DigiBC posted an article
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Feb. 17, 2016) - DigiBC, the non-profit association representing the digital media and wireless industries of B.C., commends the Government of British Columbia for delivering a balanced budget for the fourth year in a...see more
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Feb. 17, 2016) - DigiBC, the non-profit association representing the digital media and wireless industries of B.C., commends the Government of British Columbia for delivering a balanced budget for the fourth year in a row, and for maintaining that British Columbia’s diverse creative and digital sectors can continue to see significant growth from a stable, sustainable economic strategy.
DigiBC represents sizeable segments of B.C.’s creative digital economy: video game development, visual effects, animation, digital marketing and emerging technology such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), holography and other areas. In particular, B.C. is noted for having an estimated 16,000 jobs in these fields, employing highly skilled workers that earn salaries well above the provincial average.
An important component of a healthy digital media sector came last year with the Provincial government renewing the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC) up to 2018. This affirmed the Province’s support in maintaining B.C.’s role as a world-class digital media hub in the face of aggressive worldwide competition for these sort of jobs.
“DigiBC looks forward to working with the Provincial government on further collaboration to grow the creative digital sectors of British Columbia,” said Patrick Sauriol, Executive Director of DigiBC. “By partnering together, we can both play an important role in catalyzing growth for more B.C. intellectual capital, creating thousands more high paying clean and green jobs for 21st century digital workers, and making British Columbia a global leader in technology and digital entertainment.”
DigiBC is a member-supported, non-profit organization based in Vancouver but with a mandate to grow digital companies across the province. Its mission is to make B.C. a globally-recognized center for Digital Media and Wireless excellence. Members include world-class companies such as Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, TELUS, Microsoft, Hootsuite and Sony Interactive. More than 1,300 companies in the Digital Media sector create innovative products in wireless and mobile, video gaming, animation, VFX, web, software, social media, interactive marketing and e-learning. Learn more at www.digibc.org
We are in the midst of a global digital revolution, and one sector of digital media that is particularly hot is Mobile Social Games. New companies you have never heard of before are growing...see more
We are in the midst of a global digital revolution, and one sector of digital media that is particularly hot is Mobile Social Games. New companies you have never heard of before are growing into billion dollar businesses, looking for global expansion and generating new opportunities for British Columbia. This sector started in Asia but is now very fertile and active in North America and the rest of the world.
What is causing all this golden era in social mobile? There are several factors but most prominently rapid growth in smart phones and tablets, advent of new app stores, increasing broadband penetration, preference for digital distribution and success of new social networks like Facebook. Global smart phones and tablet device sales are projected to grow 3X by 2015 while mobile app dollar sales are expected to grow 5X to $35 billion by 2015. Online and mobile game sales are forecasted to grow 15% and 11% per year, respectively, over the next five years. In addition, playing games are the highest use for smart phones at over 60%.
Will traditional console video games die and be replaced by social and mobile games? Many think so but it is not likely in the next several years. However, social and mobile is definitely growing at a significantly faster pace and will rival console games. Today console games are still a larger market worldwide.
We all know the largest device players in this market including Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, but you probably do not know some of these up and coming companies in mobile and social games. Most of these companies are expanding globally and BC should benefit.
- Zinga – largest player in US for social games primarily on Facebook. Over a $1 billion in revenue, over 200 million active users and a valuation that rivals EA.
- GREE – Japan’s fastest growing tech company focused on social games with 140 million users, revenues approaching $1.8 billion, highly profitable and a valuation higher than Zinga.
- DeNA – Another successful large Japanese games company with a large social games network with revenue well over $1 billion, growing rapidly and highly profitable.
- Tencent – China’s largest online community and games provider with over 600 million users.
- Woogo – Europe’s largest social games developer with over 30 million active users.
- Rovio – Europe’s very successful developer of Angry Birds.
- CrowdStar – Another California social games developer of Facebook games with over 30 million users.
- EA – A US based traditional global games company you already know that has transformed its operations from mainly console games to mobile and social with great success. EA is now dominating the top charts for mobile games and recently released SIMS Social, a Facebook game, which soared quickly to the top.
How do these companies make money especially since most games are free? Gamification and monetization strategies are used to develop fun casual experiences that engage users, influence behavior and build community through rewards, challenges, leader boards and status recognition. There are an estimated 29 different models to monetize such experiences through freemium, premium, subscription, app fees, ads and a combination of these and other models. In Japan, the sales rate per monthly average user is $4 to $5 which is higher than in North America where it averages $1. The expectation is for this rate will increase in North America over the next five years.
In BC, we are already experiencing growth from this new sector. With its experienced talent pool in digital media, attractive location on the West Coast and strong connections to Asia, BC is attracting new investments and creating new jobs. The companies listed below are concentrating their efforts in social and mobile games and currently growing.
- Club Penguin is the largest social network for kids with over 30 million active users and is owned by Disney. The company is located in Kelowna and growing.
- Gamehouse which is a large games division of Real Networks located in Seattle has invested in social games studio Backstage Games in Victoria and currently expanding its investment in this studio.
- Microsoft recently announced a new studio in Victoria which will develop new social games.
- AirG is a Vancouver based company with a global mobile games network of 55 million users.
- A Thinking Ape escaped from Silicon Valley in search of talent and landed in Vancouver producing a top rated and paid iphone game called Kingdoms at War.
- Koolhaus Games has been developing top rated mobile games for several years and is highly sought after by large social mobile companies.
- Loud Crow is a new Vancouver company that has produced several highly rated interactive mobile books that were featured on iphone and ipad. A very tough distinction to achieve in this competitive market.
- Finger Food Studios is an up and coming Vancouver based mobile games developer with lots of potential.
- Many others are operating in this space in B.C.
Social and mobile games development holds great promise for British Columbia. This sector is expected to continue to grow at significantly above average rates creating new high paying jobs and investment.