In the early days, video game development costs were very low so developers easily gained a profit. Even a single programmer could create a few video games within a short time. With a small team consisting of artists and developers, they could quickly create and sell thousands of copies of their games, since the development time was only a few months. Many of the early publishers of video games were established during this period, such as Electronic Arts, Capcom, Sierra Entertainment and Origin Systems, so they were able to realize huge profits.
Huge Demand, Bigger Development Teams
The popularity of video games created a huge demand for more different game genres. With the increasing power of computer graphics and computing technology, publishers now require more people to address the emerging design and technical complexities of the games. From a single or a handful of programmers and artists, video game creation has started to have larger teams composed of programmers, game designers, producers and artists. The production teams enjoyed bigger salaries and the labor costs increased, since video game development time became longer. From a few months, the new breed of video games is developed between one and three years.
Today, the budget to develop a video game can be a million dollars or more. Moreover, the marketing budget has also increased. Due to competition, marketing a video game typically calls for a budget that is two or three times higher than its development cost.
Growth of the Video Game Industry
Video games emerged in the early part of the 1970s. The success of video games and their immediate acceptance around the world turned the business into a highly profitable industry. In 2007 the video games market grew into a $35 billion industry. In 2018, its revenues were about $137.9 billion, according to the 2018 Global Games Market Report of Newzoo.com.
Trends in Video Game Playing
The video game players are now segmented, depending on their engagement with the various ways to experience the game and how important playing video games is to their life.
As of 2018, over 2.3 billion people around the world are active gamers. About 4.6% of them spend their money on video games. About $125.3 billion or 91% of the video games market is from digital revenues. The mobile gaming sector is increasing, with players using tablets and smartphones to play games.
With the increase in players accessing mobile games, it will be advantageous to games publishers and developers to use in-app advertising to reach emerging markets.
It is likewise important to connect with casual gamers, who do not want to download an app. Since 2017, several social media sites have been providing games that users can play instantly. In 2018, Facebook offered Instant Games. In Asia, Japan’s LINE, South Korea’s Kakao and China’s Tencent are already offering instant and integrated games in their own apps, thus increasing user experience. The social media platforms offer huge benefits to developers since the game will gain exposure to each social media site’s massive database. The social sites benefit as well, because users increase their engagement with the site and they receive a share of the fee for every transaction, which make them game distributors as well, getting a share of the revenues that used to be received by app stores.
Top Video Game Markets in 2018
The Newzoo.com report also made a list of the top countries for video games. For developers and publishers who want to tap into the most viable markets and believe that their game has what it takes to compete with some of the best, here are the top market or countries where video gaming enjoys huge revenues.
- China ($37.9 billion)
- United States ($30.4 billion)
- Japan ($19.2 billion)
- South Korea ($5.6 billion)
- Germany ($4.6 billion)
- United Kingdom ($4.4 billion)
- France ($3.1 billion)
- Canada ($2.3 billion)
- Spain ($2.0 billion)
- Italy ($2.0 billion)
- Russia ($1.6 billion)
- Mexico ($1.6 billion)
- Brazil ($1.4 billion)
- Australia ($1.2 billion)
- Taiwan ($1.2 billion)
- India ($1.1 billion)
- Indonesia ($1.1 billion)
- Turkey ($878 million)
- Saudi Arabia ($761 million)
- Thailand ($692 million)
Exploring Options and Markets
If you are after exposure, aside from launching your video games online or making it available in different app stores and your website, attending conventions is something that you should not miss. Gaming conventions and trade shows are very important, as you will have the chance to meet other develops, connect with game publishers, see new trends and developments and what games are in the market as well as the new games that will be available soon.
Some of the conventions, outside of the annual convention in Cologne, Germany are the following:
- Tokyo Game Show
- Brasil Game Show
- EB Games Expo in Australia
- KRI in Russia
- Game Developers Conference (various locations)
- Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles
You should also try to join the conventions of developers, publishers and tech producers, such as Nvision, QuakeCon and BlizzCon.
Some countries are discovering the viability of video game development. For example, video gaming is still quite new in Africa. But is it already starting to grow since the young population is continuing to be technologically literate. Africa is a growing market for video games from the west although some regions such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are already into the development of mobile games for the local and international market.
Canada’s video games market is growing larger. The industry is employing more people today as publishing studios and developers are establishing offices in the country, especially in Vancouver and Montreal. Some international companies that have established offices in Canada are the following:
- Electronic Arts
- Strategy First
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Artificial Mind and Movement
- Eidos Interactive
Canada also hosts the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo, which the country’s largest video games convention.
If you look at the list of top markets for video games, you’ll already get the feel on where you can take your game. Of course, the success of your games would depend on a variety of factors. Video games are classified into different genres and each genre attracts different sets of gamers. So market research is a critical factor when you are developing or marketing your video game. The results of your study will help you identify which markets to target for your game’s specific genre. It is also an important factor when you localize your game for the niche foreign markets you want to explore.
Top Game Genres Around the World
The gaming sector is always after new experiences, new controls, new technologies and new concepts and new genres, which the developers and publishers must satisfy. For 2018, the top game genres around the world are the following:
These are perennial favorites. An action game should focus on the challenges presented to test the player’s hand-eye coordination, reaction time and reflexes.
They were also some of the first games that were developed early in video gaming history. They either focus on the strategies employed in the games or provide an almost real-life experience of playing a team sport, for example, the Champions Manager or the FIFA series, which is one of the most popular game.
Battle Royale Games
The genre is enjoyed all over the world and generates high revenues from in-app purchases. Examples include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite Battle Royale.
The games in this particular genre have been around since the early days of Nintendo. It combines the features of an action game as well as the elements of problem/puzzle solving, exploration and item collection that are typical activities of an adventure game. Action-adventure games can be played by children and adults.
The genre has more advanced features, including text and rich graphics. The player controls a character that goes on a quest in a fictional world. Some of the most popular ones are Dungeons & Dragons, Battletech and Star Wars.
The genre offers many thrills and playing experiences to gamers. They have been around since the middle of 1970. Some of the early favorites include Gran Trak 10, Rally X, Night Driver, Gran Turismo, Super Mario Kart, F-Zero, Out Run, Final Lap and more.
It’s been decades and fighting games are still quite popular, worldwide. Continuing to bring excitement to a variety of players are Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros. and Mortal Kombat X.
Real-time strategy games
These types of games are always best-sellers, because they have elements of different game genres. The genre is divided into two types – turn-based strategy and real-time strategy. For the latter, some of the most popular are League of Legends, Age of Empires and Starcast.
SimCity is one of the best examples of this type of genre. The genre is designed to simulate the activities in the real world. It features the lives of different characters as well as a city’s construction and management.
Types of Games Popular in Different Countries
Now that you know some of the genres of video games, it will help you make the right decision if you know which types of games are more appealing to gamers in different countries.
Sports games such as FIFA 17 is popular in these countries:
- Costa Rica
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
This just shows that the appeal of football (soccer) is spread worldwide.
On the other hand Battlefield I is enjoyed by a high number of players in Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Iraq, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey.
Many countries in Europe that suffered during WWII along with some countries in the Asia-Pacific region enjoy playing the Horizon Zero Dawn. The countries where the game draws a number of players include Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany. Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland.
Gamers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Greece, Brazil, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Serbia still enjoy the challenges and excitement of playing League of Legends.
While Persona 5 is a Japanese role-playing game, it is a hit among gamers from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. It is a single player game. It is possible that it is popular in these countries because Internet speed in these locations are still quite slow.
The histories of the countries where World of Tanks is a favorite may have something to do with its popularity. These countries are located in Eastern Europe, such as Belarus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Gamers in Canada, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are fascinated by Overwatch.
Five countries – Algeria, Argentina, Romania, Slovakia and Tunisia are very fond of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has a number of players in India, Iran, Spain and the United States.
Dota 2 remains a favorite in the Philippines, Myanmar and Mongolia and World of Warcraft is an ongoing favorite in Bolivia, Latvia and Georgia.
If you’re into video games development, it is critical to understand industry trends and the markets where video gaming is highly profitable. Moreover, it is essential to be fully prepared for the different markets. When you’re ready to expand your video games overseas, video game localization is one of the key factors in ensuring video game success in various markets. It’s a process to adapt the video game to local culture, which may include slight changes in the design and presentation of the game, as well as translating the characters’ dialogue into the local language.
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Video game localization is a long and complex process so plan for it ahead of time. Localization is an effective strategic tool for marketing and sales, as you can reach your target consumers using the right language. When you need high-quality translation and localization services, contact Day Translations day or night. We are open 24/7, every day of the year. For immediate assistance, call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us.