Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tablet is the new console

Just got back from Slush2012 which will be remembered for the breakthrough of SuperCell, the Finnish game company. SuperCell´s games are mainly published on tablet, but you can play them on mobile phones too. CEO and the current gaming rock star Ilkka Paananen mentioned that one of the key things that a start-up entrepreneur must master is the ability to stay focused and say no to all those ideas that are out of scope. And it seems to work for SuperCell. Company is now valued at amazing 600 million and is producing revenue of 750K per day.

SuperCells decision to focus on tablets is a smart move. 67% of the time spent on tablets is games, compared to the 39 % on smart phones (Flurry Analytics, sept 2012) and users already spend more time with apps than web. Tablet users are also older, more female and more affluent. Compared to 3-5 million units that good console games sell, tablet based games outnumber them in millions. Take Rovio´s Angry Birds, they have already over billion downloads. One might argue that freemium model doesn´t muster the same amount of revenue that the console games do. Well, according to Accel Partners, the paying user lifetime value in casual games is 25-35 dollars. That plus billion downloads is..well, you do the math. Moreover, in Q1 2012, the independent game studios´ share of game sessions of was 68%, so not only the tablet opens the competition for the consumers time to a new breed of independent game makers, it also broadens the target group for gaming and increases the value of the market.

As the games on tablets keep getting better and capturing wider audiences, it seems that the "traditional" consoles have to start working hard to maintain their status as the gaming center of the living room. Although the controls and the gaming experience is better on consoles for some titles, rest assured, the growth of the tablet gaming will keep on amazing us all.

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