There are plenty of defining years in the history books, and as 2020 draws to a close, it’s almost certain that the global pandemic will ensure that this year is featured prominently. With events cancelled, launches delayed, and country-wide lockdowns, the way we work has changed forever. Still, for financial technology and surrounding industries, this was also a year of challenge and opportunity.
This December, The Fintech Times is asking industry leaders for their ‘View from the Top’ to gain an insight into the decisions behind the last 12-months. Today, we’re looking at the issue of Gametech, hearing from Douglas Ogeto and Tamara Slanova on their 2020 thoughts, plus a look ahead to 2021. Will there be a Happy New Year? Read on…
Gametech is a relatively new and less well-known vertical in the fintech world, and in a nutshell means the coming together of financial technology and the gaming development industry. Gaming is a huge sector and an incredibly popular form of entertainment all over the world with a lot of money to be made. Some of this comes from embedded features such as in-game microtransactions for personalisation features, ad removal and many other monetisation possibilities. In this ‘View from the Top’, companies Ludiqueworks and DMarket outline their own 2020 experience.
Douglas Ogeto, is Co-Founder and CEO of LudiqueWorks, Africa’s award-winning video game publishing company, game development accelerator and dedicated game fund, committed to growing the video game development and eSports industry on the continent. In his opinion, the Gametech landscape in Africa is going to grow due to the interest of the younger generations.
“Africa is in its nascent stages and exploding both in production (video game development) and consumption (esports). We are witnessing more interest from the youth who are looking at the industry as a source of income including building their skillsets in the same. The industry is broad allowing for various talent and skill-building which can then be utilised on the continent or globally as part of the growing Gig economy.
“Leading to the growth of the industry is access to smartphones as well as fair pricing on data and access to infrastructure (servers) for the esports space. Several global publishers are investing their infrastructure on the continent giving fair play to local players who not only play competitively against fellow players in the region but the world over.
“Video game developers on the other hand have become more connected than before through the Africa Game Developers community that boasts of members from over 18+ African countries. The recently launched, Africa Game Developers Association is also going to play a big role in having more inclusion and diversity in getting more young people joining the industry from across the continent.
“Africa’s success stories in video games are still very few thus not enough motivations for the young as well as changing the stigma that parents have of video games as being a “waste of time.” Most investments by players in the sector are also doubled by education and awareness initiatives to change this narrative.
“Investment in educational institutions to train the much-needed skills will also bridge the knowledge gap that currently exists which will then unlock jobs to the local market.”
Tamara Slanova is CFO and Head of DMarket’s London office, one of the biggest gaming marketplaces for trading in-game items and skins. She believes that streaming is the current trend, and future, in the gaming industry.
“Covid-19 has made Gametech move faster and smarter. According to the Newzoo forecast, the games market will reach $174.9 billion this year. This number is $15.6 billion higher than their previous forecast, which they made early on in the pandemic. It means that gamers will be looking for new and convenient ways to spend or withdraw their money.
“Half-Life: Alyx has set the bar high for VR games in 2020. The inspiration this game gives and the falling prices for VR headsets lay the foundation to build on in 2021.
“Cloud gaming is also a must on this list. Google Stadia is still underwhelming in some respects, and the technology as a whole needs to mature but 5G is spreading and it will change a lot in the blink of an eye.
“Streaming is the present and the future of the games industry. Just look at what Among Us managed to achieve through streaming. A few popular streamers promoted this game, and now it can bring up half a dozen Twitch or YouTube celebrities together to reach all their multi-million audiences at once. The possibilities for monetization continue to grow.
“In particular, the in-game items market gains rapidly and confirms its sustainability for different industries, including music, fashion and Hollywood. Just look at Travis Scott and his success in Fortnite. In 2021 the strategy and the approach of Epic Games will be definitely replicated by other companies in different industries and GameTech will grow even further.”