Originally Posted at: http://www.srinivaskc.com/home/mobile-gaming-a-playable-2017
One part of a customer's buying process is the same for anything in the world: People like to try before they buy.
Yet, most things in the world of digital goods and even eCommerce aren't amenable to trial. At long last, however, I feel mobile games are moving past this barrier with playable advertisements and "streamed" games. (For notes on what playable ads are, do read this Forbes article.)
There are two separate trends in mobile gaming I want to document:
1) Playable Advertisements - Mobile audiences are increasingly blind to banner and display ads, and mobile-video and social are the key modes of gaming advertisements today. These will continue to scale for many years to come, as display advertisements become obsolete. But playable advertisements will create the next wave of growth in the ecosystem, and engage audiences in a meaningful way (vs. shoving ad impressions down their throat through interruptive experiences).
In fact, beyond mobile, I feel that playable advertisements will be easy to port into the world of VR, AR and console gaming, and companies building out platform capabilities on the cloud (vs. creative capabilities) can become billion dollar enterprises in the playable advertising space.
2017 will be the year the playable business will bloom into a scalable business.
The big positives? On average, the more "core" mobile gaming titles see 2-2.5x the direct response performance on playable ads vs. video ads, so advertisers love them.
The big unsolved issues? The heavy ad payloads that no user likes, and lack of standardization (a-la VAST, Vpaid for video). Also, too many 'creatives' companies building playable units vs. platforms that build, test, optimize playable ads on-the-go.
2) Mobile Game Streaming - This is a development in-line with Google's App-streaming launch recently. While I believe that today's widgets, games, apps will remain "applications" for another 18-24 months, I do believe that most non-core apps will move to the cloud, and delivered through a streaming service. It also creates an alternate "store" ecosystem, with hopefully better discoverability of apps vs. today's monolithic, platform-driven app-stores. The below are my "stick my neck-out" predictions for mobile game streaming:
Core games will remain "apps", to be installed and played. To me, core games are RPG/Fantasy/Racing titles, and multiplayer games - they will be free-to-play
Casual games will move to the 'streaming' world, almost entirely, and will be funded by playable 'streamed' ads for core games.
The first set of streamed casual game hits will be seen in 2017. It's a hop-skip from 'appified' web-based games like Slither.io and Agar.io
Bringing it together: App streaming will gain steam in 2017, and phase 1 of this shift will be a Playable 2017.What do you think?