NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Closing out a year of significant growth and numerous company milestones, Exent, the world's largest Games on Demand provider, has released its 2012 Game Industry Predictions. Below are five industry developments that Exent's Head of Content Programming, Rick Marazzani, says are coming in 2012:
Android tablets go mass market and gaming along with it!
"Led by the Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle Fire, Android tablets will be on more night stands and in more purses and school knapsacks than ever before. As powerful and easy to use as most portable gaming consoles, these tablets offer affordable, massively appealing games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds, plus they can be used for web surfing, reading, and playing music and movies. With the extensive functionality and low price points of these tablets, look for them to take a much bigger slice out of the iPad's market share in 2011."
Location-aware mobile gaming will break out
"Your smartphone is always online and GPS location-aware. Game developers will harness this fact to deliver gameplay that will change and offer challenges based on where you are. Social game makers like Zynga, Mocospace and Booyah will make their games more social by tapping users' social graphs in locations to enhance the mobile versions of their games."
Massive layoffs in the social web game space
"With multiple hit games and big marketing budgets needed to stay afloat at the top of the Facebook game charts, many social publishers simply weathered 2011 waiting to see what Zynga's IPO would foretell for their own futures. Faced with the reality that there are too many people working on too many games for the market to bear, social developers will be forced to place smarter (and fewer) bets as user acquisition cost and competition grows. The result will be more belt tightening along the lines of developer RockYou (ZooWorld), who shed 40% of its staff in late 2011."
Mobile carriers will take back smartphone content
"Mobile operators once controlled all the content distributed to their phones. Those days are gone thanks to Apple's tight grip on the iPhone user experience and the openness of the Android operating system and Market. But the expansiveness and quality diversity of those marketplaces are enabling carriers to bounce back as trusted advisors to offer their subscribers premium app stores with curated content and user friendly, integrated billing."
Family mobile data plans will emerge and spur game consumption
"As households add smartphones for each member, plus 4G tablets and netbooks, mobile carriers will lower their data fees per device and allow families to share plans. Carriers will bet on this with the hope it entices subscribers to buy higher end devices. With tablets poised to be the central entertainment hub in the household and game content ranking among the most consumed apps, operators will augment their games offerings as a key differentiator."
Following previous years' rapid fire explosion of casual game hits such as Farmville, Mafia Wars and Angry Birds, 2011 marked another eventful year for the PC and mobile casual game space, a bright spot in an otherwise stagnant gaming industry. Fueled by surging consumer demand for anywhere, anytime gaming access, Exent's 2011 launch of GameTanium Mobile capitalizes on shifting gameplay habits by providing subscribers with all-you-can-eat access to the best premium casual games on their favorite platforms for a low monthly fee. Exent now has more than 2,000 PC and 300 mobile games under license, thanks to 2011 content deals with premium publishers like Nickelodeon, PopCap Games and RealNetworks.
The company also solidified its position as the premium Games on Demand provider to the world's leading operators in 2011. Exent expanded into Asia in 2011 through its partnership with Korea Telecom, and will be announcing aggressive expansion in Europe, Latin America, Australia and India in early 2012. The company's FreeRide Games ad-supported gaming portal also launched in Germany, with additional native language services slated for Europe and Asia in 2012.
"2011 witnessed mass market casual gamers beginning to shift play to mobile devices and tablets, and Exent is there to serve them on these new platforms," noted Zvi Levgoren, CEO, Exent. "The launch of GameTanium Mobile marks a pivotal moment in Exent's future and reinforces our commitment to bringing games to consumers' lives whenever and wherever they choose. We look forward to building on this momentum in 2012."
Exent is the leading global market solutions provider for monetization of PC and mobile games. Exent delivers technologies and products for various markets, including mobile operators, video game publishers, broadband service providers, consumer portals, consumer electronic manufacturers, media companies, ad agencies, brand owners, retailers and others.
Gerald Kimber White