E3 2015 Expectations

Liam-Callahan-2012

As I head to E3 2015 (I am literally in the air right now as I am writing this), I am excited at the prospect of how this year’s show will compare to previous ones … the industry is evolving at breakneck speed, so I expect plenty of excitement at this year’s E3.

What am I excited about?

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Interactive Gaming Toys Poised for Further Growth

Liam-Callahan-2012

My initial reaction after seeing Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure at E3 2011 was, “This is genius! But will consumers really get it?”

Clearly, consumers have gotten it, and in a big way. Since their inception in late 2011, interactive gaming toys (IGT), also known as toys to life, have generated over $2 billion across software as well as accessories (figures, etc.). Adoption has been strong, and is poised for further growth with new entrants and line extensions expanding the market this year.

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Mobile Gaming Growth Has Been Explosive… But How Can It Grow Further?

Liam-Callahan-2012

In the past two years, we have seen explosive growth in the mobile space from our last iteration of our latest report, Mobile Gaming 2014. Growth stemmed not just in the traditional measurement of dollars spent by consumers, but growth in usage, frequency of sessions, length of sessions, willingness to upgrade the experience, and much more.
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Canadian Video Game Industry Heats Up For the Holidays

darrel_ryce

Around this time of year, it is difficult for me not to get excited about the video game industry.  From a business perspective, given the fact that the fourth quarter (Oct.-Dec.) represents close to half of annual sales, I am always anxious to see the latest sales results (especially in November and December). And, personally, this time of the year is when some of the most anticipated titles are launched, making it a good time to pick up a new game or two.

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Black Friday: An Indicator Of The Overall Holiday Trends

Liam-Callahan-2012

The wait is over, Black Friday is here, and deals abound. A lot of what I’ve observed today is an indication of how retailers will handle the overall holiday season.

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If History Is Right, This Video Game Holiday Will Be Bright

Liam-Callahan-2012

As Black Friday approaches, and the “shop till you drop” mentality kicks in, I want to take a step back and offer some perspective on what I think will occur within the retail video game space over the 2014 holiday season. If history is any indication, especially when looking at the second holiday season for video game consoles, then this year’s holiday will be a bright one, indeed.

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Long Live PC Gaming!

Liam-Callahan-2012

Are you a PC gamer? Have you dabbled in a Facebook game, or played a card game on your work PC during your lunch break? Maybe you have invested hundreds of hours in an MMO, or a have huge collection of digital games in your Steam library (some of which you guiltily know will likely never be played). For some time now, pundits have predicted the demise of PC gaming, while others have exalted the virtues of MMOs, Steam, social network gaming, free-to-play games, MOBAs and the resurgence of indie gaming. What is safe to say that there is no such thing as an average PC gamer. The PC gaming community is just as multi-faceted as the wider gaming space and NPD’s report Understanding PC Gaming delves right into those nuances.

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New Console Sales Strong; Opportunities Abound

darrel_ryce

Like many gamers, when the new Xbox One and Playstation 4 became available at the end of 2013, I was excited to add another system to my household.  It is now eight months later and I can report that although I enjoy the new platforms I am still waiting for that defining game.  So when I look at the latest sales figures it does not surprise me to see that the tie ratio of games sold to systems is down from the previous console launches.

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A Shift towards Avid Omni Gamers

Liam-Callahan-2012

In one year, a lot can happen in the video game space. With ever-increasing usage of smartphones and tablets, our Gamer Segmentation 2014 report saw that the composition of gamers has shifted in one year’s time towards Avid Omni Gamers, driven by this group’s growth in mobile gaming usage.
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My Name Is Liam Callahan, And I Am A Core Gamer

Being bleary-eyed with an aching back, sweaty palms and in need of a bathroom break, but refusing to stop gaming until you have reached just one more level, defeated that boss or opened that chest before taking a break is a sure sign that you’re a Core Gamer.  I suffer from these symptoms (and love every minute of it), so I was not surprised when I read in The NPD Group’s Core Gaming 2014 report that my fellow Core Gamer hobbyists spend an average of 22 hours a week gaming, or the equivalent of a part-time job.

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I Dig Digital

As someone who is into everything gaming, I frequently buy digitally downloaded games. Sometimes it is for convenience, sometimes it is because the content is only available exclusively online, but more often than not, there is one main driver: price.
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If I Had a Dollar for Every Time I Heard the Word…Digital

Digital … every day, it’s the one word that I hear and think about the most.  How much of the market will be digital?  How fast are consumers shifting to digital content?  How soon until all content is delivered digitally?  When I think about these kinds of questions, I imagine a wizard looking into a crystal ball to see the future.

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All I Want For Christmas Is My IGTs

Two front teeth?

Who needs ‘em?  Instead, I think many kids this holiday will be asking for Interactive Gaming Toys.

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Game Changers: How The New Consoles Will Change Consumer Behavior

I’ve been fortunate enough to have early access to the Xbox One and PS4 and have experienced some of their new “game changing” features. Those features that I believe will alter consumer behavior over time – specifically, how they interact with each other, acquire content, and, of course, play games, are as follows:

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Xbox One and PS4: Holiday Heroes?

I am often asked about my thoughts and predictions for the upcoming releases of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4. In order to wrap my head around what I think these new consoles will sell, I took an approach at what the consoles need to sell in order for software and hardware sales to be on par with last year, and therefore anything above that would yield growth in the all-important fourth quarter of the year.
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Is It One Or 4?

November is going to be an exciting time for me. I am a gamer, and a researcher; and the release of Xbox One and Playstation 4 couldn’t be a better combination for me as we head into the holiday season.
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I Believe That Children (GAMERS) Are Our Future

Children are the future – of everything, really – and gaming is not exempt from this truth.  After all, kids who start with gaming as a hobby early in life are very likely to continue into the future as gamers, so understanding their behavior now is important if we want to have a better understanding of how the market will evolve.

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The Power of Experience – Oculus Rift

With 300,000 attendees, Gamescom, a week-long “trade fair” held in Cologne, Germany, during August, is quite the spectacle.  Two things struck me at the fair: the sheer number of people attending; and the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for gaming (a la Lawnmower Man).

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More Than Just a Price Drop

Sony made some announcements at this week’s Gamescom that are worth addressing.

We now have an exact launch date for Sony’s PlayStation 4. As most of us expected, it is launching November 15, but more important than an exact date for their new console, Sony announced that all PS Vita SKUs available at retail will now sell for $199 (down from the original launch price of $249.99 for the Wi-Fi version and $299.99 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version).
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E3 and Microsoft’s Change of Heart

In my last blog post- “One Console to Rule Them All” – I mentioned how I expected Microsoft to speak to gamers during their E3 presser and other E3 announcements.   While they partly achieved this by showcasing a number of intriguing games, their messaging about some of their controversial policies was met with ire from many of the gaming public.  Things like the ability to lend games, how used games were going to be handled, and a need for an online connection were met with anger and frustration by many in the gaming community.

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