Updated: Jul 26, 2018
I recently attended the #3G event organised by #GuildfordGames. The purpose of the event was to galvanise the games industry in Guildford, a town once described as ‘The Hollywood of Games’. Through the course of the event the presenters concurred that the region’s stronghold on the games market in the UK was in decline, and the event sought to look at the future of gaming and what opportunities could be harnessed to improve the experience of gamers and monetise games.
Graphs featuring the healthy prognosis for Immersive VR were shared, the issue of diversity of representation in the profession and in games themselves was discussed, the latest ideas for making audio an immersive experience were proposed and finally future business models were bandied about.
It was this last session that I thought would be of most relevance to me. As a person with a product inspired by a game and targeted at gamers I thought I’d find out how the real world and the created world of games would align. But instead the focus of the panel was on keeping people in the game and monetising their experience in a virtual way, just as already happens today in games like Fortnite with VBucks and the virtual purchases they fund.
Of course this will gradually get more sophisticated, online currencies will be accepted as payment across all consoles and games, and payment will continue to be made for games elements – weapons, clothing, food etc. using them. But – as far as this panel was concerned - the real and virtual worlds will not, if you can forgive the pun, transact.
But there are so many opportunities for Real Reality to be part of the gaming universe for the financial benefit of the developers and the social benefits of the players. Which made me wonder… When will real reality be part of game development?
Because with the links that are beginning to form between online retailers, media spaces and gaming platforms it amazed me that no one acknowledged this amazing opportunity.
Take twitch – a streaming service loved by gamers and making a gradual but significant dent in YouTube’s supremacy. Amazon Prime members benefit from twitch Prime which means the real-world address of the subscriber is known along with their all-important payment information.
This scenario presents an ideal opportunity for the games industry to monetise its games in a new old fashioned way, by selling specific merchandise and rewards to players… perhaps a Battle Royale trophy for a first-time win, a golden goal badge to sew on to the football kit for a FIFA top goal scorer or a blank BoxHead for a special skin in Minecraft.
Because the main point the whole conference overlooked is that as fun as VR is and as interesting as AR is RR (Real Reality) should not be forgotten and linking the two may fund the future of gaming in Guildford and beyond.