Hello and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your gaming and media industry business guide. This Tuesday, we discuss how vital the mobile market has become for traditional gaming companies such as Microsoft, Sony and Take-Two Interactive. Also: another Call of Duty commitment from Xbox boss Phil Spencer and the sudden departure of gaming Twitter personality Nibel.
Mobile games are essential for survival
Speaking at the WSJ Tech Live conference last week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer made a statement that has become a common belief among the biggest names in the gaming industry over the past couple of years.
“There’s no way you can succeed as a game company without access to mobile players,” Spencer said in defense of the company’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Last fiscal quarter, Activision Blizzard generated more revenue from mobile games than from console and PC games combined.
Now that the biggest names in gaming are looking for new sources of revenue and users, they are quickly realizing that the biggest and most profitable untapped market is smartphones.
The audience for console games has reached a ceiling. This is not news, although it is rarely stated so bluntly. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have a combined install base of around 330 million.
- However, according to Spencer, many owners of those consoles have more than one device, and many new buyers of PS5 and Xbox series consoles are not new customers, but returning customers, replacing old hardware.
- Spencer said it was “imperative” for Microsoft to improve its position in the mobile gaming market to better compete with competitors and expand its audience.
- “This opportunity for us is really mobile,” Spencer said of the Activision deal. “When you think about 3 billion people playing video games, there are only about 200 million households with a console.
- Mobile games, on the other hand, account for an estimated $100 billion, more than half of all game play worldwide, according to market researcher Newzoo.
- Mobile is expected to grow by more than 5% this year, as other parts of the business begin to shrink after the pandemic-era gaming boom, Newzoo estimates.
Microsoft is far from alone here. Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Sony and others have laid out ambitious mobile plans over the past two years, often through strategic acquisitions and investments in mobile-dominated business models.
- “Mobile phones are getting more powerful and mobile games are getting more complex,” said Dennis Yeh, game insights lead at mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower.
- Yeh mentioned two other important developments that make mobile impossible to ignore now: “Cross-platform or cross-platform play is becoming more viable and desirable” while “free-to-monetization and live play” at the same time. [operations] industry is mostly moving, and mobile games were the first pioneers.
- “In developed markets such as the US and Western Europe, overall mobile spending is growing and consumers are increasingly willing to spend on mobile games,” said Yeh. “In emerging markets such as Latin America and Southeast Asia, mobile provides access to a wide audience, especially consumers who cannot afford a console or PC or do not have access to stable bandwidth.”
Microsoft’s competition has already invaded mobile. Electronic Arts spent nearly $4 billion last year. USD to purchase mobile studios. Take-Two spent nearly $13 billion to buy FarmVille developer Zynga.
- “We are proud to have 3.5 billion players in our addressable market.” It makes our brand accessible,” EA’s head of mobile, Jeff Karp, told Protocol earlier this year.
- “It’s really an opportunity to expand the overall ecosystem of the brand and creates practical recurring revenue,” added Karp. “It also gives us the ability to port our games across platforms.”
- “We were already a leader in the console and PC space, and we think we already had the best collection of intellectual property in that space,” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told The Wrap this month. “However, mobile phones are the fastest growing part of the interactive entertainment business.
- August. Sony has acquired its first mobile studio, Savage Game Studios, and created a brand new mobile division called PlayStation Studios.
- PlayStation Studios chief Hermen Hulst described the move as “incremental,” saying it will help Sony provide “more ways for more people to engage with our content.” Hulst added that the goal will be to “reach new audiences who are not familiar with PlayStation and our games.”
- PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan also cited expansion into mobile as a key factor in his growth strategy, including a plan through 2025. spend 20% of all games on smartphone platforms.
- “By expanding into PC and mobile, as well as into live services, we have the opportunity to go from being in a very narrow segment of the overall game software market to almost everywhere.” Ryan said back in May.
Mobile is not just a money printing machine. Companies need experience and teams willing to move quickly, update at breakneck speed, and maneuver the increasingly byzantine platform structures of Apple and Google, which generate most of their app store revenue by collecting fees from mobile games.
But the opportunity and existential need to diversify how games make money and survive in an ever-changing industry has made mobile the key to survival.
“If you’re going to make a long-term bet, what we’re doing is to be able to reach players on the biggest platforms that people play on … we want to be in a position where we have content, players and storefronts.” take advantage of it. Games are the largest form of mobile monetization and we are a games company.
– Nick Statt
Read more: For old game protection, a cell phone is essential to survival
MESSAGE FROM AT-BAY
in 2021 236 million occurred worldwide. cyber attacks. If there is an opportunity to sneak into company premises, cybercriminals will find it. In the digital age, no organization is immune to cyber threats. Size doesn’t matter.
find out more
“We are not taking over Call of Duty from PlayStation.” I know that’s not exactly what you asked for, but just punching it in the nose is not our goal. We’re not going to do that… as long as there’s a PlayStation to ship to, we’re going to continue to ship Call of Duty to PlayStation. Similar to what we’ve done with Minecraft since we’ve been running it. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer reiterates the company’s stance on Call of Duty. interview on the same brain podcast In the UK, Microsoft and Sony’s regulatory dispute flares up.
“There’s this misperception or idea that certain IPs are off limits… We don’t look at that at all. Dlala is a great example because there is no more expensive IP in this company than Mickey. It’s a great illustration that we’re not really married to a certain size of company to guarantee a certain intellectual property. We believe that the right developer is worth it, regardless of the size of their studio. — Sean Shoptaw, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Gaming at The Walt Disney Company, spoke with Gamesindustry.biz about the growing ambitions to license Disney characters and stories to independent game developers.
In other news
Electronic Arts is teaming up with Marvel to develop three new games. The FIFA publisher will develop three new Marvel titles, starting with the already announced Iron Man game from Squadrons developer Motive Studio.
More Marvel news: Marvel Snap explodes onto the mobile scene. According to AppMagic, Marvel’s new digital card game, published by ByteDance-owned Nuverse, earned more than $2 million in its first week.
In the third quarter, Meta sold about 470,000 Quest headphones. Based on Meta’s Q3 earnings report, AR Insider did some math to determine the expected sales numbers for the VR headset.
Netflix is buying its sixth game studio. The company bought Spry Fox, a mobile studio known for games like Triple Town and Alphabear.
The goal breaks Sony’s all-important street date. The retailer began selling Santa Monica Studio’s God of War: Ragnarök two weeks early, prompting a flood of spoilers on social media. The studio’s creative director, Cory Barlog, warned Target in a series of disturbing messages.
Comcast lost 561,000 TV subscribers in the third quarter. That’s up from 408,000 cord cutters in the same quarter last year.
Ralph Lauren joins the metauniverse. The clothing brand will launch its Fortnite collaboration tomorrow with a completely redesigned logo, in-game virtual clothes and items, and real-world merchandise drops.
China’s gaming market will shrink this year. China’s mobile-dominated gaming market will shrink by 2.5 percent, according to Niko Partners. — the first contraction in the 20 years the company has been tracking the market.
A new chapter of PlayStation London Studio. The UK game studio, known for projects that use cameras, microphones and VR, is shifting its focus to a PS5 title that will be its “most ambitious game to date”, the studio told GamesIndustry.biz.
The Twitter game is losing one of its biggest names
The Twitter account @Nibellion became inactive on Monday. The account’s owner, a high-profile but anonymous video game news aggregator who goes by the short name Nibel, said he was done with the platform.
Nibel indicated that it was not possible to make money the account has nearly half a million followers and distrust of Twitter’s leadership under new owner Elon Musk.
- “I’ve miscalculated the value of my Twitter activity and realize it’s not worth supporting for the vast majority of people,” Nibel wrote on his Patreon page, which launched in September, asking for $1 or $3 pledges.
- “I’m not popular, but that work is useful. It’s not valuable in itself, but it’s a convenient time saver, and I understand that now,” they added. “I couldn’t create a reliable source of income, but I’m still glad I tried.”
- Nibel has attracted nearly 500,000 followers, but Twitter has also failed to court and retain creators by helping them monetize their work on the platform. (See: Death of Wine.)
Nibel also talked about the tumultuous first days of Musk’s tenure how the owner of Twitter contributed to their decision.
- “I don’t trust the platform. I don’t trust Musk and his seemingly endless immaturity. I don’t think Twitter will collapse instantly, but it could die a slow death,” they wrote. “Why waste more time?”
- This was sad news for gaming fans. Nibel has consistently been one of the fastest and most reliable gaming aggregators among Twitter’s growing community of gaming enthusiasts.
- Although they did not produce journalism themselves, Nibelis quite often reinforced original sources and celebrated the work of other writers.
- Many in the industry have since posted messages of support for Nibel and mourned the loss of their voice in the community.
– Nick Statt
MESSAGE FROM AT-BAY
As the size of our economy now depends on technology, the lack of government regulation poses significant risks to businesses and ultimately to our citizens. If the government doesn’t act, insurance does.
find out more
Thoughts, questions, advice? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day, see you on Thursday.