Games Industry Growth
ESA, known as the Entertainment Software Association, released a report earlier this week in partnership with Economists Incorporated, about the impact of the video games industry on economy in the United States.
Surprisingly, the key takeaway from the study found that the video games industry is growing 4 times faster than the U.S. economy.
Other interesting statistics from the study revealed that from 2009 to 2012, video game industry job growth increased 13 times the rate of the U.S. labor market - and the average annual salary of someone directly employed in the video games industry is $95,000.
You can take a look at more of the report’s findings here on GamesIndustry.
The Business of Games
Because video games have a relatively short life cycle and highly competitive nature compared to other industries, it can be difficult to create a long-term and sustainable business out of them.
But it isn’t impossible. Like other similar entertainment industries such as film and music, video game success is based on hits - meaning the majority of revenue comes from the top 10 or so games. This also means it’s important to hire a knowledgeable and skilled team of developers, who are able to think outside the box and innovate.
Since hiring a full-time developer can be costly, thankfully there are a few other options you can choose from, such as outsourcing work or oDesk, or hiring Hollywood talent on a project-by-project basis.
Before hiring staff though, you’ll probably want to have some sort of funding and capital. If you don’t have your own funds, there are three main options: Private (such as Venture Capital), public/crowdfunding (i.e. Kickstarter) and redirecting cashflow from future rights or existing ventures.
Game developer Paul Wu recently wrote an article on Gamasutra, highlighting the pros and cons of these different types of talent/funding, and also covered contracts and product lifecycles. You can take a look at the guide here.
Mobile TV Gaming
Earlier this year we saw a new trend emerge: set-top-box gaming with the Amazon Fire TV. Then just last month, the Android TV made a debut with the Asus Nexus Player.
The Amazon Fire TV never really took off, and it’s too early to tell how the Nexus Player will fare, but games industry leaders have already chimed in on where they think the future of mobile TV gaming lies.
William D. Volk, CCO at PlayScreen thinks that “games created for a multi-touch device held in your hand simply don't port well to the big-screen format”.
Jared Steffes of Furywing said “I think that the driving behaviour for bringing games to these boxes requires a gimmick which might become the expected behaviour eventually. That gimmick is multiplayer between the phones and tablets as the input devices and the TV as the hub/host of the endpoint of the action from the phones. Turn-based gameplay makes the most sense because each player can multitask on their phones.”
It will be interesting to see how the success of mobile TV pans out for 2015 - will it be a hit or bust? Check out some more insight on the topic from games industry professionals here on PocketGamer.