Here are the slides from my presentation today at Browser Games Forum:
Diane and I are in Korea this week, attending the KGC 2011 in Daegu at the moment and in Busan for the Gstar from Thursday.
This morning I gave a lecture entitled “Past, present and future of online games in Europe” and, as usual, I am sharing the slides over here and on slideshare:
As the recent game announcements have been multiplying, Mobile is the new frontier for online games and MMOs. The technical constraints have been mostly overcome, and the apparition of a hardcore audience playing mostly from home has made the main problem (good enough ping) less painful. The possibility of free apps with in-app purchases have finally make the business part of it sensible. It’s thus no surprise that many games are announced. However, as games like Pocket Legends find success, the room for growth is increasingly moving, like for social games, to outside of the US/English-speaking territories. What’s the market looking like in Europe? Read more
Gamasutra relays a report by Seattle Post that shows Microsoft numbers for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The more recent figures are from February 2008, showing that 56% of all Live members were Gold (60% in the US). The percentage was actually down 4 points yoy.
At that time there were 10M announced Live members , so that was about 5.5M Gold subscribers – if the proportion was still the same today (it might have increased since thanks to the NXE, which has brought them 3M members since November 08) that would be 9.5M Gold subscribers (there are 17M Xbox Live members). According to the latest numbers on VGChartz there are 28.5 millions of Xbox 360 distributed worldwide -the total Live members accounts are about 60% of that. Read more
According to a new Comscore study (users aged 15+, Dec 08 vs Dec 07). Good news for social games !
UK, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Italy were the countries with the biggest penetration of social networking.
Also in the study : Facebook grew 443% in one year in France thanks to localization, and has now overtaken Skyrock.
The social networking landscape still remains pretty diverse in Europe – that isn’t shown in the study- but the overall usage is very high. For comparison, Emarketer recently published a similar study showing that the penetration rate was 41% in the US. That encompasses all year 2008 though, not just December as the Comscore figures.
The linking of accounts is always something tricky, it looks like users have 2 weeks to transfer their virtual currency and can’t claim what they already spent in the client-based version, and they have to start over with a new avatar and crib in the new world. This should make difficult to convince all of the users to take the leap (maybe preventing to buy any more new currencies in the client based world and offering a better exchange rate would have been a better incentive), but it should give them much more opportunities for growth thanks to the improved accessibility.
The new VMTV can be found here.
Like every new year, it’s time for looking back at the past one and trying predictions for the next one. We are quite late in the exercise as we post this, so we’ll concentrate on the predictions part for the future. These are based on our observations and deductions and various chats with clever people from the industry. We might be right or wrong, but what is sure is that this industry is moving very fast, and is fascinating to watch. Anyway, it will be fun to check at the end of the year to see where we guessed right and where we missed – most of the points seem to us to be quite logically tied together at the moment.
According to this Comscore new study, there was 1 billion Internet users aged 15+ in December 2008.
Looking at the regional breakdown, Asia/Pacific comes first with 41% of the audience, but Europe comes second with 28% audience share. North America is third with 18%.
In terms of country share, if China and the US are far ahead (China being apparently overtaking US for the first time), Germany, the UK and France come respectively #4,5 and 6, Russia is #8, while Italy and Spain are #12 and 13 and Netherlands #15 (with 11M unique visitors, which is amazing for a 16M populated country). If you add all of them together, their share is bigger than China’s, but the fragmentation of this audience shows on the top properties breakdown where all websites are originated from US or China.
It’ll be interesting to see where Europe and US will be in the future when China, Russia, India, Brazil and Mexico continue to grow fast.
According to the Financial Times quoting IDC, most of the growth on the laptop market comes from netbooks (small, lightweight PCs on Windows or Linux, destined first and foremost to browse the web – the most famous one is the adorable little Asus Eee PC, of which I am a proud owner). IDC expects them to represent as much as 11-12% of the laptop market in 2009.