Computer Games Industry Dinner
Last night we had the pleasure of hosting dinner for a group of businesses and investors in the computer games sector. Given the current level of activity - three significant private equity investments having been made in the computer games industry in the last year - discussion was wide-ranging and the investor interest in the space palpable.
Reflecting this morning on conversations around the room, three recurring themes resonated with our experiences of the sector and would be relevant to many games businesses:
- Digital distribution has fundamentally changed the risk profile of the sector, making it more attractive to financial investors. Because independents are now able to self-publish on meaningful scale using digital distribution platforms, they are able to build stronger franchises based on closer relationships with their end users. This has many benefits, the most significant of which is mitigating the concentration of revenue in publisher relationships that was a feature of the industry historically.
- Games analytics tools that enable player behaviour to be quantified and modelled have an impact that goes beyond player experience and game development; The insights they can provide into business models are also highly relevant to financing. Used intelligently game analytics can provide the data to bridge the gap between what is 'common knowledge' or 'gut feel' in the industry and the external perspective of financial investors.
- The potential of VR is understood by everyone involved, both games professionals and investors, and it is increasingly clear that in the long term the greatest opportunities for it lie outside entertainment. Sitting at the front line in both the development and adoption of VR technology, the industry is building VR expertise today that will create opportunity far beyond the games market tomorrow.
Energised by a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable event, we look forwards to another active year in the computer games sector in 2017.