- Demographic including household income to simple living space. Greater China, South East Asia and India typically have lower disposable incomes and family living space is smaller than western standards.
- The wide use of internet cafes
- Social communities established within game environments.
· Mobile phone use, low entry cost.
This points to internet cafes and mobile communication as the dominating drivers for future Asian gaming and social interaction.
Japan is important from looking at how the game-play styles and age groups have segmented over time. Also the local development community has established a very high quality global product.
So the first and most obvious trend is that wider segments of game styles and player’s sex and age groups will emerge. Online RPG’s will still be a powerful segment but only one of many.
Secondly the local content will start to dominate the domestic market and then within time appeal to wider global markets.
Thirdly the method of delivery will still be somewhat decided through demographic factors.
The largest change within 2009 that Omake Interactive forecasts is the management of the online communities. These online game focused groups are currently single title focused and are generally managed poorly by the Asian majors.
We believe there will be a merging of the western use of social networks into the management of gaming communities. The key difference is that monetization of that community will go far beyond advertising into micro-transactions and mobile integration.
Within time that micro-transaction, free to play model will also begin to dominate the west. By returning the spending control to the consumer you empower them to a far greater level and so their long term commitment to the content is far greater.
The demographics of Asia will support online gaming through low cost mobile units as long as they also are closely linked to social networks.
The major Asian operators will focus heavily on the social community management. The large amounts of gamer traffic being generated needs to be held within a focused platform environment.
The western markets will embrace item transactions allowing 3 monetization channels of traditional advertising, subscription (retail box) and item sales