Tag Archives: Games

Why Google’s launch of Stadia is a game-changer for the gaming industry

Stadia Blog

Google’s launch of Stadia is a game-changer, and a move that will have Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony quite concerned. No downloads, no patches and no console makes this the cloud gamers dream, and Google is delivering this incredible service without compromising on graphics quality. With 2.3bn active gamers globally and 46 per cent of those (1.1bn) spending, the financial impact to the establishment is significant. More so with the forecasted growth of gaming from $137.9bn (£105.3bn) in 2018 to more than $180.1bn by 2021.

Generational changes in consumers have seen Millennials identify with nostalgia, and they recapture their youth through console gaming, just as they have been doing for over 20 years. Back in 1994 PlayStation appeared on the market and having sold 525m consoles. It’s by far the most successful gaming platform ever.

Sony, together with Nintendo and Microsoft, has attempted to evolve the proposition and gaming to a digital platform with some degree of success. The most successful here is again PlayStation, with 80m active users on its PlayStation Network, up from 70m only a year ago.

However, PlayStation 4 Sony’s most up-to-date platform, is now six years old and accounts for a third of the total Sony turnover and profit. It’s no understatement to describe PlayStation as the jewel in Sony’s portfolio and that may just be about to be disrupted.

“A new generation platform”
Enter Google with its Stadia solution. As Phil Harrison VP and general manager at Google stated when launching Stadia: “It’s a new generation platform, rather than a next generation platform” which is what perhaps Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have failed to achieve. Instead they’re merely evolving the concept of their platforms, rather than recreating them. Stadia will be a tough act to follow, with sharing options via YouTube, which has 63m daily viewers worldwide, Google Assistant built in, 4K resolution games at 60 frames per second with HDR (High Dynamic Range), and a plan to support 8K resolution in the future.

It may be game over for the business of selling hardware and encouraging gamers to ‘upgrade’ to a new console. This is not great for retailers who make a good margin on selling the hardware to eager gamers needing to upgrade to access the dream being sold by the platforms. For the platforms, success relies heavily on the hardware sales as the portal to the business end of the operation, the games themselves. Much like the print industry, brands sell the hardware at little or no margin to acquire users to the platform, tying them in to facilitate access to the gaming titles which deliver the true spoils and profit to the platforms.

Now with Stadia the internet is your store, with the network and data centre as your platform. So perhaps the paradigm is about to shift and the gaming industry will see a new emperor wear the clothes.

Generation Alpha

Consider Generation Alpha, the generation born after 2012, who as future consumers have been born into an era where minimalism in hardware drives digital innovation. This is the generation whom Stadia speaks to in volumes, and it may well turn out to be the only gaming platform this generation ever knows. Given that many 10 year olds become avid gamers, mobile phone, tablet and computer users, with no concept of physical media, this seismic shift could make the gaming establishment obsolete, unless their platforms evolve quickly.

To read the full article please visit Mobile Marketing.

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2014 Is the Year of Sport

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the year of sport that will be 2014. It’s any marketer’s dream and brings boundless opportunities for brands, whether officially or unofficially linked to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It will be the year of sporting endeavour, which some may argue can only be made possible with the support of partners, sponsors and suppliers; but is there a return beyond the cache of being associated with the event? I’d argue a lot. After all, there is the index-linked effect on sales, which can’t be ignored, as well as the value of a brand’s stock and overall stature in today’s economic climate. The blue chips of this world are index-linked to our livelihoods, through the people they employ and effect on the local economy, regardless of whether we are consumers of their products or not. We simply cannot escape the loop.

P&G, Visa, Longines, Omega, Toshiba, Panasonic, VW, Emirates, Ford, Sony, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are just some of the great and good that make these events possible. London 2012 secured 80% of its £700m target from sponsors and Sochi 2014 is predicted to have raised the same amount from sponsors. These sporting events really do light up the eyes of brands who know the positive effect a global event can have on their brand equity, recall and awareness.

Those who argue that Coca-Cola or McDonald’s shouldn’t take part in such gigs have every right to expose the ironic discrepancy in dubious health benefits of their products against a landscape of sport and genuine health. However, as demonstrated by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight with James Quincey, President of Coca-Cola Europe, this argument is weak. Most nations would certainly fight against a Nanny State where consumer lifestyle choices are controlled. I agree we shouldn’t glamorise smoking and alcohol above-the-line, but when it comes to what we eat, who has the right to tell us to stop?

Like it or not, these brands are the ones with the resources to prop up good causes and keep major sporting events alive through sponsorship. As consumers, we have the choice to decide for ourselves what is good for us to eat. A brand has the moral obligation of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for both mind and body, but is it acceptable for a brand to be told that it cannot be a sponsor because of its relevance to the event in question? Without the exposure which sponsorship allows these brands to develop, thousands of employees worldwide face the risk of losing their jobs because a dictate stated we can no longer drink sugary beverages or that sugary beverage brands cannot support good causes. The worst case scenario is that the stock market declines on the back of poor trading statements and share prices fall to affect the economy. Brands are vital to general wellbeing in our economy and societies, which finishes with our consumption.

Let’s remember what makes a brand great. It is how we, the consumers, perceive it. You may not like every brand, but there will always be others that do. Every brand has the right to be philanthropic and give back no matter how evil you may consider them to be. The reality is that we need these global brands as much as the global events they sponsor which serve to inspire us, our children, our nations and create a bubble where for several weeks of the year, the world unites around one event. I still have fond memories of the electricity running through the UK during the Olympics last year. It was infectious and generated a unique sense of national pride in all, facilitated perhaps in part by these brands supporting and creating a buzz through ATL. You have the choice to buy or not to buy – that is your democratic right – but let’s allow those brands who want to spend their invaluable money on these events to do just that. Through our choices, we control the consequences.

Read the full article at http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2013/12/19/2014-year-sport/

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