Oct 3, 2018 Miika Huttunen
The rise of smartphones, low-barrier distribution channels, and most recently cross-platform gaming have contributed to the rise of the new type of gaming. Long gone are the weary stereotypes of nerdy subcultures of the past: today, one-third of the world’s population can be declared as “gamers”. In 1998, Snake was released for Nokia mobile phones – 20-years later, Niantic’s Pokémon Go, a game widely played by everyone ranging from kids to elders, reached one billion downloads. Competitive gaming is also becoming the mainstream: the League of Legends 2017 World Championship reached 60 million unique viewers and the annual Dota2 event, The International 8, had a $25.5M in the prize pool.
In 2018, for the first time ever, the global industry is going to derive half of its revenues from mobile platforms. While Europe has been at the forefront of mobile game development with companies like Supercell, King and Rovio, Chinese companies have shown jaw-dropping numbers recently. The Chinese juggernaut, Tencent, stated hosting over 100 million daily active users in their top-grossing game Honor of Kings during Chinese New Year in 2018. And yes, it’s grossing +$180M monthly revenues.
The gaming industry is also amazingly profitable. If we include King (founded 2003), in the past 15 years 24 companies have reached over $1B valuation. Gaming companies also achieve liquidity events faster than non-games companies. In fact, 88% of the $1B+ games companies founded since 2003 achieved liquidity event (liquidity or acquisition) compared to non-gaming tech companies 39%.
What Does the Future Hold For Gaming?
The industry has a powerful growth driver behind its back: time. As more and more game and tech-savvy generations mature, and gaming becomes ubiquitous. Already now, people like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is living the stream and entertaining his astronomical 18M+ amount of subscribers.
And it’s no doubt that new gaming ready devices, faster connections and cloud-based technologies for streaming and gaming will spur growth and innovation even further.
Finally, success breeds further success as Atomico put it well: “we’re already seeing a new wave of companies emerge from the European greats, including Space Ape(EA, Playfish), Oh BiBi (Gameloft), and Bossa (Bullfrog, Jagex, Ubisoft and Playfish), in the same way that Supercell itself emerged from Digital Chocolate/Sumea”. It’s not just the talent but also successful exits channeling capital back into the gaming ecosystem.
There’s a lot happening in gaming right now. Here are some interesting trends to keep an eye on:
Slush 2018 Brings Gaming Back to the Core
When Slush was still held in Kaapelitehdas, the gaming scene was highly visible in the program. It’s no surprise, as Slush founders had a deep connection to the successful gaming founders as companies like Rovio and Supercell were about to jump to lightspeed. In 2014, we held a 1000 people event with International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Chinese giant Tencent. In 2015 and 2016, we held the highly successful Slush PLAY event in Iceland as the meeting point for Nordic gaming and VR companies.
More recently, we’ve been a little silent on gaming. It’s not that we haven’t had gaming in our program (last year entrepreneurs like Holly Liu and Nikolaj Nyholm shared their stories), we just haven’t been loud enough and curated additional program besides the main stage talks. Therefore, together with the European gaming scene, we aim to link various gaming events to the Slush gaming track.
The track begins Oct 9 at Slush Berlin Small Talks, which is 100% about gaming. My colleague, Rasmus, shared their story here. Fast-forward to December, we have joined forces once again with IGDA Finland for a Slush pre-party for gaming enthusiasts on Dec 3. At the Slush main event, we’ll have highly interesting topics to cover on both days with companies like Roblox, Tencent, Oh BiBi and Super Evil Megacorp joining. The program will be launched early November. In addition, this year we’re doing 10 different official side events with topics ranging from learning to property tech and… to gaming. Press Play is a four-hour event on Slush Day 2, co-produced with Supercell, Hatch and Play Ventures.
And if it wasn’t enough, our friends Supercell and Matchmade will host a pre-party before the legendary Slush afterparty. We encourage everybody to participate by hosting their own gatherings and side events during the Slush week. We’ve already got several events confirmed by the leading gaming companies in Finland and European venture capital funds but we’re always looking for more! You can include your event in the Slush side event listing here.
It all began when Justin started investing his personal time in creating a product, which would stop teams from spending up to 60% of their time “doing work about doing work.” Here are four main points Justin has learned along the way. 1. Make it easy for people to keep their eyes on the company […]
Modern Meadow has been pushing the traditional leather industry to the edge by creating biofabricated materials from growing cells into a new type of material inspired by leather. We had an opportunity to have a chat with Andras Forgacs, the co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow and get a sneak peek into some topics what he […]
This December, with Atomico and Orrick, Slush will once again publish the annual State of European Tech report. It is the most comprehensive deep-dive into the European ecosystem. Coming out for the fourth time, this year’s report will bring diversity and inclusion into focus, to highlight the importance of the issue at hand. Take the survey […]
One of the Slush core missions now and forever is the advancement of entrepreneurs’ and investors’ abilities to navigate the tech ecosystem and invest with impact. Yesterday, we took yet another leap towards attaining this goal with the release of The State of South Asian Tech (SEA) report in Singapore, yesterday. Like the State of […]
Happeo, a digital workplace platform focusing on smoothening the collaboration between employees of large companies, recently raised $8M for their seed round, having names such as Gapps, Vendep, DN Capital and Maki.vc amongst their investors. We had a chat with Happeo CEO Perttu Ojansuu in order to learn a bit more about the journey behind […]
Slush talks a lot about the different phases of founding a startup. We talk about building, scaling, growing, recruiting, funding and everything in between. All of these things are essential, but to understand the relevance of everything we do, we should also look into the very DNA of what a startup is and where they […]
Helsinki-based Yousician, the world’s leading music education company, has been on an almost decade long journey of learning about gamifying, community building, and of course, learning new instruments. CEO and co-founder Chris Thür has been leading the charge towards the company’s goal of making musicality as common as literacy, and overseen lots of change in […]
Last week, a new era for Slush Global Impact Accelerator kicked off. Slush hosted a workshop for startup hub managers – coming from five different countries – in Botswana. For the past three years, the GIA team has been running the program all the way from Finland. However, now we’ve decided to take off from […]
Day 2 at Slush Tokyo 2018 started with a bang, as IDEO Partner Tom Kelley walked into the Dome to have a Fireside Chat with Slush Tokyo CEO Antti Sonninen. The two discussed Slush and design thinking, and Tom took further questions from the audience during his Q&A session at the Slush Cafe. IDEO Partner […]
Subscribe to our newsletter to know about our ticket sales!
We collect cookies to make your experience here smoother.