E3 & The Meeker Report: Crossing the Streams

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E3 & The Meeker Report: Crossing the Streams

Usually, outside of being tremendously anticipated in their respective fields, video game summit E3 and Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report have almost nothing in common.

The same was true this year, with one exception: An increased focus on streaming gaming. At E3, in between things like a next-gen X-Box tease and the release of the duh-Vengers game, streaming gaming was a recurring talking point.

Tech wades into gaming at E3

If you think about it, we’re just about at a watershed moment for gaming. Not only have things like Fortnite, Overwatch and PUBG become key parts of culture, several new players are poised to get in the battle royale for gamers’ attentions.

At E3, Google showed off Stadia, its streaming service for gamers – but it will soon be joined by Apple Arcade, plus offerings from Microsoft, Snapchat and Netflix. And those are just the ones I can remember off-hand.

Netflix, which almost single-handedly disrupted the Hollywood system, brought some news to E3 in the form of a Fortnite sponsorship with Stranger Things, plus a location-based ST mobile game.

What’s more, console makers are accommodating streaming – even cranky ol’ Nintendo’s “evaluating” it.

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Something about Mary

OK, over to Mary Meeker’s report. Initially the report seems insightful if not all that surprising:

  • Tech companies are dominating business
  • Ecommerce growth continues to outpace brick-and-mortar
  • Digital ad spending is still increasing
  • People continue to spend more time with digital media
  • The Internet is a garbage pile of misinformation and hate
  • Etc.

However, the report dovetails quite nicely with E3 in that it calls out interactive gaming and freemium pricing models. Interactive games like Fortnite, which Meeker calls out has continual updates and allows real-time playing and conversation, are “social in nearly all ways.”

As if right on queue to help prove the thesis Gaming is the future of social media*, Fortnite bought Houseparty – a social group-video chat app like a day later.

Meeker’s thoughts on Freemium modeling also resound here. Viral hits like Fortnite and Pokemon Go are free – you just have to cough up money for extras. This, according to a recent survey, is a huge moneymaker, with gaming bringing in about ¾ of app store spending.

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*Another? Publishers are heading to Twitch.

Odds + The End

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