Hi, I’m Xavier Rosée. When I’m not drinking rosé to the sound of video games soundtracks, I’m helping indie and mobile game studios build games that find their audiences.
Every week I publish a rundown of articles and insights so you can have topics to discuss around a nice glass of pink wine.
So sip back, relax and enjoy the rosé.
Read previous editions and subscribe at https://xav.is/curating-game-industry-news
Sips Happen #7: Coronavirus ans it's impact on China's tech & gaming ecosystem
EDIT: title edited for tone.
After weeks of relative silence from the Chinese government, it’s finally official: we’re on the verge of an epidemic breakout. The coronavirus (nope, nothing to do with the beverage) is starting to freak people out in China: Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, announced that he will not be handing out red envelopes full of cash this year, as public gathering are to be shunned; popular e-tailers are halting price hikes on breathing masks; and Plague, Inc., a game that’s now nearing its 8th anniversary, has shot to the top of the paid download charts on the App Store.
State of the Market
- Appsflyer has raised $210M, aims at Asia conquest. I still remember the numerous sales reps I met in Beijing, so I keep wondering why they didn’t try to conquer Asia before.
- Mobile gamers growth appears is slowing down, while revenues are still soaring high.
- Related: mobile games ‘whales’ are spending more than ever. Still not a fan of the ‘whale’ term, it’s time we found a better way to call our players than hunting/prey names.
- Deconstructor of Fun’s 3 predictions for 2020: a new king in the Puzzle genre, the burst of the Hypercasual bubble and the RPG genre still as competitive as ever.
- Related: GameRefinery update their genre taxonomy.
- Gamers’ ‘boycott’ probably not as effective as they think it is: Epic Games Store has generated $680M in player spending.
- Scopely grabs FoxNext Games from Disney, getting Marvel Strike Force in the deal. Disney appears to be entering a new cycle of skimming down their in-house dev force.
- In a tone-deaf display of privilege, two Chinese women posted a video of themselves driving their SUV in the (usually closed to vehicles) Forbidden City. The backlash on social media took many forms, including a (simplistic) 2D game, Driving in Forbidden City.
- The Chinese indie scene, although mostly confidential, is booming with great releases. Here are the ones to look for in 2020.
- Tencent is bidding to acquire 100% of Funcom, publisher of Age of Conan and Dune.
- Wanda Media is partnering with Super League Gaming to bring live esports to 700+ movie theatres in China.
- PC Gaming: Twitter is the best-performing Ad Network, Facebook and Google best for volume.
- Mobile Dev Memo: Paid UA is the primary driver of discoverability for mobile apps.
- Great chat (albeit with very poor audio) between Joe Kim and Algolift on pLTV and pROAS, and how far ahead you should predict these. Start at 1:00.
- Related: Lost between all these acronyms? Grab Chartboost’s Mobile Programmatic Glossary so you can tackle 2020 with a head-start.
- Phiture has released a very handy tool that allows you to predict Impression volume from your Search Popularity score.
- LONG READ OF THE WEEK: Anyone working with data knows that your first task is to make sure everyone understands what each metric means. Else you’ll see confusion like the infamous W40% conversion rate of Spotify.
- Zeptolab has launched (soft and hard) their fair share of games. Their Head of Publishing is reflecting on what he wishes he knew back when he started.
One Last Sip
- It’s a common sight in the industry: whenever you mention you work in games, there’s always someone to demean what you’re doing, and how ‘videogames are bad’. Ever wished you knew beforehand what to say? This GDC talk from last year lays it all out.
- Related: it doesn’t help that we keep having the same video games arguments over and over again.
- Related: Videogames can have a positive impact outside of entertainment, as Niantic drove close to $250M in tourism revenue with their augmented reality games.
- Super handy: Design guidelines for App Store and Play Store icons.
- I’m still struggling to read 52 books per year, yet it’s possible to read 100 books a year.