With the start of the new year and some exciting emerging technology from events like CES 2014, we’ve put together a weekly roundup of the best video game, analytics, and social-gaming news/insights. Take a look at a few of our top picks from the last week:
2014 Gaming Trends: Wearable Tech, VR, and AR at CES
Last year, Oculus made headlines by raising over $2M for its first iteration of a Virtual Reality gaming headset called the Rift. Earlier this week, the company made a return at CES 2014 by debuting its second prototype, call the Rift “Crystal Cove” - adding 1080p, an AMOLED screen, and several other features.
For several of you old-time 1990’s gamers, you probably remember Nintendo's short-lived VR headset, the Virtual Boy which was considered a complete failure - fast forward to 2013 as technology has advanced, and the Oculus Rift has gained favorable support and praise from fans and the industry. What does this mean for the future of gaming?
With physically interactive consoles like the Wii U and Xbox’s Kinect, wearable tech with built-in Augmented Reality features like Google’s Glass, and now Oculus Rift, VR and AR is quickly going from a fad to reality. These technologies are already changing the face of the gaming industry as new user demographics come in from all ages and interests, and developers have started integrating VR and AR into their games more often - further blurring the line of what’s real and what’s not.
Here’s a nice discussion with Chris Charle and Marty Sliva at CES 2014, about how VR/AR is a major component to the future of gaming: http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/01/07/five-trends-that-will-define-the-future-of-gaming
Survival-horror-MMO/Arma II mod DayZ recently gained notoriety for its alpha funding tactics of developing a partial game, putting it for sale on Steam, and using the money it gained from funding to further continue development.
While it isn’t an easy approach to video game development and marketing as there is an increased pressure to implement updates and respond to customer support more often, the tactic allows developers to essentially bootstrap/crowdsource their game and not have to rely on investors.
Minecraft is a great example of how alpha funding can work and become profitable, and has been doing this for years - as they debuted their beta in 2009, and continue to function in a “beta” style of development, updating the game on a weekly basis. Minecraft’s parent company, Mojang AB was worth $80 million in mid-2012, and in October 2013 12.5 million copies of Minecraft were sold on PC, with over 33 million copies across all platforms.
GamaSutra recently put together a great article on tips for alpha funding games: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/197190/when_players_buy_your_game_before_.php
We’ll be covering more on the game industry and game analytics each week. What do you think are going to be the biggest gaming trends for 2014? Let us know in the comments below.