their time down the cinema, to spending all their time on Facebook. Making great, attractive games is the best way to keep them engaged in the gaming market’.
  16. 16. Mike Masuku: ‘In my opinion, right now the hierarchy is Publishers, Hardware then social platforms. The ambition has to be to have one title across many game pillars and have gaming communities that are built around games, not platforms. In this world, the developers and the publishers have the power. But the challenge, which is not really being fully met yet, is to truly bake in social media as part of the experience. This is where the social and, to some extent, the mobile platforms hold the power. The big buzz tech is asynchronous multi-player where mates can ghost race each other or play against people that have already played hours before. This makes the whole experience more social…’
  17. 17. Tom Botting: ‘I think social/mobile gaming has created a new audience of gamers who would never normally have considered purchasing games on any platform, but with the introduction of games on mobile and the popularity of said games this has created a new era of gaming. With this in mind I think the social platforms have the most power’
  18. 18. Prash Mistry: ‘An all-round integrated service for gaming will be most useful to everyone, so you can continue your favourite console games from your mobile device, and enhance one overall score rather than start again on your mobile device. Game developers and hardware manufacturers will be forced to use social platforms to retain their audiences, as they offer more reach and accessibility to the wider audience, as opposed to signing into server specific forums and gaming hubs. Social platforms will set the tone for how gaming will be perceived and advertised to the wider audience and play a key role in making a game a success or a failure.’
  19. 19. In part two of this piece we willexplore how these different gamingaudiences can be engaged and howpublishers, platforms and hardwaremanufacturers must evolve…

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