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20090508 Friday Food

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20090508 Friday Food

  1. 1. Jan Van Looy Jan Van Looy MICT – IBBT / Ghent University Video Games, a Medium for the 21st Century? Ghent, 8 May 2009
  2. 2. This Presentation <ul><li>Introduction: a (new?) form of popular culture </li></ul><ul><li>Game industry today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segments (platforms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actors & value chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game industry in Flanders </li></ul><ul><li>How to support Flemish developers </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of research </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some History <ul><li>1962: Space War , Steve Russell (MIT) -> mainframe games </li></ul><ul><li>1972: Pong , Nolan Bushnell (Atari) -> arcade games </li></ul><ul><li>1981: Donkey Kong , Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo) -> consoles, homecomputer, PC </li></ul><ul><li>1993: Doom , John Romero (id) -> 3D gaming </li></ul><ul><li>2000: ??? online persistent worlds à la World of Warcraft, Playstation Home ? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Games and Film <ul><li>Both: </li></ul><ul><li>technological origin (vs. artistic) </li></ul><ul><li>initially not taken seriously: movies, games (vs. cinema, interactive fiction) </li></ul><ul><li>popular background (cf. novels, comics) </li></ul><ul><li>played on public fairs (cafés, arcades), coin-operated </li></ul><ul><li>then move to private home (TV, consoles) </li></ul><ul><li>slow but steady move to become storytelling medium </li></ul><ul><li>move towards industrial-size production </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gaming today <ul><li>95 to 100% of British teenagers games (BBC 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>75% of Flemish teenagers games (OIVO 2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of boys, 60% of girls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ do you play sometimes” vs. “have you played in the last six months” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Average gamer: 26 to 31 years and rising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grows with generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversification of game genres (party games, casual games, mobile phone games, facebook games) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move towards social play (natural condition) </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Billion-Euro Industry <ul><li>Global turnover: > €25 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Development budgets: up to €20m (+ marketing, boxing, licensing: up to €50m) </li></ul><ul><li>Turnover blockbuster games, e.g. Grand Theft Auto : €600m </li></ul><ul><li>More at stake: convergence, battle for the living room (console as media hub)  games, web browsing, chat, pictures, music, video rental, video recording, VOIP, … </li></ul>
  7. 7. Industry segmentation <ul><li>Console </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ living room’ devices: Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handhelds: Nintendo DS, PSP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Premium AAA games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web (flash) games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MMOs, e.g. World of Warcraft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Java games, e.g. Snake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smartphones: IPhone, Nokia Ngage, Blackberry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location-based, e.g. City Games </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Actors & Value Chain <ul><li>Game Developers (e.g. Larian) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Create the game: programming, graphics, 3D, animation… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game Publishers (e.g. Electronic Arts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bankers of the sector, financing based on prototype or subcontract work for hire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often control IP, organize marketing, merchandising </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Distributors) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribute games to retail, fewer and fewer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Console makers (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make hardware, guarantee compatibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make DVD, Blu-Ray </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retail (Fnac, Mediamarkt) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Financing <ul><li>Differs greatly between segments, e.g. AAA vs. mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Console game (biggest market): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer has idea, seeks initial funding (bank loans, business angels etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer builds prototype, vertical slice, 1 level (100 to 500k), goes to publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher believes in prototype, pays for development (5 to 20m), per milestone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Console maker presses DVDs, takes up to 10% per ex. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retailer sells DVD, takes % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer starts receiving royalties only after break-even for publisher </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Tendency: Value Chain Broken <ul><li>Publishers buy developers </li></ul><ul><li>Distributors are sidestepped by publishers (direct contracts with retail) </li></ul><ul><li>Console makers become publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing console makers buy developers </li></ul><ul><li>Console makers become retailers, open online stores (Xbox, Playstation) </li></ul><ul><li>Developer becomes publisher, distributor, e.g. Valve (Steam platform for PC) </li></ul><ul><li> Full vertical integration </li></ul>
  11. 11. Game Sales in Belgium <ul><li>Turnover 2006 (software): €154m </li></ul><ul><li>Strongest growth of home entertainment segments: +10% </li></ul><ul><li>Last year passed audio, video soon </li></ul>* Source: Blisa
  12. 12. Study “Youth and Gaming” ” <ul><li>Commissioned by viWTA (Flemish Parliament) </li></ul><ul><li>Three parts: society / education / industry </li></ul><ul><li>What does the Flemish game industry look like and how can it more firmly be embedded? </li></ul><ul><li>Literature survey & stakeholder interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Led to Parliamentary resolution, July 2008 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why a game industry in Flanders, culturally? <ul><li>Popular cultural form like any other  certain cultural images, preconceptions  film, tv, theatre, literature, visual art, graphic novel etc are all supported, why not games? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ collateral’ cultural impact: copywriters, concept artists, musicians, animators, 3D designers, storyboarders etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Belgium has a rich history in comics and animation film (cf. Japanese manga/anime & Nintendo) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why a game industry in Flanders, economically? <ul><li>Foreign investment </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work-intensive (up to 150 people/game, e.g. Killzone 2) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average to high-profile jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High motivation (danger of flight of human capital) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Industrial periphery: computer simulation, visualisation, 3D scanning, advergaming, film special effects etc. </li></ul><ul><li>European knowledge economy </li></ul>
  15. 15. Game development in Flanders <ul><li>Around 10 relatively young SMEs </li></ul><ul><li>Three segments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Console/PC: Larian, Oudenaarde, Divine Divinity , 1m ex., Ketnet Kick, 40-60 pers, 3y </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet/casual: Nuclide, Antwerp, 5 people, 1y </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile phone: AIM, Antwerp, 3 people, 4 months </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Challenges for the sector <ul><li>Startup cost (development prototype, up to 10 people, 1y, €500k </li></ul><ul><li>Qualified personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Investment climate (lack of knowledge, figures, bad image) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of research: technological, market, user </li></ul><ul><li>Weak negotiating position on intellectual property </li></ul>
  17. 17. Possible initiatives <ul><li>(Pre-)production fund (cf. VAF) </li></ul><ul><li>Master in Game Development (international, industry-oriented, cf. HKU) </li></ul><ul><li>Activation of venture capital (tax shelter) </li></ul><ul><li>(Applied) research (cf. Sweden, Holland ‘Gate Project’, €10m) </li></ul><ul><li>Incubator, grow and spin off companies </li></ul>
  18. 18. What Kind of Research? <ul><li>Technological research, e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitating middleware, e.g. format conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MMO server balancing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensor tech for input devices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applied research, e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious gaming: apply game tech to other fields: education, training, simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research new forms of gameplay, visual representation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experience research, e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link gamer motivations with types of gamers, genres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop powerful methods for measuring ‘depth’ of experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem: [2] & [3] currently not widely accepted as research </li></ul>
  19. 19. MICT C urrent & Future Gaming Research <ul><li>Map gamer motivations, identify different groups, correlate with preferences e.g. media / gaming survey, see www.mict.be </li></ul><ul><li>Develop scales for measuring different types of game experience, e.g. serious games </li></ul><ul><li>Develop methods for cost-efficient playtesting of prototypes  IBBT, iLab.u, GameXP Lab </li></ul>
  20. 20. More info: <ul><li>Studie “Jongeren en gaming” www.viwta.be </li></ul><ul><li>Parlementaire resolutie http://jsp.vlaamsparlement.be/docs/stukken/2007-2008/g1735-3.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address]  Questions? </li></ul>

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