The competition for a share of gamers’ time is getting tougher. Games must be customized to individual preferences, seamlessly connected with the gamer’s environment and technologies and immersive enough to pull the gamer into the experience and away from other activities.
It is critical for game companies to be disruptive if they want to survive and thrive in an environment of increasing consumer demands, proliferation of gaming-capable devices and lower barriers to entry for low-cost alternatives.
Game companies need capabilities that provide captivating content, intelligent game design and rapid engineering to adapt to consumer insights. They will need to design an operating model that not only addresses the demands for today, but also provides strategic agility to prepare for the capabilities needed for tomorrow.
Accenture believes that four major shifts are driving disruption in the gaming industry. These are:
An evolving customer base: Video game consumers are increasingly diverse and gaming behaviors are less homogenous than in the past. Delivering to the right screens with the right content will determine success.
Evolving definition of games: Lower barriers to entry drive growth in successful content from indie game development, while innovative technologies enable immersive gaming experiences.
Digital delivery: Digital distribution is becoming the norm across technology platforms and personalized gaming experiences. Downloadable content is the new norm and will continue to evolve as endpoints proliferate.
Proliferating business models: New business models are shifting how revenue is devised. Flexible models that provide numerous ways to pay for a game experience will allow game companies to capture more consumer value.
Adapting in an industry ripe with change requires an evolution in the way major game companies currently think and operate. It requires rethinking content and developer relationships, creating captivating gamer experiences, delivering content where gamers want it, and innovating both business model and franchise intellectual property (IP).
Rethinking content and developer relationships: Content is only as good as the talent that develops it; game companies must define their relationships with developers as well as the content itself.
Creating captivating gamer experiences: Best games are experiences, and developing rich, connected and personalized experiences enable gamers to be captivated and immersed.
Delivering content where gamers want it: Distribution has become a portfolio management function; pricing control, level of customer interaction and ownership of gamer-related data are important variables in determining channel strategy.
Innovating business model and franchise IP: To create sustainable revenue and growth, companies must identify the pricing and monetization strategies that best fit each game and branch out of existing franchises with innovative new intellectual property.
In the battle for gamer mindshare, digital entertainment share of leisure time and overall game revenues, if game companies cannot beat the disruptors, they should be nimble enough to join them.