TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Nintendo open to cloud gaming; only two new releases in best-selling Steam Games of 2019; and 12 million subscribers forecast for Apple Arcade.
Nintendo open to cloud gaming
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa has stated the company is open to cloud gaming in an interview with Nikkei, however he tempered this by stating that dedicated hardware will not become defunct, at least within the next decade. While console rivals Microsoft and Sony are developing solutions for release this year, Furukawa’s comments indicate that Nintendo will not be releasing a game streaming service within the same time-frame.
In the interview, translated by Nintendo Everything, Furukawa stated, “It’s possible that cloud gaming could capture the public’s interest in 10 years from now, however at this point in time, I do not think that dedicated hardware will go away. It’s a long way off before we’ll really know the outcome. With that said, it would be pointless to solely focus on methods of play that can only be had on dedicated hardware. Once your audience starts saying they can play on other consoles or smartphones instead, you’re finished.”
Only two new releases in best-selling Steam Games of 2019
Valve has released the list of best-selling titles on its Steam platform through 2019. Notably, while Valve did not disclose precise revenue figures, of the top twelve games, only two (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by From Software and Total War: Three Kingdoms by Creative Assembly) were released on PC last year. The list is primarily inhabited by continually-updated multiplayer titles, highlighting how “games-as-a-service” is dominating the modern gaming industry.
Concurrently, Valve also released details of the titles with the highest peak number of concurrent players. Of the twelve titles with over 100,000 simultaneous players, four were released on PC in 2019, namely Total War: Three Kingdoms, Dota Underlords, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, with the latter making its debut on Xbox One in 2014.
12 million subscribers forecast for Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade is set to become the largest bundled games subscription service globally with a minimum of 12 million subscribers by the close of 2020, according to estimates from IHS Markit Technology. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Piers Harding-Rolls, research and analysis director, Games, IHS Markit Technology, stated that despite the increase in subscribers for platforms such as Apple Arcade and Google’s Play Pass, it is unlikely that such platforms will mimic the success of similar video and music subscription services.
The barrier to mass adoption of mobile gaming subscription services is likely to be due, in part, to Apple’s current reluctance to support the most-utilised monetisation methods for mobile titles, namely in-app purchases (IAP) and in-app advertising (IAA). With casual titles primarily funded through these methods, and successful implementation of in-app advertising in midcore and hardcore titles, a publisher-driven shift to subscription services is unlikely to occur imminently.