It’s been a rough month for the launch of Overwatch 2. In the first few days of its release, Blizzard’s long-awaited sequel to the 2016 team-based shooter was plagued with connection issues, leaving millions of players unable to enter matches. While many of the problems relating to server issues have now been addressed, Blizzard now has another challenge on its hands: making enough sales from microtransactions to support the franchise’s move to a free-to-play model.
So far, that’s been pretty difficult. Overwatch 2’s recent Halloween event, Halloween Terror, introduced a variety of themed character and weapon skins into the game for the ‘discounted’ price of 2000 Overwatch Coins each, roughly the equivalent of $20. A legendary skin for the character Kiriko was available for 2600 Overwatch Coins, a discount on the original price of 3700 Overwatch Coins. As you might imagine, this is already causing upset amongst some players, especially as this year’s Halloween update removed the option to earn unlockable skins simply by progressing through the game.
Evidently, some players aren’t willing to spend over $20 for an alternative outfit for their character. However, we do know that players are more than happy to spend roughly the same price in other free-to-play games such as Fortnite to unlock characters from popular franchises, whether that’s Goku from Dragon Ball Z or Marvel’s Spider-Man. This is something that Jon Spector, Overwatch’s commercial leader and vice president at Blizzard, seems well aware of, according to a recent interview with GameInformer.
In the interview, Spector announced that while he isn’t a Fortnite player, he thinks it’s ‘super cool’ and ‘awesome’ to see branded collaborations such as Naruto appear in Fortnite.
“As we look at the Overwatch 2 space, those are things that we’re interested in exploring,” he says.
So, with Overwatch 2’s current monetisation strategies leaving a lot to be desired, could we see a shift towards branded collaborations as a core monetisation strategy rather than the traditional legendary and epic skins? Dropping the price of skins and embracing Fortnite-style collaborations would make a lot of commercial sense for Overwatch 2, especially as the company still seems torn on its pricing, according to a recent survey sent out to select players.
We know that Fortnite’s collaborations with the likes of Marvel, NFL, Nike and Ferrari have been hugely successful for Epic, largely due to the amount of revenue they generate from the sale of cosmetic items such as skins, emotes, banners and emoticons. As an example, the game’s collaboration with NFL resulted in 3.3 million NFL-themed skins being sold for $15 each in November and December 2018, according to leaked court documents from the Apple v Epic case. That’s nearly $50 million in revenue.
The big question now is how easily Overwatch 2 can replicate Fornite’s primary business model, and how well-suited these collaborations are for the Overwatch brand.
One of the biggest challenges facing Overwatch 2 is the fact it’s a hero-based shooter, with each hero boasting their own unique set of skills, traits and playstyles. As is often the case with team-based shooters, players often find themselves favouring specific heroes, whether that’s offensive heroes or defensive heroes that suit their preferred styles of playing.
This means Overwatch 2 will have to think carefully about how it rolls out branded collaborations. As an example, will a Marvel collaboration introduce special themed skins for every single hero in the game, or will it introduce a new limited-time character into the game? The introduction of any new character will have to be calculated carefully, so it doesn’t negatively impact the balance of existing characters.
It’s more likely that Overwatch 2 will introduce themed skins rather than new characters such as those seen in Dragon Ball Z. Depending on the popularity of the IP that Overwatch 2 pursues, I suspect players will be more susceptible to investing $15 or $20 into a skin that turns their favourite Overwatch hero into an alternative version of their favourite anime, film, TV or comic book characters, whether that’s Spider-Man, Darth Vader or one of The Transformers.
The hero-based mechanics of Overwatch 2 could also mean skins are only available for specific characters. While this might cause backlash amongst some fans at first, it could also open up alternative revenue streams. As an example, the style and appearance of the tank hero Reinhardt lends itself well to a Transformers skin. Players that don’t typically choose Reinhardt but are huge Transformers fans may be tempted to purchase a Transformers skin for him and start using him more. In turn, this could lead to a knock-on effect for players who go on to purchase Reinhardt’s wider cosmetic items.
There’s no denying that Overwatch 2 is a great game; the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. If Overwatch 2 continues to struggle with monetisation models, branded collaborations like those in Fortnite might be the answer to its future success. But taking an established franchise that previously carried a full-price retail tag and moving it over to a free-to-play model is no easy task.
Key considerations when choosing your target IP
If you’re a game developer looking to emulate Fornite’s IP success, there are a few things you need to consider before bringing IP into your game.
- Don’t pick a target IP just because it’s a really popular brand or character. Look at your game and your players and ask yourself if it’s something that will resonate with them. For example, a clever partnership between The Walking Dead and State of Survival brought 20 million new players to the game. So a good understanding of your player demographics is a must. Be prepared to prove this to the license holders, too, as they’ll be just as interested to know if there’s any audience overlap.
- It may sound simple, but make sure you do your homework. Different IP rights holders can have very different priorities and strict requirements for usage. Bigger properties, especially ones that are popular with children, can be especially stringent as its in the holders interests to carefully limit their use. So, it’s up to developers to demonstrate their ability to comply with them. Being prepared can give you a huge advantage, and help clear some of the initial screening phases and get in front of the right decision-makers.
- There are more ways to integrate IP into your game than ever. So think carefully about your main goals, as simpler in-game items, like cosmetics and skins, are often much easier to negotiate with rights holders due to less complicated terms, plus, lighter development and creative costs can make them much quicker to roll out. FIFA 23 recently brought Apple TV’s Ted Lasso as well as Marvel cards to Ultimate Team, with these simple, smart deals opening the door for more collaborations in future.
Written by: Rachit Moti, founder and CEO at Layer Licensing, a licensing marketplace that helps game creators access brands, characters and stories that players love.
Pascal Gaming’s Integration into Betshop Cashier Client
Pascal Gaming’s GRAVITY solution is now available in the BETSHOP CASHIER CLIENT application.
Gravity betshop solution is a casino games created by Pascal Gaming for retail business. The Gravity betshop solution delivers on-demand and compelling games – and now Double Wheel, Non-Stop Roulette, OddBall and Baccarat are available on the LAND BASED platform.
Pascal Gaming’s integration will add a new experience for players who want to choose their preferred land-based games, place bets and win exciting prizes.
The new functionality helps them follow the reports and manage everything from one location, including keeping track of balances and bet tickets.
Asia Mobile Gaming Market Analysis Report 2023: The Market is Approaching a Major Inflection Point Due Largely to 5G Connectivity – Forecasts to 2028
The “Mobile Gaming in Asia by Technology, Platform, Stakeholder, Connectivity, Sub-Region and Countries 2023-2028” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets .com’s offering.
This report represents must-have research for anyone focused on mobile entertainment and/or VAS applications in Asia. This report represents a comprehensive assessment of mobile gaming opportunities in Asia. It provides insights into the mobile gaming business and analysis of current limitations, challenges, and opportunities.
The report also addresses various demand drivers/factors including: Asian mobile gaming demographic analysis, Asian mobile game-play behavior, game-play preference and projection analysis.
The report also provides a comparative analysis of Asian mobile gaming demography and preferences including: Male vs. Female, Casual vs. Core, “Freemium” vs. Premium, Social vs. Traditional, Tablet vs. Mobile, Smartphone vs. Web Enabled vs. Standard Phone, Regular vs. Irregular, Time and Money Spending dynamics.
Mobile gaming is the fastest growing segment of digital entertainment with roots connected to the console-based platform era building upon lessons learned from the likes of Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. Initially, adaptive versions of popular console titles were offered for mobile. Incrementally, entertainment targeted towards smartphones and tablets made inroads, particularly in the casual gaming segment. Today, smartphone-based games lead the mobile gaming industry by users but tablets generate higher rates across paid monetization, micro transactions and advertising.
Mostly casual and non-complex genres are popular on smartphone platforms whereas tablets provide a better user experience due to greater hardware capabilities and a superior user interface. Tablets now represent an attractive mid-core gaming platform as they have started competing substantively with console devices and may overtake them in the near future.
The mobile gaming business has also exploded with emerging revenue models such as free-to-play (F2P), “advergaming” etc. Social and community dynamics are also a revolutionary factor that has enhanced viral growth, user targeting, customer acquisition, and monetization, driving substantial daily average revenue per paying user. The major growth drivers are many and varied including growth of data enabled mobile devices, F2P revenue model and in-game advertising that includes display banner, interactive, video ads and “advergaming” (brand sponsorship).
After acquiring millions of mobile users, gaming companies have realized that the emphasis should be focused on user retention rather than innovation. Therefore, the gaming industry is largely focused upon enhancing in-game experience on a periodic basis rather than creating entirely new games, which have proven to cause a drop in loyal users.
In addition, gaming business models have experienced a transition from free-to-play to freemium and also a focus on highly successful categories such as social casino style gaming and real money games.
Select Report Findings
- Market for mobile gaming in the Asia region as a whole will reach $93.2 billion by 2028
- Market for mobile game publishers and service aggregators in Asia will reach $51.3 billion by 2028
- WiFi will continue to be the most extensive means of connectivity followed by LTE and 5G through 2028
- While male gamers continue to dominate usage, female gamers are growing 62% faster, poised to reach parity within a decade
- Mobile gaming business models have experienced a transition from free-to-play to freemium and also a focus on highly successful categories
- Smartphones have the greatest user penetration but tablets represent the best user experience that competes well against the console market
- Mobile gaming by device type is dominated by smartphone usage as other devices experience substantially slower growth and tablets are losing ground
- Major growth drivers are explosion of data enabled mobile devices, F2P revenue model and in-game advertising that includes display banner, interactive, video ads and “advergaming”
Market Dynamic Analysis
Market Growth Driver Analysis
- Cross Platform Game Play and Mobile Social Gaming
- Growing Demand of Local Content
- Freemium Monetization
- Gaming Optimized Devices
- Mobile Platform as Common Gaming Platform
- Word of Mouth Preference
- Local Gaming Platforms
- Wearable Gaming Preference
- Connected Console and Mobile Cloud
- In-Game Transaction
- Virtual go-to Community
- Cross-Platform Publishing
- Non-Facebook Social Gaming Platform
Regulation and Fraud Analysis
- Mobile Game Piracy and Virtual Currency Scam
- Kompu Gacha Mobile Social Gambling Ban in Japan
- Geographic Implication of Antipiracy Law
- Zynga with PrivacyVille
- Cyber Criminal Attack on Mobile Social Games
- In-Game Scam Debate in Mobile Social Games
- Open Web to Save DMCA: MiniMega vs. TomKid Game
- RMT and Gold Farming Regulation
- Offshore Opportunity in Asia
New Entrants Role
- Technical and Legal Role of Technology Provider
- Virtual Goods and Currency Provider Role
- Micro Transaction Solution Provider Role
Business Model Analysis
- Key Mobile Gaming Strategies
- Revenue Sources and Cost Items
- Trendy Business Model
- Tips for Economic and Gamification in Business Model
- Advertising Model
- Building Mathematical Model to Set Price
- Market Challenge and Game Balancing Method
Technology and Application Analysis
- Grand Theft Auto
- Nike and Sports Game
- FitBit Casual Gaming
- BMW Ultimate Drive App
- Angry Birds
- Fruit Ninja
- Cut the Rope
- Kompu Gacha Games
- Hostess Club Social Game
- Social Horse-Racing Game
- Smurf Village: Real Virtual Economy Success
- Alchemy: Android Title Success Case in Korea
- The Human Element
- Half the Sky Movement
- FoldIt: Research for Mankind and Community Patent
- RecycleBank: Community Awareness
- Miller Literacy Game: Education and Literacy
- SPENT: Poverty Alleviation
- Raise the Village: Constructing Village
- WeTopia Case: Charities for Children
- Charities for Animal: Joy Kingdom Case
- Japan and Korea Success Story
- Pretty Simple’s Criminal Case Lesson
Conclusions and Recommendations
- Advertisers and Media Companies
- Artificial Intelligence Providers
- Automotive Companies
- Broadband Infrastructure Providers
- Communication Service Providers
- Computing Companies
- Data Analytics Providers
- Immersive Technology (AR, VR, and MR) Providers
- Networking Equipment Providers
- Networking Security Providers
- Semiconductor Companies
- OEM Companies
- IoT Suppliers and Service Providers
- Software Providers (Game Developers and Publishers)
- Content Aggregators
- Payment Solution Provider
- Social Media Companies
- Enterprises and Governments
- Gaming Investors
Mobile Gaming Company Analysis
Mobile Game Developers and Publishers
- Halfbrick: Australia
- Capcom: Japan
- Electronic Arts: Japan
- Namco Bandai: Japan
- Gamevil (Com2uS): Korea
- Zeptolab: Russia
- Square Enix: Japan
- Gameprom: Russia
- Kairosoft: Japan
- Konami: Japan
- Disney Mobile: Japan
- GREE: Japan
- DeNA: Japan
- Tencent: China
- Mig33: China
- Sina Weibo: China
- Papaya Mobile: China
- Games2Win: India
- Hungama Games: India
- Nazara: India
- Anino mobile: Philippines
- Socialpoint: Spain
- Agate Studio: Indonesia
- Toge Productions: Indonesia
- Creacle Studio: Indonesia
- Touchten Games: Indonesia
- Maximize Games Studio: Indonesia
- Tinker Games: Indonesia
- Educa Studio: Indonesia
- Altermyth: Indonesia
- Nightspade: Indonesia
- Menara Games
- Own Games
Emerging Publisher Platform Analysis
- Sina WeiBo
- Tencent Network (Weibo, Qzone and Pengyou)
- 51 .Com
- Ameba Pigg
- Gaia Online
- Tencent QQ
- Kik Messenger
- Qihoo 360 Platform
- Baidu App Store
- D.cn Games Center
Application Store Analysis
- Google Play Games
- iOS Game Center
- Facebook Games
- Alternative Android Store
- Slide ME
- Apps UK Ltd.
- Alternative iOS Store
- Cross Platform App Store
- NVidia (Geoforce)
- Nook App Store
- Taobao App Market
- Bemobi International
- OEM Appstore
- Xiaomi App store
- Carrier AppStore
- One Store Corp.
Gaming Service Management Providers
Communication Service Provider Analysis
- NTT DoCoMo Japan
- KDDI au, Japan
- China Mobile, China
- China Unicom, China
- China Telecom, China
- Airtel (Bharti), India
- Vodafone Idea, India
- SK Telecom, Korea
- Telstra Mobile, Australia
- Optus Mobile, Australia
- Vodafone, New Zealand
- MTS, Russia
- MegaFon, Russia
- Beeline, Russia
- Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan
- Hong Kong
- Mobicom, Mongolia
- Telkomsel, Indonesia
- Indosat, Indonesia
- Viettel, Vietnam
- MobiFone, Vietnam
- Smart Communications, Philippines
- Globe Telecom, Philippines
- Maxis, Malaysia
- SingTel Mobile, Singapore
- AIS, Thailand
- DTAC, Thailand
- DSTCom, Brunei
- Lao-telecom, Laos
- Metfone, Cambodia
- Turkcell, Turkey
- Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran
- STC, Saudi Arabia
- Etisalat, UAE
- Cellcom, Israel
- BATELCO, Bahrain
- Cytamobile-Vodafone, Cyprus
- Vodafone, Egypt
- Zain, Jordan
- Zain, Kuwait
- Touch, Lebanon
- Q-Tel, Qatar
- Omantel, Oman
- K’Cell, Kazakhstan
- Beeline, Kyrgyzstan
- Babilon Mobile, Tajikistan
- Uzdunrobita, Uzbekistan
- MTS, Turkmenistan
- Grameenphone, Bangladesh
- Dialog, Sri Lanka
- Mobilink, Pakistan
- Ncell, Nepal
- Dhiraagu, Maldives
- B-Mobile, Bhutan
game – the German Games Industry Association celebrates its fifth anniversary
game – the German Games Industry Association is celebrating its fifth anniversary. It was on 29 January 2018 that the BIU and GAME completed their merger.
The new organisation was home to approx. 180 members when it began. Now, five years later, game has long since grown to more than 400 members. Since completing the merger, the association has spoken for and successfully represented the interests of the games industry as a whole. There have been numerous positive developments to report: the subsidiaries Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) and Foundation for Digital Games Culture (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) have both grown during this period, while new subsidiaries such as devcom and the esports player foundation have been welcomed to the game family. Thanks to game’s regional offices, the games industry is now represented throughout Germany. In order to supplement the existing, in some cases long-standing, regional associations, game joined with local companies to establish seven new regional offices. As a result, the games industry has been able to celebrate a series of successes in Germany’s federal states and growing support from many federal state governments, something evidenced among other things by increased funding for regional support programmes. Both gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games, and the German Computer Games Awards (DCP) have been able to achieve numerous milestones over the past five years. The industry’s unified voice has also found an audience with policymakers: from the introduction of funding for the games industry and the establishment of a dedicated games department to the creation of a games strategy, the German government has done a great deal at the federal level these past five years to strengthen Germany as a games industry hub – and game has been a huge part of these efforts.
‘The past five years have supplied a clear demonstration of just how much we can achieve now that we are working together and our industry is speaking with a single voice,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – the German Games Industry Association.
‘With our association of more than 400 members and our institutions, we have created a powerful structure – and we are using this structure to raise the profile of games and of our industry, create opportunities, counter risks, and deliver effective assistance to stakeholders in Germany’s growing games ecosystem. We owe a particularly big thank you to our entire team and our many dedicated members. I am also grateful for the statements made by political figures on the occasion of our anniversary, something that underscores the government’s focus on and appreciation of our industry. All of this represents a strong foundation for the future as we continue to pursue our mission of making Germany the best games location. We have big plans, and our association and industry have never been in a better position to make these a reality than we are today.’
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