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How Deutsche Telekom innovates through games portal Gamesload

How Deutsche Telekom (DT) established games portal Gamesload as a means for strategic innovation. An interview with International Marketing Manager Gamesload Products & Innovation Peter Larsen. How will the portal reply to emerging trends?

This November, international games portal Gamesload celebrates its fifth year anniversary. Since its establishment in 2005 the portal has been rapidly growing and now covers 28 European countries.

Gamesload offers both ‘traditional’ games to download such as the recently released Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light as well as ‘casual’ and free to play games. Both major publishers and local actors are represented on the portal.

The firm which is on equal grounds with portals such as Impulse Driven or GamersGate, is a daughter company of Deutsche Telekom (DT) who initially founded the portal as a means for strategic innovation.

Gamesload was founded by mother company Deutsche Telekom with the aim of accomplishing three goals; (1) to expand from a traditional Telco company to a Telco Plus organization; (2) to expand internationally; and, (3) to smoothen the  transition to a more content driven organization. Gamesload, which is a independently operated subsidiary of DT, managed to set foot in the European digital distribution sector rather well as the portal covers 28 countries of which some have local marketing and PR offices.

These offices deal with local publishers on the input side and anticipate on country specific opportunities such as having holiday-sales on the output side. The combination of international scale and local operation provides Gamesload with an interesting proposition for both publishers and consumers.

From a content perspective, Gamesload is well represented. The portal can be perceived as a combination between traditional game portal GamersGate and casual gameportals by the likes of Spil Games’ such as http://www.games.co.uk/.

The target audience consists of two categories, the frequent players, mostly male up to 34 years of age with a high income, and casual players who are in their 30s and 40s, 50% female with mid to high income. According to International Marketing Manager Gamesload Products & Innovation Peter Larsen this is what distinguishes Gamesload from other portals who are more specialized in their product offering.

Since the advent of digital distribution channels in the gaming industry, things have changed at a fast pace. Trends emerge constantly and it is up to the actors involved to decide which trends to grasp on and which to pass on. Larsen sees a change in revenue sources for Gamesload.

Revenue on traditional games is down whereas revenue on cloud based games, social media integrated games, subscription based games, micropayments and virtual goods are on the rise.

Larsen sees consolidation taking place in the traditional games segment whereas the gamer demographic for casual games is diversifying as well expanding. When asked about having a mobile or in-browser version of Gamesload, Larsen did not go in too much detail but recognized the opportunities in these fields.

Gamesload owns technology with which it is possible to make the transition towards an in-browser offering. Also, being a daughter company of DT enables Gamesload to enter into partnerships with companies that own technology required to develop a mobile version of the portal.

When DT initiated Gamesload as a means of strategic innovation in 2005, mobile gaming landscape was nothing compared to what it is now and will be in the near future. It is now up to Gamesload to strategically innovate to adapt to these rapid changes in order to continue to lead in the digital distribution landscape.

However, by doing so Gamesload might come full circle with DT. A mobile in-browser portal will bring DT another step closer to accomplishing its set goals of becoming an internationally oriented, content driven Telco Plus organization.

This article is based on an interview with Gamesload’s International Marketing Manager Gamesload Products & Innovation Peter Larsen; a company presentation; and, online resources.

*this post was previously published on Strategy Guide (www.strategyguide.nl)

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