With the growing importance of social casino products to the mobile and social gaming space, it is important to look at an important evolution in the land based casino world that will probably impact game companies. I have blogged many times about international opportunities for game companies, and these opportunities are going to become more important in the social casino space. A recent article in The Economist, “The rise of the low-rollers,” highlights how the Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the biggest market for casinos by 2015 (as recently as 2010, the United States made up nearly half the global gambling market). This evolution is likely to be mirrored in the social casino space. In this post, I am going to lay out some developments on the land-based side and you can extrapolate how it might impact the social casino space.
Macau leads the way
When you look at Asia, you need to start with Macau, the former Portuguese colony now part of China. Described by Sheldon Alderson, the Chairman and CEO of Sands Corporation, as “The Las Vegas of the Far East,” its casinos generated $38 billion last year. Continue reading
While everyone in the tech industry focuses on innovating their product, one great way to create value is by innovating your business model. A recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, Creating Value Through Business Model Innovation by Raphael Amit and Christoph Zott, does a great job of showing ways to innovate and create value. The article also points out that innovating the business model and not focusing just on products can be less capital intensive. Finally, it puts you at less risk, because currently in the tech and gaming space you are one innovation away from people not needing your product.
There are three primary reasons you should consider focusing on innovating your business model
- It represents an often underutilized source of future value.
- Competitors might find it more difficult to imitate or replicate an entire novel activity system than a single novel product or process.
- Leaders must be attuned to the possibility of competitors’ efforts at business model innovation because it is so potentially powerful.
One of the best examples of a company dominating an industry by innovating business models is Apple with the iPod. Continue reading
I’ve been talking a lot lately about mistakes made in the game industry, but one that constantly amazes me is the failure to understand the competitive landscape. This issue is not new to the social gaming space; I have lamented this problem for nearly 20 years. I am always amazed at how many products come to market with no awareness of the competition. Developers and publishers end up losing millions of dollars that could have been mitigated—or even avoided—by basic competitive intelligence.
Your game should not be worse than your competitors
The most egregious example is when a developer/publisher releases a game that is clearly worse than the market leaders. This could be putting out a shooter that has a much lower frame rate than Halo or a hidden object game that does not look as good as the other titles on the market. Continue reading