Welcome to Master the Meta, a newsletter focused on the business of video games.
Here’s your weekly roundup of the best content in the video game industry. News is light this week since we’re wrapping up the holidays and kickstarting a new year, but there’s no shortage of 2019 reflections and predictions for 2020 (and beyond).
✍️ My Latest Article
6 Big Mobile Gaming Trends — The future of gaming is mobile, and the mobile gaming landscape continues to evolve. Here are six of the most important trends: Link
Record $120.1 billion earned by games and interactive media in 2019. “Free-to-play still leads the market, accounting for $4 out of every $5 generated. Mobile now represents 74% of all free-to-play revenue… Meanwhile, the premium games market saw revenues decline by 5% to $18.9 billion, largely due to a lack of major AAA game launches.” Link
Grand Theft Auto V is Now On Xbox Game Pass. GTA V’s sales run has been absurd, so Microsoft likely paid a hefty amount for this deal. While this purchase is mostly about making Game Pass more appealing, deals like this also ensure people stay or join the broader Xbox ecosystem where even more revenue can be created. And from Take-Two’s standpoint, opening GTA V up to the growing Game Pass audience will likely drive many more gamers to Grand Theft Online. Link
Competitors chip away at Twitch’s market share in 2019. “Twitch held 73% of the platform market share by hours watched. YouTube Gaming held 21%, and Mixer and Facebook Gaming had 3% each. This is not a huge change from last year, when Twitch sat at 75%. But Mixer and Facebook Gaming were at 1% last year, and while the share growth doesn't look large, their year-over-year individual growth is more impressive.” Link
🖥 Content Worth Consuming
Facebook Gaming Marketing Report. “People are engaging with gaming in ways that transcend the games themselves. Console and mobile games are drawing closer parallels to the film and streaming industries. Ads play a larger role in gaming experiences. And, among other innovations and disruptions, a platform-agnostic future is on the horizon.” Link
Mobile’s fast risers of 2019 could be leaders in 2020. “Many of these games are also in it for the long haul. Year-on-year, November 2019's top 30 grossers saw nine different games rank in the chart compared to November 2018, showing that this year's fast risers could continue to be next year's leaders.” Link
Esports Predictions 2020. (Blake Robbins) “Esports (and gaming in general) in the West are now a critical part of pop culture. Esports viewership in 2020 will continue to break records and be the best year yet.” Link
My Predictions for 2020 Decade. (Jeff “SuiJeneris” Chau) “The future is already mobile and as computing processors have shrunken from supercomputers to PCs to smartphones, mobile custom silicon chips are the future.” Link
Analysts dole out 2020 predictions. “Panel of industry watchers call their shots for the upcoming year in games (and assess how their 2019 calls turned out).” Link
2019 Year in Review: The Biggest Games, Winners, Losers, and Trends! (Deconstructor of Fun) An educational podcast episode and discussion; focused primarily on mobile. Link
Global competition will drive consolidation in 2020 says Scopely's Henry Lowenfels. A short interview covering 2019 reflections and 2020 trends. Link
Lily’s Fruitful Drama “In the beginning of last year, Tactile Games released their newest and most ambitious game ever. For a small ~50 person studio without top grossing titles on its name, diving into one of the most competitive segments of the mobile games market must have been a scary endeavour, but the bold and controversial execution has paid off.” Link
See you next week!
Aaron Bush (@aaronbush100)
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