Explaining the wide appeal of Stalin vs Martians, Mezmer Games executive producer Tom Söderlund puts it best: “One contributing factor to the success could be the high level of historical accuracy, that is completely missing from the game.”
Nielsen Games released its fourth quarter report “The State of the Video Gamer”, which highlights consumer demographics and behavior in the video game market. The key takeaways from the report:
More sophisticated consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 attract the more engaged console users, who are less likely to be watching television in Prime Time than users of other consoles.
The PlayStation 2, while still leading all other consoles in total minutes of usage, continues to have the highest downward trending rate of usage. Trending data suggests by the end of 2009, the PlayStation 2 will no longer be the most used console in the United States.
Females 25 years of age and older make up the largest block of PC game players accounting for 46.2 percent of all players and 54.6 percent of all game play minutes in December 2008.
The most played games on the PC are card games from Microsoft, with the most played game being Solitaire with over 17 million players for the month of December 2008.
Females 55+ over index in terms of their PC game play versus all other demographic groups.
Members of the video game industry industry have until May 1st to register for a free Industry Pass to the 2009 E3 Expo. Regular Expo Passes are $400 before May 1st and $500 after May 2nd. To qualify for an Industry Pass, attendees must register for the conference and submit two forms of Industry ID. For more information, visit http://www.e3expo.com/content/1126/pricing/.
According to press releases, E3 Expo currently has 90 percent of available space sold with over 100 exhibitors and is on-track to meet its attendance expectation of 40,000 qualified individuals. Exhibitors will include Activision Blizzard, Atari, Capcom, Edios, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, THQ and Ubisoft.
The 2009 event will take place in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 2-4.
TriplePoint held its second annual GDC party at our offices on Union Square, and this year was even bigger and better! Hundreds of guests from the video game industry – including journalists, developers, publishers and investors – turned up to take a respite from the frenetic pace of GDC and enjoyed drinks, a live DJ and our fabulous balcony view of San Francisco.
The main office featured drinks and the musical stylings of San Francisco’s DJ DTek. The conference room was turned into a Rock Band venue where heated battles ensured between “aspiring” singers and musicians. The highlight of the evening was our penthouse balcony overlooking Union Square, where guests gatherd to take in the breathtaking views of San Francisco and network with their fellow industry vets.
Industry analysts Screen Digest announced today that subscription-based massively mulitplayer online games revenue grew by 22% in 2008 and reached consumer spending levels of $1.4 billion in North America and Europe. The premium subscription-based model, often used to generate revenue in “free-to-play” games, showed significant growth of 11%. According to Screen Digest:
Consumer spending growth on non-World of Warcraft subscription MMOs grew at a robust 27% in 2008.
By 2013, the subscription market will top $2 billion in consumer spending.
Much of 2008’s growth has come from games that employ premium subscription models, which rely on freely “distributed, downloaded and accessed games” where “players are encouraged to sign up to a subscription to access premium content”.
Consumer spending on premium subscriptions grew by 11% year-on-year, from 35% to 46%.
OnLive Inc. announced their on demand video game platform at GDC this week. The OnLive service and console streams advanced video game instantly to any TV using their inexpensive MicroConsole.
The new platform is supported by many of the top names in the video games industry including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive Software, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, THQ Inc., Epic Games, Eidos, Atari Interactive and Codemasters. According to the press release, “it typically only takes a few weeks to extend an existing version of a game to work on the OnLive service, so there is little cost incurred by developers and publishers to support the OnLive platform.”
Speaking to Edge Online, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter commented, “We don’t expect an immediate impact [on console sales] (the service likely will be rolled out in early 2010), but think that if priced right, OnLive could favorably compete for 1-2 percent of the overall games market.”
eMarketer reported today that ad-supported game sites, or commonly known as casual gaming sites, saw “27% more unique visits and 42% more total playing time in December 2008 than in December 2007.” According to Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst:
“comScore’s measurements highlight the ongoing shift from high-cost, console-based gaming toward free, browser-based alternatives. This trend has been underway for some time, but the economic crisis has accelerated it. Given current economic and consumer behavior patterns, we expect to see ad-supported, casual games continue on an upward trajectory in 2009.”
Some of the sites highlighted included Yahoo! Games, WildTangent Network, and TriplePoint client Spil Games.