Elpub buttonEl.pub Analytic Issue Number 5

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El.pub Analytic No. 5 Conference round-up

Page 3

Contents: The solutions company companies | Digital publishing industry consolidation | Pervasive games | Games - blurring the distinction between fiction and reality | Intangible assets | What did the first person who milked a cow, think he was doing?

Pervasive games

At MILIA a session was devoted to the on-line games business. The conclusion from the three pundits was that no one really knew when and how on-line gaming would start to seriously erode the off-line CD and cartridge market. At least everyone was aware of the statistical evidence, discovered in 2000, that the majority of gamers are women and that playing card games and other traditional entertainments is the preferred mode. That is not to say that these users are the major market segment since most of the games they play are free. But at least people can see where a new revenue stream may be and that it isn't confined to teenage boys.

On the business side, the point was made that although there are a few (two or three) large online games operations, they are as yet an insignificant part of the market. On the plus side, the industry sales drop was attributed to the cycle induced by the announced release of new platforms. Last time this happened on a scale similar to the 1999/2000 releases, the revenue stream was cut temporarily by 50%, this time it only flattened.

In the short / medium term it was suggested that the main effect of Internet connection for gamers would be increased downloading of games at the expense of sales through retailers. The indeterminate time at which really hefty bandwidth will become available to end users is a major factor in the unpredictable arrival of a significant market for on-line games.

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