Amidst a week of travel (SF->LA->SEA->SF), I dropped into Casual Connect for about eight hours. Five meetings and one panel later, I was back in the air but it was enough to pick up on these current trends;
1. All the single-title hit games companies are looking for portfolios.
Everyone wants to prove that they can scale to more than just one game. A lot of content acquisition conversations.
2. All the portfolio games companies are looking for single-title hits.
I’m simplifying for the sake of humour but with reducing product cycles, everyone is looking for more content.
3. Social gaming is dead. Mobile is the new king.
Despite a range of quite profitable companies, social is deemed to be dead. Mobile is well and truly where sentiment (investor and business development) is based.
4. Digital trading cards are the new growth market.
Thanks to Big Bang Theory and the general mainstreaming of nerdism (more on that later), digital trading cards are not only revitalising the collectible card industry but attracting lots of attention from the mobile publishers for their strong monetization potential. Don’t say I didn’t tell you 😉
5. Cross-platform is going to get bigger.
6. Anyone wanting to be a public games company needs their head examined.
With Zynga getting creamed by a bad set of earning and down to a fraction of its offering price, it hammered home the point that transitioning companies should not be public. Analysts generally don’t understand social OR mobile on a good day, and certainly not one transforming into another.