This Week In The Business: They Are The 0.15 Per Cent

This Week in the Business: They Are the 0.15 Per cent

STAT | 0.15% — Percentage of mobile gamers that provide 50% of the revenue for free-to-play games, according to analytics firm Swrve; this was taken from data for January from tens of millions of mobile game users.

Elsewhere in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "Every year there are fewer and fewer titles and they are less and less innovative." — Xbox co-creator Ed Fries, on the console industry and what the pressures of AAA game publishing are doing to it.

QUOTE | "It's probably not two years away before a mobile device is giving you the game experience of the equivalent console." — Nvidia's Tom Peterson, on the relentless improvement in PC and mobile graphics.

QUOTE | "The hate mail we got made Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs look like Sesame Street." — Dan Pinchbeck, creative director at The Chinese Room, on the response to their horror game.

QUOTE | "When are we going to see that gay protagonist in a AAA game? Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it'll impact sales." — Lucien Soulban, Ubisoft Montreal writer, on gay characters appearing more frequently in games.

STAT | 100 million — Number of registered users in Minecraft, as revealed by Notch; the game currently has a 14.3% conversion rate to paid accounts.

QUOTE | "Currently a lot of Japanese developers can't actually tell what the North American audience wants." — Mighty No. 9 developer Keiji Inafune, on why more Japanese developers aren't crowdfunding games.

QUOTE | "There's a very tiny subset of games and publishers and developers who have cracked the code on eSports." — MLG president Mike Speso, on how eSports is an important part of game development.

QUOTE | "The very fact that something is trendy is often a bad sign ... because it means you're following the crowd." — David Braben, head of Frontier Developments, on why they are sticking with publishers instead of self-publishing.

QUOTE | "The use of the word 'free' as such, and without any appropriate qualifications, should only be allowed for games which are indeed free in their entirety." — Statement from the European Commission taking the position that games offering in-app purchases should not be labelled 'free,' after complaints from consumers.

STAT | 322,083 — Number of PlayStation 4 consoles sold in Japan over two days, according to Famitsu; this beat out the launch of the Wii U which sold 308,570 units in the same period.

STAT | 2 million — Number of players that joined the Titanfall beta, according to Respawn; the game suffered problems for about seven hours, but Respawn said the test will help them perform well when the game launches.

This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International Image by Giulio_Fornasar [Shutterstock]


    Your link for the .015%; who i now despise and can solely blame for the proliferation of the scumbag soul sucking disease ridden scheme of free to play and its evolution fee to pay, is broken it only links back to the home page.

    You hear me 0.15% I'm going to kill you :P **** points finger and shakes angrily****

      You got here before me - was going to say... so we only need to eradicate this 0.15% and then gaming can be pure again?

    Amnesia: a machine for pigs. Was a great game.

    This makes me really sad, that points to a massive gaming addiction for 0.15% of gamers, and is quite possibly ruining their lives. Much like the clubs make most of their Pokey money off a small percentage of their customers, usually ones that really can't afford it.

      Before I even saw your mention of pokies. I too was thinking gambling addiction.

      According to the statistics I heard it's 0.8% of gamblers who have a problem.

      You can't tell me that out of 1000 people it's a mere 8 who are keeping a club/pub afloat? Especially when you consider that the Club only takes about 5% of the machines take.

      Essentially put 8 people need to put in $200,000 for the club to get $10,000.

      All my information comes from Responsible Service of Alcohol and a Responsible Service of Gaming certification I did some years ago. And yes there are a lot of tricks to getting people to spend more money. A Free Drink when you put $20 in the machine is a method some casinos use.

      Personally I dislike the machines and find them boring, The only way I'd put a $1 in one is if you paid me and provided the $1.

        > Personally I dislike the machines and find them boring, The only way I'd put a $1 in one is if you paid me and provided the $1.

        I've played a real life poker machine exactly once in my life, which won a moderate sum, and where somebody else provided the dollar. I told them to keep the money.

        I had probably been immunised to some degree by playing the Poker Machine game on the Atari 2600. If there's one thing that teaches you how silly poker machines are it's playing with simulated money.

        You would probably find that half the club patrons put in $20 a week and 1% put in $100-200 a week. That would reflect a similar pattern of 1% of patrons providing 50% of revenue.

          Understand I have in fact played one in real life, it was just after I had turned 18.

          I also have first hand experience with a Problem Gambler and the lives they destroyed around them. As they desperately tried to hide their losses and make it always look like winnings. As far as I know the ATM always pays out.

            Yeah, I had a friend who was properly into the pokies for a while, and the only time he'd mention them was when he'd "put in twenty, and pulled out nine hundred", or whatever.
            Then he came and visited for a week while I had uni work to do and was therefore leaviing him alone in my flat for eight hours a day. He went home after two days and I found out later through another friend that it was because he'd lost two grand down the local Club and couldn't afford to stay.
            Tl:dr, Pokies are stupid, and people who play them too much only ever tell you about the wins. Insidious and nasty, they are, no question.

        We do the accounts for our local soldiers club, and they monitor the gamblers, it is a very very small portion of gamblers that supply the most money. And many of them are retirees/pensioners who put *all* of their money through them, then subsist on the food vouchers/ free meals that the club provides.

    "Every year there are fewer and fewer titles and they are less and less innovative.”

    I have seen this over the PS3 and 360 generation, it's quite sad really.

      Yeah, games like The Last of Us were really terrible, amirite?

        The story and graphics are good, but the game play was just a modified version of what they did with Uncharted it was less Innovative.

        How about God Of War, same game since the original apart from the shoe horned multiplayer in the latest one.

        How about Gears of War?
        How about Uncharted?
        How about Halo?
        How about Killzone?
        How about Call of Duty?
        How about Battlefield?
        How about Assassins Creed?

        Should i name more?

    “When are we going to see that gay protagonist in a AAA game? Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it’ll impact sales.”
    Really? Shepard could be gay in Mass Effect and there have been others recently (though I really don't want to spoil anything).
    This is only from my experience but I'd say it's bound to become more common in the next two years.

    Last edited 03/03/14 6:38 am

    QUOTE | “It’s probably not two years away before a mobile device is giving you the game experience of the equivalent console.” — Nvidia’s Tom Peterson, on the relentless improvement in PC and mobile graphics.

    Oh, naive Tom Peterson.
    Not two years away for an equivalent game experience as a console? No. Not even close.
    Maybe he meant graphics experience?
    I can understand why he would confuse the two as being the same thing, given that he works for nvidia.

    But controls, people. Screen size. These are big factors. Some of the largest battles of the Console Wars are over the former, and unless you can plug your hand-held into a Rift, you're simply not getting the same eyeball real-estate. Especially if your fucking ridiculous touch-screen controls are taking up a quarter of the screen, like every 'action' mobile game does today.
    That's a vastly fucking inferior game experience.

    If that's to be a 'solved problem', it'll need to hit the eyeball-real-estate problem (probably with a wearable - google glass-style), and it'll need to fix the controller issue (so given that screen is no longer a factor, the engine can be lurking inside of a decent-sized controller, which will communicate with your wearable.

    But no-one's actually moving in that direction because everyone's chasing all that touchscreen smart-phone gaming money, and working to improve that, so the best we're likely to see in two years is a really powerful smart-phone/gaming device that's still far, far, far shittier a gaming experience than consoles in terms of visuals and controls, even if it is playing at an equal or better resolution/framerate.

      This is why I can't wait for smartphone games to crash because its fooling analysts and the people who hold the purse strings that people are going to be satisfied with shitty controls.

        I don't think smartphone gaming is going anywhere. It's targeting a completely different market to the traditional gamer market, which is what's getting everyone everywhere confused. You got game developers who make games making mobile-games (which aren't 'games'), which is alienating Gamers who were expecting those developers to make actual Games.

        Then you've got folks making Actual Games on the platform who aren't seeing the kind of returns the not-games are getting, because the people who are spending the money on the not-games aren't Gamers. They're a different group altogether. A group who spends more money and is happier with less.

        So publishers who have traditionally just supported regular games are asking, "Why are we spending hundreds of millions of dollars for a billion dollars revenue when Rovio can spend tens of thousands on a mobile game that makes billions of dolalrs revenue?" and pushing their game-devs into being mobile-game-devs. And game-devs can say, "We're not in this to make money, we're in this to make art," are being told, "Wrong answer if you want to get paid, because WE'RE in this for the money, not the art, and we pay your wage."

        So that market won't 'crash' as such. It's a different market. But what we may see is more developers opting to argue for making games instead of money, and have to do so without big publisher support. Which is, kinda, what's already happening to a certain extent, with the surge of new indie titles and studios.

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