Wednesday, April 29, 2009

At "LA Games" Conference

My company is not in the gaming industry, but we have some technology that could be utilized in the market. So one of my VPs asked me to stop by the LA Games Conference to get a feel and understanding of the segment.

This is the middle of the second day, but some major themes are already emerging:
  • The iPhone and App Store has created an inflection point in how games are created and distributed. It has turned the economics and distribution of games on its head, and people are wondering what it means for phone manufacturers, carriers, creators and investors. In addition, it points to how cellphones and handheld games are merging/converging.

  • My favorite term from the show: Linger Time. Your mobile device will be the way you entertain yourself during Linger Time, whether it is gaming, browsing or social networking.

  • The line is blurring between Massively Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOG) and Social Networking sites (after all, when you go onto Facebook and poke around for a while you are basically playing a "game"). There will be a big effort in the future to combine these two now separate segments together.

  • A lot of time is being spent on "monitization" of gaming. Most people thing that while advertising will continue to be around, "virtual goods" via micropayments are the way of the future (Facebook sells through millions of virtual goods and of course it is a way of life on MMOGs)

  • An interesting panel on music and gaming discussed that up to 30% of music industry revenues is now coming from games, Guitar Hero being the obvious big one. (this percentage was disputed, but it is agreed it is large). Catalog companies are pushing older songs into games as way to keep revenues going, and there are several examples of "mainstream" musicians getting their starts in gaming.

There is a lot more, which I will post up here if I get some time. Interesting show.

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