The State of Computer Games – 2019

Fierce Fun game research

We recently came across an excellent piece of research from GlobalWebIndex on the current state of video gaming.  Some really interesting facts from this research include:

Demographics

  • Gamers are getting older - a quarter of all 45-54s also say they have an interest in gaming.
  • Older players are more likely to be female - more females cite gaming as aninterest (19%) than males (17%) for 55-64s.

Mobile

  • Not surprisingly smartphones are extending their lead as the most popular gaming device.
  • The East is where mobile gamers rule - .ore than 7 in 10 internet users inAPAC and the Middle East and Africa are gaming on their smartphone.

Console/PC

  • The decline is console game has stabilized. Consoles now serve as a household media hub, as well as a gaming device.
  • PC gaming is still very important - just under 1 in 2 internet users are gaming via PCs/laptops

Spectator Gaming

  • Spectator gaming continues to grow - with over a third having watched a live gaming stream in the past month, and over a quarter having watched an esports tournament.
  • A quarter of console gamers visited Twitch in the past month

VR

  • VR is still only for early adopters. Of those who play games on any other device, only 5% own a virtual reality headset

Mindframe Arena – A ‘Smart & Safe’ game for all the family

We have just published the full version of Mindframe Arena on Google Play. This version is compatible with most modern Android phones and tablets… and best of all, it is free to play. The game comes with the entry-level characters called Tecs. You can play the full game with these. If you want more powerful advanced Tecs, you can purchase them within the app.

Mindframe Arena - A family friendly game

Mindframe Arena is a digital board game when you control a group of characters called Tecs. The goal of the game is to get your Tecs to the end of the Alpha worlds. To do this, you battle other players on a V-shaped game board. Each Tec can move a certain distance and has a spell specific to them. They can cast both attack and health spells. As you progress in the game and collect more Tecs, you need to figure out the best set of Tecs for each battle.

So why do we call Mindframe a smart and safe game? After some initial playtesting, we found the game was very popular with 7 to 12-year-old children. We also noticed that many of the parents liked the game as well and could play with their children. This non-violent game was designed to stimulate a player’s mind and not just their hand-eye coordination. It is based on classic board games like chess and requires skill and strategy to play. Even though it is a strategic game, it is fun to play and the game’s colourful graphics make it appealing to younger players.

Research has shown that playing challenging board games helps in brain development. With these types of games, a player will only progress through skilful planning, mathematical reasoning and critical thinking…. all while having fun!

 From an online safety perspective, the game has the following features included

  • No in-game chat or messaging
    • No graphic violence
    • No analytics or tracking
    • Parental purchase locks
    • Parent ad/social media locks

Download it now for free here on your Android phone or tablet – or search for Mindframe Arena on your device.  Players can play on their own or they can play against another player on the same device. Try it and let us know how you get on !

Mindframe Arena at Dublin Comic Con

We were delighted to be able to show Mindframe Arena at the recent Dublin Comic Con. As always it is a fantastic fun event - hot and hectic as it should be. Great crowds and energy make it a must-see event for all scifi, fantasy, comic, cosplay and game fans. The Comic Con brochure had a really nice tribute to the legend that was Stan Lee - such a positive creative role model for everyone in the comic and games world.

Stan Lee

As you can see below, we had a lot of interest in the game. We got great feedback over the 2 days so thanks to everyone for dropping by and saying hello.

Don't forget, you can now download the Android version of Mindframe Arena on Google Play

New Mindframe Arena promo video

As we are getting closer to launching the game (we think!), we have produced another Mindframe Arena promotional video showing off some of our cool Tec characters. We created this video as an animation in Adobe Animate, then exported it as an mp4. We were pretty impressed by the quality. Hopefully we should have a fully gameplay video soon showing all the fancy effects and animations. See you soon!

 

Loot Boxes & Game Developer Remuneration

In the free to play gaming market, loot boxes pose a real quandary for game developers. Using the Japanese gacha system they are a popular game mechanic for increasing player engagement. However, the recent controversy with a number of high profile paid games (using loot boxes) is a cause for concern. It appears that core game players don’t like loot boxes. They have already paid for the game and they don’t see the need to have to pay for new content.

With free to play games it is different. Casual game players are used to daily reward mechanisms. A number of countries are now looking at the legality of loot boxes as a form of gambling. Are they a form of gambling? As the in-game currency cannot be used outside of the game, in most cases they have been shown not to be a form of gambling. However, loot boxes in games have now grabbed the attention of legislators in a number of countries.

Game developers need to be very careful in their implementation of a gacha type loot box system. They need to ensure it is property designed to reward players for ongoing play and not give an unfair competitive advantage.

For us we see it as a systematic structural problem in the games market as a result of the prevalence of free to play games. Professional game developers need to be remunerated for creating quality games that provide hours of entertainment - even if they are free to play. Google and Apple are delighted with dominance of free to play games as it effectively gives their customers free content. Yes, there is the freemium business model but it only works for a tiny number of large publishers. Both Google and Apple have a big part to play in correcting the market to so that there is a balance between free content and content creators getting paid. Unless this occurs, the games market will stagnate with no innovation and everyone making the same type…. With lots of loot boxes!

 

Chinese Game Publishers visit Fierce Fun

Fierce Fun was recently visited by a number of Chinese game publishers, as part of a worldwide tour. During their visit, we presented an overview of the European game publishing market and some of the advantages to publishing games from Ireland. We also discussed publishing games in China and there was considerable interest in our new game Mindframe Arena.

The visiting attendees were:

Pictured:
Ms. Mavis Yao--- Vice secretary-general of China National Center for Developing Animation, Cartoon and Game Industry
General Manager of Tangxi Culture (executive company of Shanghai Online Game Association)
Ms. Guanhua JIAO---Co-founder of Uzone games
Ms. July LI --- Secretary-General Government Public Relationship of Uzone games
Ms. Sherry HU --- CFO of Lilith games
Mr. Crespo SUN --- Vice President of Europe and America Business of Gamemoon
Ms. Lauren LU --- Overseas Department Project Executive of Tangxi Culture
Peter Lynch – Fierce Fun
Mark Reid – Fierce Fun

Fierce Fun at DIT State of Play 2017

Fierce Fun showcased an early demo version of Mindframe Arena at the DIT State of Play games exhibition. State of Play 2017 was held in the Dublin Institute of Technology Aungier Street campus. SOP brings together some of commercial and academic players in the Irish games industry. In addition to the games exhibition, there was a series of talks from game development professionals, both Irish and international.

Fierce Fun used the exhibition to get some feedback on the Mindframe Arena gameplay mechanics and concepts. Mindframe Arena is what we call a ‘card board’ game, mixing elements of card trading games and classic board games. Generally, we received a positive reception to the game. Obviously, it was a very early version that we were showing but it proved a very useful overall exercise.

SOP is a great event to showcase Irish indie and student gaming talent – long may it continue!

DIT State of Play
http://www.stateofplay.ie/

Fierce Fun at UCC Digitopia

Digitopia is the annual digital humanities institute held by Digital Humanities department in University College Cork. The conference was organised by the MA class in Digital Arts and Humanities and took place in April 2017. The conference themes included a variety of topics such as digital history, archiving and gaming.

Fierce Fun’s Peter Lynch was invited as a guest speaker to discuss digital gaming. His talk focused on independent (indie) games development and rise of self-publishing. A link to his talk is available here:
https://www.slideshare.net/plynchire/indie-games-and-the-role-of-self-publishing

University College Cork Digitopia
http://www.digitopia-institute.com/

Fierce Fun at Dublin Comic Con 2016

Dublin Comic Con

What an event!

Colour, costumes, characters……..great fun all-round. Thanks to Pulse College for inviting us to participate in the GameDev Zone in Comic Con. It was my first time at a Comic Con and all I can say is ….wow! It is a real day out for scifi/fantasy fans and everyone else – highly recommended.

We got great feedback on our upcoming games – always good to get feedback when a game is in development. Vanessa took some amazing pictures on the day – enjoy! We did…

Full Comic Con photo album here

 

 

Dublin Comic Con

Advergaming, Branded Games and Marketing Games

Games Irish Digital Marketing

Advergaming, branded games, marketing games as part of the marketing mix are increasingly making their presence known world wide. This kind of marketing connects with the consumer in a fun but casual way, on all types of devices, but primarily on mobile devices. It seeks to provide positive experiences for the players or players, this in turn reflects on the specific brand or product connected to the game. Consumers are introduced to the brand or product in a positive and exciting way using this medium. They will learn about the brand and have a pleasant recollection of the experience via the games.

The usual array of internet marketing options like banners, pop ups, have their place; however they can be easily blocked by savvy consumers. Advergaming provides an effective and more interactive method way to engage with consumers. People increasingly use the mobile phone as their primary touch point with the internet. We feel its inevitable that marketing through these devices will become crucial to the successful placement of products or brands. Gaming has expanded its reach to beyond the traditional male audience. It is now a popular entertainment activity with the general public, with games now played equally by male and female players. Increasingly your customers as casual users can connect to play games on their mobile devices or phones.

Advergaming is not considered intrusive and can lead to positive social and viral marketing of your product. One great innovation in the online gaming area is the use of web gaming and HTML5. This allows cross platform game activity, working on all devices. You can play anywhere and even use devices interchangeably. Imagine starting the game on the train to work and finishing it on your PC in work (at lunchtime of course).

At Fierce Fun we provide full advergaming, branded and marketing gaming solutions. We can create a complete branded games solution for your business. Because the process includes building a storyboard visual,  you are fully involved in designing your own game. Also our developers and animators create a digital emulation using critical data on potential user flow. This will ensure you get a highly effective marketing solution, in addition to a great game. This approach can transform your brand and move your products to a new audience. So if you want to take advantage of the marketing potential of online gaming in the Irish, UK or European markets, please contact us.

ADVERGAMING

http://www.warc.com/News/Default.aspx?ID=34948

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising_in_video_games