Los Angeles Games Conference - 2011 Gaming Trends
Recently, I attended the The Fifth Annual LA Games Conference at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. The event is produced by Digital Media Wire in association with the Consumer Electronic Association. During the event, the presenters examined trends and developments in digital gaming with an emphasis on succeeding in the emerging economy and monetizing digital platforms with more compelling content as well as competing for the consumer's attention.
Attendees included representatives from video game companies, social media sites, film and television companies, media analysts, trade organizations, trend-setters, and the very brightest and best in the interactive and on-line media companies.
The first panel I attended was on current gaming trends, described as:
Leading analysts and industry experts kick-off the day's discussions with an overview of the latest research that reflects and illustrates the current state of gaming and the directions in which the industry is heading, including: consumer behavior and attitudes; adoption & penetration rates of key technology channels & platforms; and business & economic performance numbers.
Michael Klotz, the Games Business Senior Manager of The NPD Group started the panel with some fascinating statistics about the state of the US economy and how it's affecting the video game market. These are some of the key points he described:
-consumers are spending, but not at levels before the recession began with half as much confidence in the economy in 2010 as three years ago
-clothing sales are up, technology sales are down, toy sales are up, and music sales were down considerably
-Overall gaming sales were down 2% in 2010 vs. 2009 with 25.1 billion in 2010 in revenue (hardware,software, subscriptions, accessories)
-The top gaming accessories in 2010 were no longer controllers but point cards and subscription cards.
-Consumers are expecting content to be free. An example of this is that 80% of down-loaded iPhone games were free.
-Ad revenue is the possible future in digital gaming. Angry Birds generates over a million dollars a month, which is more of the exception right now given the number of down-loads it has versus other games.Continued on the next page