Bring that game closer to the people.
The Philippine Video Game Industry is considered to be one of the biggest in the world, now sitting at Rank #29 according to Newzoo’s Rankings with the total revenue already sitting at USD 354,232,000 as of April 2017. With a gaming population of 30 million strong, or about 66% of the country’s total online population, you may think that the country is a melting pot for video game opportunities with such as huge crowd that’s generating millions of dollars in revenue, and that’s is correct right?
In contrast to what the numbers suggests, the Philippine Gaming Industry is still in need of help, and one way to do it is by bringing more local games to local conventions.
Wait, why conventions?
Ever since its inception, Conventions, particularly gaming conventions, have become a central feature in the Video Game industry as fans, investors, influencers, the media, and people from all walks of life come to gather to take part and check out whatever the event has to offer. And, with the existence of online channels such as social media, marketing events and event brands has become more easier for organizers which means in more potential opportunities to bring more people to events, resulting in positive outcomes when it comes to marketing or promoting brands.
It’s bringing brands to the people so to speak, in a non-traditional way.
The Huge Disconnect
Taking a closer look at the Philippine Video Game industry, particularly when it comes to development and design, there is still a huge lack in the number of opportunities for aspirants to land their careers and although new opportunities have arise over the years and more schools are opening up courses for gaming development and design, the new wave of video game creators may have nowhere to go unless the huge disconnect when it comes to creating and marketing video games is resolved because ultimately, sales numbers are the true drivers of progress even in this industry.
It is true, that there are notable gaming development and creation studios present in the Philippines, however, many are stuck at being outsourced rather than producing content of their own, whilst those who do try and develop brands of their own find themselves ultimately stuck in development hell, all because of the disconnect when it comes to tapping the 30 million strong Filipinos that comprise the Philippine Gaming Market.
Can Conventions solve that problem?
To resolve it completely? No, but to alleviate it, then definitely yes. As conventions bring brands closer to the people through ways that include actual testing, creators can easily gather feedback about the games that they are working on, which they can apply in order to improve the quality of their product, and as well as hit their target market and increase their promotion scope.
If we are to cite an example for instance, we have Project Xandata, who, while started as one of the many indie games back at the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit last year, has turned itself into a promising competitive title, and even hosted their first competitive event at the Pinoy Gaming Festival, this after the interest that was generated by the community, by way of conventions, resulting in a buzz that lasted not only for days but for nearly a year.
Apart from just being part of, video game brands should also take note as to which gaming conventions they wanna appear for there are those who are limited to a certain market within gaming, for instance, the Project Xandata has been well received in the Pinoy Gaming Festival Summer Assembly for the event centered on competitive titles, and the same effect may resonate to other locally developed competitive titles such as Bayani by Ranida Games and Heroes Above by Unlibox, whereas those who are looking to tap into the greater population that is the Philippine gaming market, there’s always the annual ESGS, and as well as the numerous small-scale gaming events that happen in different regions and cities in the Philippines all throughout the year such as FEU’s own Gaming Convention held last March, and the upcoming GameCon Philippines this July.
Market presence is a big factor for any video game creator if they want to survive and create video game content in the long run, and being part of conventions is one way of making sure that you make your brand known, especially if you are just starting out, whether on your own gaming company or on a new video game hit.