Candy Crush to Replace Gaming Consoles?

Candy Crush Saga is a highly underestimated behemoth that could be changing the way that people game. For a lot of reasons, Candy Crush is something to be taken seriously. Candy Crush is a game that is easily accessible. Those who do not game, end up playing it. Many wonder about the future of this game if the trends continue where they are. Will games like Candy Crush replace the gaming console?

SAN FRANCISCO – That lady standing in line at the store playing Candy Crush Saga on her phone is going to be a bigger industry influence than you may think. And the consoles we play on today? They may not be needed in a few years. Not because they won’t exist, but because they’ll have mutated into something else. And that will be great for everyone involved in games.

At least, this is according to famous game industry and financial analyst Michael Pachter, who opened today’s GamesBeat 2015 conference with his predictions and opinions on the market today.

For the sake of illustrating where the business is going, Pachter paints a picture of where it has been. “If there were a GamesBeat conference in 2000, we’d be talking about console games,” he said. “We’d be talking about the end of the PC. Everybody is buying console. That’s how we play games.

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“Now fast forward 15 years and look at this [GamesBeat] agenda, and it is all either mobile . like, ‘What’s a Whale? They didn’t exist in the Western world back then. It’s how to monetize, how do you attract people to your free game?’ Giving a game away, that didn’t happen! That’s all crazy talk 15 years ago. Yet that’s where we are now.

“I don’t think there is one speaker in this room today that is primarily going to talk about console.”

One huge difference is the market’s focus on hardware, and perhaps that for some in the industry, according to Pachter, it shouldn’t be. “Some guys measure hardware, but, who cares? If you work in the games industry – unless you’re working for Sony, Microsoft, or Valve – you don’t care about hardware,” he said. “You care about people spending money on entertainment. And the money they typically spend is on software.

“The punchline is that console’s don’t need to exist. Those of you in mobile games know that. The current state of mobile games is very much like YouTube, and the console market is like a 100 million dollar Hollywood motion picture. So they’re different types of experiences.”

Pachter gives an accurate analogy about the current film industry. “The thing is, one group wants to see movies if they want to see movies, if they want the short form format they’ll go to YouTube. I think these two [mobile and console gaming] are going to converge [in a similar way].”

How will we sell these experiences? Pachter takes another brief trip back into the game industry’s past. “If you think about why the video game console was invented, the first game we played was Pong – 25 cents, pop it into the arcade machine. And, somebody said, ‘Let’s take the arcade machine . it’s got a monitor, a joystick, and the guts inside the box which comes down to a CPU and GPU . let’s take the CPU and GPU and hardwire it to a box, then have it hook up to the television in the house, hardwire a joystick to that and we’ll sell a home console!’

“Then they came up with a business model. We can’t get them to pay us 25 cents every time they play the game. Let’s charge them 50 bucks for the game and put it on a cartridge.”

He then moved to today.

“Now let’s fast forward 30 years later . we all have a monitor in our home. We all have a CPU and a GPU. It might be a tablet. It might be a laptop. It’s going to be the iPad Pro. It’ll be the Surface Pro. So once we have that, all we’re really missing is the controller and then wait for all that stuff to talk. And the way that stuff will talk is Chromecast. The AppleTV. So it is very easy to replicate the console experience with a CPU and GPU combo that is pretty damned competitive with current generation consoles. We won’t be there with the iPhone 6S, but we’ll be there with the iPhone 9.”

“So it strikes me that if you can remove the table stakes for consumers to play games. If you say, if you want the fast session, stand in Starbucks for three minutes and play a game: have a mobile game. But if you want to play Call of Duty, and you don’t want to buy a console because you can’t justify the investment to play one game, we’ll sell it to you a different way. It’s coming. That is happening.”

To me, we’re already at least toes-deep into that convergence point, but Pachter sees it a few years out, “When that happens . and I am calling it 2018 . I think you’re going to see the market for actual paid games explode. So that about now is around 12 billion dollars. Maybe a little bigger because PC is hard to track. The mobile market right now is probably, roughly, 20 billion. I think the console business, as soon as publishers go online, doubles or triples. So I suspect that is going to happen in 2018.”

According to Pachter, there is also a cultural shift in the audience that will be incredibly significant, “Everybody knows the opportunity to make small session simpler games is exploding. And the good news is, those two things are going to converge. So the Candy Crush Mom, the woman who never played a game in her life, but is really into Candy Crush, isn’t going to tell her kid to quit playing games and go out and get some exercise. She plays games, it’s OK.”

“We’ve all talked about NintenDads. It’s Candy Crush Moms that are the wave of the future. So I think that the market for selling games is probably going to double, in every aspect of it. Double the console market, double the mobile market, I think this is going to be the largest entertainment market on the planet. And I think you guys are at the right conference at the right time.”

This is definitely an interesting, and positive, outlook to the industry. And it’s not a bad way to kick off GamesBeat 2015.


New Merger

Dell is one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world and now they have recently acquired a storage company called EMC that is going to help Dell be able to meet all of their tech storage needs in their current and future products making them even more competitive than ever before. Check out these statements from the CEO.

Computing giant Dell has acquired data storage behemoth EMC to create what it calls the “world’s largest privately-controlled, integrated technology company” in a deal worth $67 billion. Today’s confirmation comes days after rumors first emerged of a possible buy-out, and the deal represents the biggest tech-only acquisition of all time.

EMC shareholders will receive $24.05 per share, according to a press release, as well as “tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC’s economic interest in the VMware business.” Indeed, the deal will have raised questions around VMware, a company bought by EMC in 2004 that provides cloud and virtualization services. VMware has hitherto been a separate, publicly trading company under EMC on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and under Dell this will continue to be the case.

Michael Dell, founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell, said in a statement:

“The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse bringing our customers industry leading innovation across their entire technology environment.

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Our new company will be exceptionally well-positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next generation IT including digital transformation, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security,” said Mr. Dell. “Our investments in R&D and innovation along with our privately-controlled structure will give us unmatched scale, strength and flexibility, deepening our relationships with customers of all sizes.”

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, EMC largely sells on-premises storage technology to enterprises, and has perhaps been slow to embrace the cloud. It’s no stranger to big-bucks acquisitions itself, having acquired Virtustream, a public cloud and cloud software provider, for $1.2 billion just a few months back. But shortly after, it sold Syncplicity, a file syncing and sharing service that works with cloud and on-premises data center storage, to a private investment firm. So EMC’s intentions for its future roadmap have been a little muddy of late.

But with $24.4 billion in revenue last year, it’s clear that EMC is a big-hitter, and any company wishing to acquire it was always going to have to pay top dollar. This deal is also indicative, perhaps, of how keen EMC was to safeguard its future in the fast-changing technology landscape.

“I’m tremendously proud of everything we’ve built at EMC – from humble beginnings as a Boston-based startup to a global, world-class technology company with an unyielding dedication to our customers,” said Joe Tucci, chairman and CEO at EMC. “But the waves of change we now see in our industry are unprecedented and, to navigate this change, we must create a new company for a new era. I truly believe that the combination of EMC and Dell will prove to be a winning combination for our customers, employees, partners and shareholders.”

In effect, the deal pulls together collective resources covering computers, storage, servers, and virtualization, to create a giant. This is the largest tech-only acquisition in history, and should go some way toward helping Dell shift from the downward-spiraling PC market into the potentially lucrative data storage market for enterprises.

The deal, of course, has yet to be finalized, but today’s news means that EMC’s Board have rubber-stamped the acquisition and will recommend that shareholders also give the go-ahead.


Another Great Investment Opportunity

Sports and gaming have become married in the best of ways. Fantasy football and the gaming industry have become more successful than ever before. Advertising potential is absolutely huge but regulation may come in the way of that. Check out what these leaders in the field have to say about fantasy sports.

SAN FRANCISCO – Esports is a growing market that’s marching toward $1 billion in revenue, but some of the top investors in the space don’t think the opportunity is with funding game developers or video platforms.

When venture capitalists look at professional gaming, they see most of the chance to earn cash from gambling and fantasy esports. Onstage at our GamesBeat 2015 conference today, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences president Martin Rae spoke with a panel of VCs. IDG Ventures managing director Phil Sanderson, Signia Venture Partners principal Sunny Dhillon, and AID Partners’ Jason Kay all agreed that gambling has the biggest upside.

“There are a lot of different investment opportunities,” said Sanderson. “People want to play these fantasy teams because they’re already watching so much esports.”

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The panel pointed to established companies in the traditional sport space like DraftKings and FanDuel as great examples of how to approach the esports real-money wagering space. And it noted that both have already entered pro-gaming fantasy competitions, which already has companies like Vulcun working to capture that market.

But at the same time, wagering on esports is obviously volatile due to the potential for governments around the world to implement new rules.

“Regulation is inevitable,” said Kay.

And for if that scares off some startups, the panel suggested that other opportunities include advertising, creator tools, and designing new kinds of competitive games.

“There’s an opportunity [in making games], although hard to execute, to work as esports vehicles,” said Kay.

But while that opportunity exists, Dhillon suggested a reason why most developers are afraid to try that.

“Manufacturing a game for esports from the start is not as easy as it sounds,” said Dhillon.”[Which is why] a lot of people are using esports as a marketing tool.”

Martin Rae brings his experience in video games and finance/business development to his position as President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Rae took the helm of the non-profit organization in October 2010, championing … read more »

Chris Fralic is a Partner at First Round Capital. He joined the firm in 2006 and is based in their New York office. He has focused on a number of First Round’s investments in gaming, including Roblox and Mobcrush. Chris has over 25 yea… read more »

Phil Sanderson is a General Partner at IDG Ventures, located in San Francisco. He focuses on investments in gaming, music technology, ecommerce, search and adtech. Phil started his investment career at Goldman Sachs and Robertson Steph… read more »

Sunny co-founded Signia Venture Partners in 2012 after launching his own location-based mobile startup named Barstool and investing in early stage digital media start-ups for Pritzker Group Venture Capital in LA and Chicago. He was pre… read more »

Jason is a venture partner at AID Partners, a Hong Kong based private investment firm with investments in mobile games, digital media, and location-based entertainment. Previously, he was the Chief Strategy Officer of THQ, Inc., a deve… read more »

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Programmers Need Apply

As the tech industry just continues to soar, as does the need for experienced programmers to be the architects of this modern boom. With the need being so large, it is easier than ever to get into the tech business and learn how to code for free. After some basic knowledge, the best paid jobs in the country become closer than you think.

Join us for this live webinar on Thursday, October 15 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free. 

With consumers constantly searching to satisfy their technological hunger, the pace of the  tech boom is unrelenting. So it’s no surprise there’s an incredibly high demand for qualified programmers. However, despite the potential for meteoric tech career paths, not everyone knows how to get their foot in the door.

That’s starting to change thanks to the emergence of specialized bootcamps dedicated to teaching aspirants how to become a competent programmer in as little time as six months. Jordan Collier, who switched jobs from a Chick-fil-A employee to a programmer for Allstate, owes his annual $90,000 income to enrolling in these coding bootcamps. Collier isn’t the only one experiencing success, as a study conducted by Course Report showed 75 percent of graduates found full-time employment with an average salary increase of 44 percent – encouraging results for anyone afraid their hard word and dedication will be for not in the end.

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Enrolling in a coding bootcamp doesn’t just raise your chances of being hired in the tech industry by a significant margin, it also prepares you for the long road ahead as a developer. Whether you develop for web or mobile, you’ll need the necessary hands-on experience and guidance in order to grow as a computer programmer – which is something that’s not easy to grasp if you head down the self-taught route. For an industry that can turn on a dime, there’s no skill more valuable than knowing how to roll with the latest technological advancement.

Join Dave Paola, Cofounder and CTO of Bloc, and Prasid Pathak, Bloc’s Director of Marketing, in this insightful webinar hosted by VentureBeat’s Wendy Schuchart. This webinar will dive into the benefits of enrolling in a coding bootcamp and why it may be your best chance for entering the tech business, elaborate on online and one-on-one mentor led programs – and the career support that’s provided – as well as show you how to present your ideas to tech companies so they’ll be embraced and implemented. Soon, the alluring fantasy of becoming a computer programer will transform from pipe dream to reality.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this webinar, you’ll:

  • Gain insight into what skills you’ll need to get ahead in the tech field
  • Learn how to leverage your great idea into the next billion dollar project
  • Research the next step for your future in coding, whether you want to build apps, games or mobile-driven on-demand services.


Dave Paola, Cofounder & CTO, Bloc

Prasid Pathak, Director of Marketing, Bloc


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This webinar is sponsored by Bloc.

Bloc offers online apprenticeships for aspiring developers and designers. With structured online courses in web development, mobile development, and web design, Bloc relies on the time-tested model of the apprenticeship. Bloc students … read more »

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