With over 3,500 visitors expected to attend the two day event, it is a platform for around 150 companies including the likes of IBM, Clearstream, and Epson, whilst also offering less well-known Luxembourg based companies such as LuxCloud and Sketchfab the opportunity to shine.
The first conference of the day was dedicated to a topic that’s increasingly dominating our lives with the amount of time and effort we exert; no, it isn’t work or even family responsibilities, but almost shamefully its gaming!
Several billion hours a week are spent gaming online, a statistic that has propelled the rise of the gaming world into a multi-billion dollar industry, which has brought companies like Innova, Bigpoint and Big Fish Games to Luxembourg.
In a world that has entered into a state of 'gamification', many new and innovative methods are currently being adopted to convince people that their needs can be met on the basis that `everything can be a game.´
Someone who knows what it takes to succeed in the gaming business is Teemu Huuhtanen, who as Head of M&A and Investments for Rovio, has seen his game app `Angry Birds´ hit the 1 billion download mark, contributing to a 68$ million profit including advertising and consumer products as a main source of revenue.
“It’s easy nowadays to make a successful game app, it could be 3 guys in a basement that make the next Angry Birds” explains Teemu. However, in order to maintain a successful gaming business, making an eye-catching game won’t suffice, it is important to adapt by maintaining good communication with the users, whose feedback dictates what direction a particular game will take.
Teemu gives another valuable insight “Angry Birds is a franchise that lives on its own with or without the game. We need to work hard in keeping the franchise fresh. We think of our customers as fans, all of the people that use our products are fans. We don’t even talk about customers.”
There are other approaches being used in attracting prospective gamers such as those being used by Brian Wong founder of the company Kiip.me, who taps into the emotional side of people by offering real rewards such as 5$ at a retail store, as you complete levels and win games. The rewards are currently experiencing a lot of success in the U.S. in what Brian calls “100 million moments of happiness through giving rewards.”
Another example was introduced by Philip Reisberger CEO of Bigpoint Luxembourg, whose philosophy is “you don’t need to download or pay to play games; you just need to open a browser and play.” Philip also acknowledged that there are severe differences to keep in mind when appealing to different cultures and countries, a point shared by the other speakers as well.
With 2.1 billion internet users worldwide within easy access of gaming, this is an industry that will continue to grow, especially as more and more women enjoy playing games, a new market that is sure to bring future success to games producers.
By Paul Howarth