With Playstation 5 set to launch soon, the question on every gamer’s mind must be about just what is going to be contained under the hood of Sony’s newest console. The current generation of Playstation (PS4) has widely been seen as being the console of choice for most people. With fantastic exclusive games such as Spiderman and God of War, which received tons of praise from critics and fans alike.
Spiderman vs Candy Crush & iGaming?
And with so many highly praised gamers and the amount of fandom surrounding those titles, you would think it would be safe to think that Playstation’s future still looks incredibly bright. But the gaming industry is not what it was 20 years ago, consoles and exclusives are no longer the main way that games really make money. In fact, Spiderman – the top selling super hero video game of all time, estimated to have made $200 million in its first week.
You would imagine that Spiderman, would be a massive benchmark against which all games would be measured against in terms of revenue. But the thing is that while Spiderman, made all that money in its first week of release, the sales naturally tapered off very quickly. Becausse once you owned Spiderman, there wasn’t a need to invest more money into it.
Meanwhile, Candy Crush Saga is estimated to still make $2 million EVERY DAY. And that is almost 7 years on from it’s initial release, so it would be reasonable to assume Candy Crush almost 7 years after it’s initial release would still beat Spiderman in revenue, despite Spiderman being released only a year ago. And that doesn’t even factor in how much more money and effort it must have taken to produce a game with as iconic a character and as polished as Spiderman for PS4.
And Candy Crush like games in turn, still don’t come close to the numbers tossed around in iGaming circles. Bet 365, one of the larger operators in the market reported revenue of $3,3 billion dollars in 2018. And while that may sound unsurprising to some, think of how much less glitz and glamour surrounds the development, IT and visuals of working in the iGaming sector vs working on supposedly AAA titles like God of War or Spiderman.
Why don’t AAAs perform like we think they should?
The biggest difference between a game like spiderman vs an objectively lower-effort game like Candy Crush or a slot game run by a simple random number generator is how the game monetizes itself. For a game like Spiderman, almost all their revenue is received up front in their initial sales. Spiderman does offer some downloadable content and skins/customizations in an effort to further monetize their game but that is vastly less possible transactions than a Candy Crush where one can buy items to actually use in game, to win rounds and continue the sweet dopamine rush that is received when winning or even less than a slot game or betting slip, where the money transaction is literally the point of the game.
The fact that players are persuaded to keep playing and spending even after their initial play of a game, is why iGaming businesses offer insane bonuses like the ability to deposit 1 dollar and receive 20x that initial amount back. They are able to offer these insane bonuses because they want people to stay at their casinos and continue to play.
AAA games are in a place where they are more exciting and more immersive than ever. Their comparative drop in their gaming market share is thus not driven from a point of view that people aren’t getting their money’s worth. But rather there has been a failure amongst traditional gaming giants like Sony or Rockstar games to widen their audience to the more casual gamer type, looking for something to play on their mobile such as Candy Crush. Many of these traditional gaming houses, having realized their errors are trying to change that now, such as with Diablo mobile or Fallout Shelter but perhaps the new giants of the gaming industry are the more casual producers such as King with Candy Crush.