In today’s video gaming news, learn more about the traditional console and PC game makers that have taken one of the largest revenue prospects from the mobile gaming industry: free-to-play games with in-game purchases. Meanwhile, after spending my twenties gaming all day, my priorities transformed. I can’t binge-play anymore, even if the console still calls to me. Unlearning bad gaming habits is difficult, but moderation is crucial. Or until Breath of the Wild. Lastly, “Knights of the Kitchen Table” is a new video game produced by five Dakota State University students and available for purchase on the gaming platform Steam.
How Free-to-play and in-game Purchases Dominated Video Games
Original Source: How free-to-play and in-game purchases took over the video game industry
Due to the popularity of free-to-play, downloadable games and gaming platforms like “Fortnite,” “League of Legends,” and Roblox, it’s rare for a high-profile video game to be released without some sort of recurring payment strategy — a far cry from the $60 standalone game purchase that dominated the video game industry less than a decade ago.
As video games moved from consoles to digital and mobile platforms, the business model and how gamers engage with games changed.
In 2013, it was contentious to claim that the free-to-play business model will dominate gaming, said Kabam co-founder and former CEO Kevin Chou. “Mobile games [then] were mostly free-to-play, but we said, ‘You know, gaming in general is headed in that direction.’”
In-game purchases were fledgling for most console and PC games, but FarmVille showed the promise.
This is now the model for huge video game franchises. Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty” saw more than $1 billion spent worldwide on its free-to-play mobile version, while “Warzone” topped 125 million players in June. It made the latest edition of “Overwatch,” which made $1 billion in its first year, free-to-play. Take-Two Interactive’s “Grand Theft Auto V” has sold approximately 170 million units as of August, and its online platform’s readership has grown 49% since the first quarter of 2020.
Kabam was nominated to the inaugural CNBC Disruptor 50 list in 2013 after evolving from generating free-to-play games for Facebook to creating first- and third-party games for social, online, and mobile platforms. Like Fortnite, Kabam leaned on well-known properties, creating games on “The Hobbit” and “Fast & Furious.”
These free-to-play games have a lucrative side. Although the initial download is free, gamers are encouraged to buy seasonal “Battle Passes” that grant additional goods and cosmetic prizes as they progress.
It’s a goldmine for game firms. Activision Blizzard had $5.1 billion in in-game bookings for its 2021 fiscal year, including “World of Warcraft” subscriptions, skins and equipment in “Warzone” and “Overwatch,” and other microtransactions. This is a 5.2% year-over-year gain. This compared to $8.35 billion in digital and physical game sales in 2021.
Kabam’s sales grew 70% to $180 million in 2012 because to “Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North,” the top-grossing iOS app that year.
Epic Games’ Fortnite grossed more than $5 billion in its first year through the sale of items and seasonal passes.
Slowing console and PC gaming markets have attempted to emulate the fast-growing mobile gaming landscape, and the video game business is flattening so there are fewer lines between games and gamers.
Mobile gaming has surpassed the expansion of the broader video game market over the last decade and is expected to earn $136 billion this year, compared to $86 billion for PC, console, and handheld console gaming combined.
Mobile games are a key driver of the entire market, Chou said.
Chou said the quality of mobile games has improved and developers are bringing console-level games to smartphones. “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is similar to Fortnite. The game, produced by South Korean game producer Krafton, was a hit on PC and consoles and on mobile, where it has grossed more than $8.5 billion globally.
“Companies are porting PC and console games to mobile,” Chou added. You still have PC and console players, but you may also extend the audience.
Cloud gaming allows gamers to access their games or saved files remotely or through phone or other device. Google just shut down its digital gaming service Stadia, but Chou says other providers are bringing “continuous game quality to smartphones.”
“There are individuals who love their consoles and continue to buy them, but in other parts of the world you wouldn’t buy a console, but now they could play the same way,” Chou added.
As more M&A occurs in the gaming market, mobile gaming investment will undoubtedly rise.
Sony announced a plan to buy Halo developer Bungie for $3.6 billion after Microsoft proposed buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Take-Two bought FarmVille maker Zynga for $12.7 billion in January.
Take-Two buys Zynga for $12.7 billion
NetEase, a Chinese game developer that has released Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter mobile games, bought French developer Quantic Dream in August to compete with Tencent.
Sony envisions a PlayStation mobile gaming unit for August. The business expects to release 50% of games on PC and mobile by 2025, up from 25% now. Nintendo has recently focused on mobile games.
Kabam was bought by Netmarble in 2017.
Chou, who co-founded esports organization Gen.G and is now managing partner of crypto venture studio SuperLayer, sees development ahead for mobile gaming, notably the opportunities Web3 may offer to free-to-play games and the industry more broadly.
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have sold Kabam, Chou remarked.
Breath of the Wild Changed My Gaming Style
Original Source: Breath of the Wild Changed the Way I Play Video Games
ONE POINT IN MY GAMING LIFE, EVERYTHING CHANGED. After spending my twenties gaming all day, my priorities transformed. I can’t binge-play anymore, even if the console still calls to me. Unlearning bad gaming habits is difficult, but moderation is crucial. Or until Breath of the Wild.
Since 2017’s release, much has changed. First, I have a toddler, so my gaming time is restricted to 15-minute or 30-minute bursts, and Breath is an hours-long game. In anticipation of the sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, a repeat was needed. I wanted to play a big game in my limited time. How? Objectives. Every time I pick up the controller, even for a few minutes, I execute a specified task. It’s as satisfying as being lost, but fits my schedule better.
I feared this strategy wouldn’t work. I’d tried to replay Breath previously but never had time to get absorbed. By making a to-do list, I get drawn in more readily and have a clear route out. It’s transformed my gaming.
When I have a few hours to play, I may fight a Divine Beast. When I have 15 minutes, I might collect five Hyrule Bass to upgrade armor or climb a mountain (I’m seeking for Korok seeds, so there’s a lot of climbing). Breath of the Wild is fun since there’s always something new to discover, so I often get sidetracked. If I don’t have time to properly explore something, I mark it on the map and move on; that marking becomes my next gaming goal.
It’s a weirdly structured approach to play a game with unlimited possibilities, and it may not be what Breath’s makers intended. For my intellect and time, it works. Even in Tetris-sized chunks, I’m enjoying this replay.
This time, I might finish it.
DSU Students Develop ‘Knights of the Kitchen Table’
Original Source: DSU students create new ‘Knights of the Kitchen Table’ video game
“Knights of the Kitchen Table” was created by five Dakota State University students and is accessible on Steam.
The game is a “action, adventure, hack and slash game” in which players kill huge food monsters that threaten their country, according to the developer.
They came up with the game in 2020 at a DSU mini-projects class. It started as a 2D side scroller like “Castle Crashers” but evolved into a 3D game like “Dark Souls,” according to DSU.
A team of Dakota State University students created “Knights of the Kitchen Table,” in which users act, explore, hack, and slash.
We wanted to make it easier for casual gamers, Maxey remarked. He did game programming, animation, and 2D art. The game’s cartoony, whimsical charm is my favorite feature.
Future students interested in building their own game should create a suitable organizational framework for distributing tasks. Ko recommends fleshing out the idea and gameplay beforehand.
$4.99 gets you a tutorial and four stages of the game. The team has sold more than 60 games, according to the statement.
DSU’s game design department teaches students how to develop their concepts, says assistant professor Peter Britton. Developing a new game helps students build cooperation skills and realize a vision.
Britton remarked of the team’s concept, “It’s great to see it grow.”
Having DSU students’ games on Steam shows what the program teaches them, Britton said.
Summary of Today’s Computer Gaming News
Overall, traditional console and PC game makers have adapted free-to-play titles with in-game purchases as mobile gaming has increased in popularity. In-game purchases drive revenue for Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive with games like “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty.” Kabam, a member of the inaugural CNBC Disruptor 50 list, foresaw this flattening.
On the other hand, after spending the majority of my twenties playing video games for hours on end and emerging from all-day gaming sessions, my priorities transformed. Even while I still sense the pull of the console and wish to be immersed in a game, I can no longer engage in binge-playing. Moderation is essential, but it is difficult to unlearn unhealthy gaming behaviors. Or, until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, at least.
Finally, 5 Dakota State University students created “Knights of the Kitchen Table” for Steam. According to game designers Alex Maxey, Spencer Sexton, Zachary Boyle, William Ko and Kristopher Wagner-Tubbs, players kill huge food monsters that threaten their realm. In a DSU mini projects class, they all came up with the game in 2020. According to a DSU press release, it originated as a 2D side scroller game like “Castle Crashers” but grew into a 3D game like “Dark Souls.”