The video game industry is on the cusp of yet another huge shift, what with the emergence of Zynga and company in recent years.
The $64 billion industry has been trying to contain significant losses, with video game software and hardware sales plummeting in the last 5 years. Activision Blizzard, makers of the popular titles Call of Duty and WoW: World of Warcraft, had just laid off close to 10 percent of the company’s staff in February alone. And with competition from mobile games on app stores eating away at the video game industry’s market share, it’s become harder to continue with business as usual.
Industry insiders see this issue as a major point of discussion at the 2012 Game Developers Conference, happening from the 5th until the 9th of March in San Francisco, California.
While the video game industry suffers, companies developing games in the interactive entertainment industry also face stagnation, what with the ongoing saturation of the online and mobile gaming market. Companies without the resources of industry giants Electronic Arts and Zynga are finding it harder than ever to compete, as app stores for mobile devices become more crowded, thus calling for more expenditures on ads.
According to PocketGems COO Ben Liu, with the number of game apps growing rapidly, it’s become more expensive to acquire users, and companies without the resources for franchises are unable to break into the market. PocketGems is the company behind Tap Pet Hotel and Tap Zoo.
Ultimately, what this means is that it’s harder for start-ups to bring new ideas into the mobile and online gaming industry. A decrease of new players in an interactive market obviously does not bode well for users.
It’s hard to predict where gaming will head in the next 10 years or so. Some say it will be in mobile, others say it will integrate with social networks, while there are those who believe that it all depends on the next generation of gaming devices. With the events and shakeups of the previous decade, your guess is as good as ours.