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Najeeb's Gaming Report - Issue #11

This is my weekly newsletter focusing on major developments within the Gaming industry. You can follo

Najib El Kihel

June 26 · Issue #11 · View online
Startup and Tech curious, with a focus on #Gaming. Runs a weekly Newsletter on this particular industry.

This is my weekly newsletter focusing on major developments within the Gaming industry.
You can follow me on Twitter here.

Issue #11 - 26 June 2017
Issue #11 - 26 June 2017
My Blog Post
Industry News
Things are ramping up in the esport broadcasting space after Google secured rights to CS:GO tournaments earlier this year. We’ll probably see an escalation in terms of competition to acquire rights and money spent to acquire those rights. Good news for publishers/devs, not so much necessarily for broadcasters. There have been a few examples in traditional sport industry of broadcasters (Bein Sports/ESPN) overpaying for rights and not being able to get a decent ROI despite the subscription paywall to access this content and advertising revenues. Interesting to see how this will play out if more publishers push for esport exclusivity deals.
As explained in my latest blog post, I am a bit skeptical of the real interest of gamers in old school games but two things are interesting in Sega’s initiative: 1) it’s 'almost-free-to-play’ 2) it includes games from the 2D era, which in my opinion have a lot more appeal than early 3D games. 
Technical issues have been reported on the service. The concept overall remains interesting though as it could be a good way to get players familiar with the main Sega franchises and act as as bridge to current era games.
While a deliberate shortage can potentially increase FoMO*, I believe hardware manufacturers would rather have their products available to potential customers. Despite its hybrid nature, there is still an overlap between Switch and PS4/X1: There is no reason for Nintendo to give undecided customers an opportunity to spend their money on another console because the Switch was not available at the time of purchase. I also believe it makes no sense for Nintendo to create a deliberate shortage considering its strong line up of first-party titles in the Switch’ first year.
*Fear of Missing Out
Probably the most inspiring success story of 2017. 4 million copies sold in total. The game is still in early access, but has taken the gaming world by storm. No doubt that live streaming played a big role in getting more people to buy the game, with the game competing with CS:GO or DOTA2 on Twitch in terms of total hours watched. The game will make its way to consoles, Microsoft securing a nice console launch exclusivity on X1 at the end of this year.
As indicated last week, devs/publishers will take exception at modding tools interfering with online multiplayer. Rockstar has clarified this to modders in its support page. Single-player mods are now officially tolerated, which has prompted OpenIV’s resurrection. Great to see a developer talking to its modding community, recognising that this community can add tremendous value to a game.
Blog Posts
Good piece on Sony’s attempt to capture part of the casual market. I do believe however that PlayLink will still suffer from the “custom hardware” problem (i.e. the need to buy additional hardware). It’s hard to imagine casual players (or a reasonable slice of that market) buying extra hardware (i.e. a PS4 in the case of PlayLink) just to add an extra layer to their casual gaming experiences on mobile. I just think that if any gaming publisher/dev wants to get casual attention, it will have to go where these casual gamers are (i.e. mobile) rather than trying to get them to buy dedicated gaming hardware.
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