Business of Games: 2024 prediction
Diversifying Play, Dollars, and Reality - What gamedev should know
Hey Friends, Greetings from Bangalore 💗
Wish you a great new year 2024 🎉
Here are some predictions that I forecast, we will revisit them in 2025 Jan and reflect.
The fingerprinting world will be void. Be prepared. Never settle with just ONE channel for UA. If you're someone (like us) who depends on AppLovin (FP) as a prime channel for UA, it's high time for you to test other channels, as Apple will nuke the fingerprinting process in 2024.
Everyone is an Ad network. Ad network here, ad network there. Everyone will join the race, and they want a piece. Expect Microsoft to try and explore the mobile ad network space with their current traction from Bing + AI.
SKAN5 will become one of our go-to tools. It will help us track re-engagement/retargeting.
Subscription as a monetization:
Studios will lean towards and move away from in-game subscription economics. Subscription as a monetization is not for everyone; it didn't take off as expected in 2023.
On the other hand, game bundles as a part of a subscription will see a spike. Gamers will cherish Netflix games. GamePass will kill Indies. I see a non-IAP-driven T2 market like India where players are playing the Netflix games. This will lead to a decline in IAP, LiveOps as Netflix is taking away my T1 paying users away from other games. Isn't Netflix pushing the players towards non-LiveOps games?
Funds vs layoff:
2024 will focus on Profit over Revenue.
Investment and fundraising will be a challenge. AI-generated content will evolve. It will not be welcomed by the operations team in studios to reduce the operational cost versus the creative team. Balancing AI will become a task for Tech Artists. The creative versus operational cost debate will intensify.
Embracer will lead with more layoffs.
More fake ads and More mini-games:
More fake ads and eventually more mini-games around it. To cope with player expectations and retention, studios must make at least mini-games for famous fake ads.
In a way, hypercasual game genres/trends may find new life as mini-games rather than standalone experiences.
AR, VR, and XR
AR is nowhere, and the VR future will depend on Apple's Vision Pro release. More studios will give up on VR; the closure of studios like First Contact Entertainment underscores the harsh reality.
Vision Pro will go through the same cycle as Oculus. Released at a high price (rumored to be at least $2500), with no demand/poor sales, followed by a re-release of a cheaper version. This will make the VR-focused devs' life more complex - an amazing tech with poor sales (in the initial release).
More Webshops: Sideload IAP will be possible with iOS 17.2. More studios (T1) will push gamers to their Webshops. These webshops will be more of a platform than a purchase cart - they will have social systems, bundles...
Anime game themes will become new trends.
Netflix is already pushing lots of content; MoCo (from Supercell) is leading the experiment.
More Alt store:
More Droid stores; users will get familiarized with more Droid stores. PhonePe (an entity from Walmart) is planning to open an Android store in India, which has no store tax and allows real-money games. More prominent players will release more stores in emerging markets.
More UGC contents: Roblox, UEFN - Epic will extend UGC as a creative mode in all its games. They have released creative mode in Fall Guys too.
Production fees for the games will spike; premium games will take a huge budget to produce.
More IP-based games will be on the top chart like Monopoly, Marvel Snap...
Talking about IPs, the crossover from games to movies will increase—all credits to Mario Bros.
Unity Run-Time Fee vs. Switching Cost? It is a very true fact that there are not many options out there. From the perspective of a work-for-hire studio, we observe that Unreal developers' pay is significantly higher compared to Unity developers. Over time, I believe this difference will diminish, but as of now, the switching cost is high.
With Love, Cartic P
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