SuperData Posts Big Numbers For Global Games Market

SuperData recently posted a report titled Global Games Market Report 2015, which breaks down just how much video games are making — and the numbers are quite staggering.

The firm has valued the worldwide market for “interactive entertainment,” as it deems it, at $74.2 billion for 2015, with an expected growth of ten percent over the next three years. That places gaming as the third largest category in the overall entertainment market.

“Over the past decade, interactive entertainment has almost tripled in size as a result of a range of innovations. As the industry has changed, so, too has the audience,” said SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen.

He added, “People don’t just consume entertainment but increasingly play an active part in it. Ranging from modding to streaming, from cosplay to competitive gaming, the market for gaming presents a much broader and more diverse mix of opportunities than ever before.”

The market has been broken down into various groups, but mobile leads the charge with $22.3 billion. Closely behind is the retail market with $19.7 billion; free-to-play MMO’s with $8.7 billion; social with $7.9 billion and PC with $7.5 billion. Meanwhile, the digital market continues to grow with $3.1 billion, while eSports is slowly but surely crawling forward, nearly at $1 billion in itself.

Other key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Digital game categories like mobile and free-to-play MMO’s are driving industry growth, while virtual reality and gaming video content continue to emerge.
  • Asia has the largest global games market for the near future, although the North American market remains quite strong. Free-to-play MMO’s and mobile are helping Asia keep the lead for now.
  • New devices and platforms are driving growth for interactive entertainment, although the retail-based business could decline once the current hardware cycle matures in early 2017.
  • Games claim a growing share (13 percent) of total revenue in key entertainment markets. In the United States, gaming has managed to triple its share of the total market over the last 30 years.
  • Interactive entertainment is ready to enter its next era with users in control. Physical and digital distribution will provide more user control with ownership and content creation.

 

The full report can be found here.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki To Reflect On The Platform’s 10 Years At VidCon

by Jessica Klein

CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, will keynote VidCon for the second year in a row.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the leader of the video platform this conference is all about should step up and talk a bit about it. What is sort of surprising is that YouTube is only 10 years old—it feels like the video platform has been around since the dawn of time, at this point.

“I was a big advocate of Google’s acquisition of YouTube back in 2006 when the platform was just a year old,” said Wojcicki in a statement. At VidCon 2015, which will take place between July 23 and 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, she will reflect on YouTube’s growth and look to the future of the digital video industry.

Keep reading…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Proxy Adds Metagame Twist To ESports

With Vulcun raising over $12 million, AlphaDraft receiving $5 million, and Unikrn having access to $5 million in funding, the Fantasy eSports and betting field is getting crowded. One company that has yet to attract investors is Florida-based Proxy, which offers eSports fans both betting and fantasy options for games like League of Legends, DOTA 2, SMITE, and Heroes of the Storm.

Justin Twohig, CEO of Proxy, said he’s currently talking to investors. Twohig entered the fantasy game late last year. His company allows eSports fans to earn real money and virtual currency through an assortment of fantasy games. Twohig believes users with extensive eSports knowledge will earn more, and faster, than any other fantasy platform. He talks about his metagame, META, and explains why all this venture capital funding is good for the entire eSports ecosystem in this exclusive interview.

What’s the background your company?

Proxy started in late 2014 and provided free betting on eSports. We have since expanded into the fantasy eSport market. We innovated a new fantasy game, META, based around the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genre that requires the same knowledge and skills that traditional management fantasy games require.

How did you get involved with eSports?

Esports has been a major part of my life, specifically Starcraft 2. I used to wake up early in the morning and watch GSL (living on the east coast of the U.S.). I created Proxy in 2014 because I felt there wasn’t a good betting platform.

What type of funding has Proxy received and who are some of the VCs involved in these investments?

We cannot comment on specifics at this time. Currently, other platforms have been funded and we are working with investors.

How much money has been given out?

As for how much money we will give away it is contingent on our funding and users. We do not have a set marketing number (“$250,000, $1 million, or $4 million) like one of our competitors.

We provide cash and prizes. The amount depends on the activity of users. We provide virtual currency games and real money contests. Real money contests include free-roll and entry fees just like traditional fantasy platforms.

Can you explain what separates Proxy from Vulcun and AlphaDraft in the fantasy eSports arena?

We support all major eSports. Also, we are an innovative platform that provides users more than just a list of contests. We aren’t just giving users the traditional management system fantasy game. We love eSports and understand that eSports is fundamentally different than traditional sports – so we have designed our platform for eSports.

Explain how META works?

In META, users pick a team of characters that they believe will be picked or banned during the character selection phase. With a user’s knowledge of the eSport and “metagame” they can outwit the competition. Users can play cash or virtual currency contests. Proxy’s virtual currency system allows users to play without real money and still earn great prizes such as gaming mice and keyboards. Currently, META supports League of Legends, DOTA 2, SMITE, and Blizzard’s new Heroes of the Storm.

How did you come up with this idea?

Being fans of the MOBA genre, we found that the pick and ban phase is a very strategic and important part of a professional match. So we designed a fantasy game based on our findings. We still offer the traditional management-style game that fantasy fans are accustomed to.

What type of crossover do you see between META, Daily Fantasy eSports and straight betting like Unikrn?  

Our game META, management-style games (such as the one Vulcun offers), and betting will all be part of fantasy eSports. We supply all of these on one platform. Unikrn is currently illegal in many parts of the world, but our virtual currency system is not.

What are the demographics of your players thus far?

Since we have games that are both legal in the United States and internationally, we have users from all over the world. Similar to our competitors, our audience is dominantly males ages 14-49.

How have you worked with Riot Games and other game developers behind eSports titles on this?

Currently, we have not.

Can you run through your launch eSports games and how you plan on ramping up?

We launched late last year supporting all eSports in our virtual currency betting game. You bet on your favorite teams, win virtual currency, and cash that currency in for prizes. We plan to ramp up by adding more games to our platform, and supporting any new eSports that arise. Our goal is to provide an experience to users, not just a transaction like our competitors.

 

‘Candy Crush’ Developer Leaves King for Startup

The extraordinary success of Candy Crush Saga for King Digital has generated many consequences. King Digital had a successful IPO based in large part on how well Candy Crush Saga performed, and the company has made hundreds of millions of dollars from the title. It’s also led to game designer Tommy Palm leaving King to found a startup to make VR games, and now one of the other brains behind Candy Crush Saga is leaving King. According to a report in Dagens Industri, Alexander Ekvall has left the company to found a new firm to make mobile games. “There are two giants in the mobile market. King is one, Supercell the other. We want to be the third,” Ekvall said.

Ekvall has recruited six others to work in his new company which is still nameless as yet. Two of those are former developers for King Digital, and others have come from the Unity office in Stockholm. “I have sold some of my holdings in King to afford this,” says Ekvall. “It attracted me a lot to get to work in a small, tight team again. It is fast-paced and can break new ground. That’s how it started for me.”

The company is already working on its first title, which is aimed at the mobile, free-to-play segment. “I think we have found a niche and a genre that we can make to our own, like the other giants are not appropriated yet,” said Ekvall.

Now Hiring This Week: May 20th

[a]listdaily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

  • Riot Games – Brand Manager (Santa Monica, Calif.)
  • WWE – Director of International Social Media (Stamford, CT)
  • Disney Interactive – Branded Content Strategist (Glendale, Calif.)
  • Sony Computer Entertainment – Marketing Director (San Mateo, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Summer Internships (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Director, ION Business Development (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Account Executive (Pasadena, Calif.)

For last week’s [a]list jobs postings, click here. Have a position you’d like to place with us Email us at pr@ayzenberg.com.

Mashable And Above Average Launch Variety Web Show

by Jessica Klein

Mashable and Above Average have teamed up to launch a weekly variety web show.

Called The Tripp & Tyler Show: Finding the Humor in IRL, the series stars YouTubers Tripp Crosby and Tyler Stanton as they banter their way through tips, hacks, and facts.

Specifically, the series will cover seven, different segments. They include “Life Hacks,” “Etiquette Rules for Life,” “Facts You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know,” “Guest Interviews,” “Show & Tell,” “Comment of the Week,” and “Justify Stuff,” all of which are pretty self-explanatory.

The first episode of The Tripp & Tyler Show debuted today. Future episodes will come out every Tuesday across Mashable and Above Average’s websitesin addition to Tripp & Tyler’s YouTube channel, which has over 163,000 subscribers. Related clips will also appear on Mashable.com.

The Tripp & Tyler Show is produced by Above Average. You can watch the first episode here.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Pinterest’s New Cinematic Pins a Marker For Advertisers

Want to get someone’s attention Maybe try putting a pin in it — electronically, that is.

The Wall Street Journal reports that popular social site Pinterest has introduced a new ad program that allows users to scroll through a series of images that are put together via cinematic pins. The ads play short animations when a user checks out images on the page, allowing the user to view a longer version of said ad when it’s clicked on.

This is a change of pace from the usual video ads users see on Twitter and Facebook, aiming more towards specific groups, which advertisers can target with its own set of pins. For instance, a Walgreens’ ad that focuses on lip-gloss shows sunglasses blowing kisses as the user scrolls through pictures. Clicking on the image opens up even more kisses as a reward, along with an ad for the lip-gloss.

The program will provide a number of improved targeting options, along with a revised fee model and an ad-creating service for clients that are looking for a more experimental way to reach out to consumers. With it, Pinterest hopes to find a change of pace from the usual video ads on other social sites.

With the program, brands can seek out specific audiences, like Millennials and “foodies” with said images, as well as other groups. With 72.8 million unique visitors tracked on the site back in March, it’s clear there are a lot of people who could easily catch on.

“Pinterest is such a visual medium by definition that it makes sense to me that that was the direction they would go in,” said Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer for Visa. “The dynamic motion that changes with the scroll is something else that’s very compelling.” Visa is one of the partners on board for the beta program for cinematic pins, alongside Virgin America and Crazy8. Other companies are expected to be on board for the general launch as well.

Still, some are showing skepticism, like Wendy’s. “We’re frankly still trying to figure out Pinterest,” said Brandon Rhoten, vice president of digital experience at Wendy’s. “We’re not a considered purchase. You don’t create a giant board of cheeseburgers that you’re going to go eat in the next week, or salads.” Regardless, the popular restaurant chain is currently using the site as a story-telling platform with some of its items, like the Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad.

More information on the new cinematic pins can be found in the video below.

5 Game Companies Taking The Mobile Jump

Last week, we reported that game company Konami was showing an interest in giving the mobile gaming market a try, and possibly abandoning the traditional console market – although that hasn’t been fully confirmed just yet. It’s a bold new entry for the company, who have been thriving for over 30 years with franchises like Contra, Metal Gear and Castlevania.

We briefly touched upon other companies that were giving mobile a gamble, but decided to cover it more thoroughly with this story, talking about what chances were taken by each company, and what future they could possibly see in the market…

Konami

Konami has spent years producing blockbuster hits for consoles, including Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Metal Gear Solid games, among other titles. However, as of late, it’s been leaning more towards mobile business, in which it’s dabbled with titles like Pro Evolution Soccer Collection and its popular Swords & Poker releases. It could easily continue this trend, building on the strength of its many franchises to gain a big audience. Its pick-up of the Star Wars Force Collection card game has paid off with its tie-in to the popular franchise, and other titles like Contra Evolution and Yu-Gi-Oh! have done well in their own right. Konami could easily establish a mobile following from its avid fans, even though some feel they’re being “burned” by receiving less console releases in the future – even with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain set to arrive this September.

Nintendo

Even though it resisted for the longest time (opting to instead produce games for its own systems), Nintendo finally relented earlier this year and announced that it was entering the mobile market, through a partnership with DeNA. The first game from that partnership will arrive later this year, and although titles haven’t been provided yet, it’s expected to be a wholly original game that focuses on one of the company’s popular characters, like Mario or Link from the Legend of Zelda series. There’s a lot of buzz going into Nintendo’s arrival on mobile, although it hasn’t revealed what its full plans are just yet, outside of releasing five titles between now and early 2017. One thing’s for sure – the fans are sure to love the games, especially if they’re original properties and not just ports of older titles like Super Mario Bros. 3. (However, that game would likely do well if it ever was released, based on nostalgia alone.) Nintendo’s CEO has noted that he plans to avoid the usual types of monetization seen in mobile gaming, aiming to find a much broader audience that will provide small amounts of money. Nintendo has re-affirmed its support for dedicated consoles, and announced that it’s working on a new console (the NX), though no details will be forthcoming until 2016.

Square Enix

Square continues to show support for game consoles, with titles like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Rise of the Tomb Raider releasing later this year. However, it’s gained a tremendous following since it started in the mobile market a couple of years ago, releasing a number of its older Final Fantasy titles on tablets and smartphones, along with original games like Theatrhythm and Mini Ninjas. It’s done pretty well with its mobile releases, despite some of them being in the upper tier of pricing, around $10 to $20. It’s likely to continue this trend as the year goes along, with a number of new titles to be announced next month during its E3 showcase. Square Enix is here to stay.

Electronic Arts

Although EA hasn’t been as steadfast with its mobile releases as it was a couple of years ago, it continues to produce top-notch titles, grasping onto the “quality, not quantity” logic with its games. The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the Real Racing series and its Madden and FIFA sports games are huge draws on the mobile market, with millions of players worldwide – and that’s not likely to slow down anytime soon. Its push will likely continue with a plethora of new titles to be announced over the next few months, as well as new entries in its football and soccer fans to keep fans entertained. EA has experienced strong growth in its mobile titles, and that seems likely to continue as the company has a strong lineup of new mobile titles ahead. The company also sees a strong marketing synergy between its console, PC, and mobile titles, with mobile sports games being a particular strength in keeping audiences engaged during the off-season.

Ubisoft

The publisher behind the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry franchises has done extremely well between its console and mobile games, and that’s a business logic that’s likely to continue for years to come. It’s currently riding high on free-to-play titles like Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Trials Frontier and Driver: Speedboat Paradise, and the platformer Rayman: Fiesta Run is selling moderately well as a premium release. Its release canon will likely continue into the New Year, with more titles based on its popular brands, including a new Assassin’s Creed game to accompany its forthcoming sequel Syndicate.

AlphaDraft: Fantasy eSports Takes Off

The massive growth of eSports has taken the gaming industry by storm, and in the process created hundreds of millions of fans and companies with billion-dollar valuations. That huge audience of eSports fans resembles the huge audiences that traditional sports have developed, which has led to the creation of the fantasy sports industry, which generates $3.6 billion annually. Now, those two worlds have come together in fantasy eSports. AlphaDraft, billing itself as “the premier daily fantasy sports platform that seamlessly blends the highly popular worlds of eSports, live streaming and fantasy sports contests” has announced it has successfully closed its $5 million institutional round of financing.

“We are thrilled to have the confidence of such an amazing assortment of financial backers, with extensive backgrounds in fueling the dramatic growth of entertainment and sports-related ventures,” said AlphaDraft’s CEO, Todd Peterson. “AlphaDraft offers a natural extension of the eSports viewing-only experience for fans. Drawing on their intimate knowledge of the games, the pro athletes, and the teams participating, members of the eSports fan community can deepen their involvement through AlphaDraft and actively compete for bragging rights and real-world cash and prizes.”

AlphaDraft plans to pay out over $5 million in cash and prizes this year, with a goal of $1 million active users by the end of the year. AlphaDraft will also expand its support to five major eSports titles by June 1, 2015. In addition to Riot’s League of Legends, AlphaDraft will offer daily and weekly fantasy draft competitions around ten major eSports professional leagues for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DotA 2, SMITE and one additional, soon to be announced, leading eSports title.

AlphaDraft’s CEO, Todd Peterson, spoke exclusively with [a]listdaily about the prospects for eSports and fantasy eSports in the year ahead.

Todd Peterson

What’s your assessment of where eSports are at right now, and where they are going in the future?

The amount of money that’s flowing into eSports now is incredible, just from the sponsors, the people that want to get involved in creating leagues and running leagues, it’s incredible. This really is going to overtake traditional sports. I know that a lot of people don’t believe that, but it’s going to happen. A lot of eyes are going to be opened over the next year and a half as that transition occurs. The number of viewers for the major events, that’s where you’ll start to see it first. Overall, because there are so many different events that are coming in, just from a pure volume perspective you’ll see more people watching eSports than each one of the individual sports. I’m not going to say that Heroes of the Storm, SMITE, Hearthstone, and League of Legends individually are bigger than football, but collectively I think you’ll see more eyeballs than that.

AlphaDraft has been active now since early this year. How has your growth been progressing, and what have you learned as you’ve grown?

The growth has been fantastic for us. We didn’t expect to have the growth that we did. Not doing a ton of marketing and still having over a million contest entries on the system is pretty impressive. I’ve come from a fantasy sports background, and I was surprised at the lack of fantasy sports knowledge among gamers. I thought there would be a little more recognition of it. This really is a new game for a lot of eSports viewers. What I’ve found is a really positive response from those folks. The things the say to me, like ‘It makes the game more fun for me,’ ‘it makes me want to play XYZ game again.’ It just makes it more enjoyable for them to watch and it makes it more likely that they’re going to play. This is exactly what publishers would want out of a solution like ours.

What’s been your most effective way of acquiring new users so far?

Word of mouth is definitely one of the biggest ones — people enjoy playing our platform and so they’re telling their friends about it, which is a good thing. Also, you really can’t beat the standard Twitch influencers, they tend to bring a lot of users. It’s all about the stars in the space — people tend to listen to what they say.

These guys get offers for crazy money all the time, but unless they like your product they’re not going to push it. It’s possible they might accept your money and put your logo up, but they won’t talk about it and promote it. You have to make sure you’re creating a product that they, especially, love. You’ll see that some of our influencers, they’ll actually be playing our game on-stream or in their videos. It’s because they enjoy playing it. I think that’s an important aspect of any product that you are trying to advertise with these influencers — in order for it to be successful they have to love it.

You’re looking to grow the eSports fantasy draft community — how will you do that?

Part of it is really education and awareness, making sure people know when the games are happening. It’s not necessarily all that easy to find this information, and it’s also not necessarily easy for a beginner to just pick up on some of these eSports. Whether it’s providing analysis or tutorials, or ways to help people understand what’s going on within the game, that’s important. For beginners, the best thing to do is to watch the health bars and listen to the casters. When they get excited, there’s probably something exciting going on on-screen. When you see a health bar go down, something is happening.

As you listen to the casters more and more, they educate. That’s how I really started to learn some of the games I had never played before, is just listening to the the casters and having them explain the game. That’s the same approach I want to take to both what we’re doing from a fantasy eSports perspective and an eSports perspective — really helping people get onboarded into the community so they understand it and enjoy watching it. I have friends in their forties or fifties who know nothing about eSports, and because of the company they are watching these games now and saying ‘this is really fun and exciting!’ It doesn’t just have to be the younger demographic watching this. As people start to watch the games more, it’s going to broaden the audience base.

How big do you think the market opportunity is for fantasy eSports in the USA, and worldwide?

It’s not even a question that it’s a multi-billion dollar opportunity. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg of how big this thing is going to grow. Easily it’s a billion dollars plus in the US, and it’s multi-billion dollars worldwide. Without a question.

 

‘Halo 5’ #HuntTheTruth Podcast Engages Millions Of Listeners

Fans of the popular Halo series have had their perception of the game’s world turned upside down with the #HuntTheTruth podcast. Now in it’s 8th episode, listeners are now wondering if Master Chief is really who they thought he was.

The relevations and the engrossing story has pushed the campaign to new heights. The Ayzenberg-produced #HuntTheTruth podcast has shown that the podcast resurgence is real with 2.15 million listens and counting on iTunes and Soundcloud and 500k+ more listeners on YouTube, where it has been translated into multiple languages by the fans themselves.