Black Friday: Consoles Dominated but Online and Mobile on the Rise
This year’s Black Friday was a huge success for the gaming community, as the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ranked video games as the 5th top tech product among consumers between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
Furthermore, research firm Newzoo estimated that as much as $20B in video game sales are expected to be made in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, with most of the revenue coming from Black Friday events.
What were the most popular Black Friday deals in gaming? According to Larry Plotnick, category leader for Amazon Games, hardware and console bundles took the lead in Black Friday games sales, with big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy offering the best deals.
But online and mobile are changing the Black Friday landscape as well - CEA estimated a record breaking 103.3 million U.S. consumers (42% of the american population) shopped online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. A recent article on Fortune highlighted the topic, and asked our CEO Dmitri Williams about the influence of online and digital on Black Friday sales. He said “As we advance towards a focus on digital distribution and mobile games, the social impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is becoming more important than ever. Mobile and digital developers are using the holiday sales opportunity to leverage their most influential players to increase spending. Social influence during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can account for up to 40% of all spending within games.”
You can read the full article on Fortune here.
Mobile as an Ad Platform
Advertising was a big topic earlier this week at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in San Francisco. During one of the keynotes, Dave Madden of Electronic Arts’ mobile games division and several other advertising experts from video game publishers discussed the future of mobile gaming as an advertising platform.
Dave and the panel think that advertising is transitioning from traditional television to more interactive mediums such as mobile gaming, because in-game ads can be easily targeted to the relevant audience. They can also be part of a rewards and points system for in-game currency.
“The money is moving to mobile, where the ad is targeted and welcome,” Madden said. “The first beneficiaries are Twitter and Facebook, which know how to target advertising to users.”
Take a look at more of Dave’s insight on the topic here on VentureBeat.
Is F2P at a Turning Point?
Over the past few years, mobile app stores have been plagued with countless free-to-play games from the likes of Candy Crush to the money-hungry Clash of Clans. The business model has been around long enough to generate some controversy, especially among parents - who have started to question some of the more stealthy F2P game mechanics.
As a response, both Apple and Google have attempted to make consumers more aware of freemium games with updated app store language and improved parental controls, and premium games like Monument Valley have given hope to the core gaming community who want a no-frills experience.
So is F2P finally at a turning point, to where we’ll be seeing more traditional, premium games reaching the top of mobile games charts? Only time will tell, but for now check out this article on the Business of Games about the issue.