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Long ago, games were seen as another form of entertainment among so many others. Now they represent one of the most profitable markets in history. That's great: with the advancement of the industry, we have a number of studios starting the development of games, and the ones that already did, have improved a lot more. If you're a big fan of video games, you probably have a calendar with all the great releases of the year written down. This is just one of many other ways to show that games have gained immense relevance in a few years, even surpassing the film industry as an option for fun since 2003.
But amid so much economic growth, there is one small problem: the consumer. The logic is simple: without the consumer to the market, the market does not exist. By that, I do not mean that the video game industry will lose its current consumers. No way. In fact, the trend is that this area will grow much more in the coming years, even more taking into account the numerous applications for games.
The problem is that the consumer has been dissatisfied. And rightly so. The year 2014 marked the neglect of publishers who were more concerned with meeting schedules than delivering a quality smartphone app development product. The solution was to offer immense patch fixes to make some projects at least playable.
And if we have that kind of complication for PCs and console, in the mobile device market the situation is apparently more disturbing.
During the last edition of Campus Party, Guilherme Camargo, partner of Sioux presented a research on the panorama of digital games in Brazil made with 909 people in the national territory. Despite lots of interesting data, data on mobile games has a special highlight.
There has been talk for a long time about how digital games are the most popular among the various applications of the virtual stores. And in this Sioux poll, almost 75% of people have a habit of downloading games to their cell phones. But there is another important fact: almost 34% download games EVERY WEEK.
Even though it is a national survey, one can imagine that the outlook is not very different. The reason? Well, several games are released daily at these stores. The amount of game developers is increasing with the many options of developing games in a simple way.
But quantity does not represent quality.
According to Wooga (one of the best-known mobile game developer companies), less than 0.1% of the games released on the App Store are successful. And there's an estimate that about 80% of the apps on it are zombie apps (which are either low-download or never downloaded).
If I had to kick the reason people download games so often on their cell phones, I'd say it's due to dissatisfaction with the games they already have. And that sucks.
Due to this economic growth that unfortunately does not accompany the qualitative growth, I believe that the market needs more games and less industry. When I say more games, I mean we need fewer games in quantity, more games in quality. The focus of the developers should be on presenting a quality product that they will sell as a consequence, and not selling their game even before its full development.
It is important that the landscape of the digital gaming market is increasingly positive indeed. I do not disagree that games should be increasingly profitable and show that this industry should be valued. But like in 1983 with Atari, we are in a moment of crisis. We have many games, however, few options.