俄罗斯仅有32%玩家在电视上玩主机游戏，但有66%玩家使用平板电脑和移动设备玩游戏。值得注意的是，该国是为数不多没有令King游戏《Candy Crush Saga》进入2013年十大畅销手机游戏榜单的市场之一。
2）据venturebeat报道，投资公司Wedbush Securities分析师Nick McKay、Nick Citrin以及Michael Pacthter日前预测，育碧新开放世界动作游戏《Watch Dogs》（发布首周销量达400万份）很可能在该公司本财季末再实现100万份销量。该游戏在5月27日才发布，这意味着它仅历时一个多月就实现了500万份销量。
育碧此前曾预计《Watch Dogs》可能超越首款《刺客信条》（销量为630万份）在首个财年的表现，分析师认为《Watch Dogs》很可能在今年底就轻松超越后者。
5）据venturebeat报道，PopCap Games最近推出的《Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time》高级制作人Bernard Yee日前宣布加入Facebook所收购的虚拟现实公司Oculus VR的西雅图工作室。
1）Russia and Eastern Europe have emerged as one of the world’s major game markets (exclusive report)
The Russian game market has been tagged as “emerging” for a long time. But figures show that it has arrived and is bigger than most realize, with $2.3 billion in total Eastern European regional revenues this year, according to a new report by market researcher Newzoo.
Game revenues in the region are expected to rise 13.3 percent in 2014. And the Russian Federation’s revenues are expected to be $1.14 billion in 2014, placing it 12th among countries worldwide. Poland is No. 23 with $279.6 million in revenues, followed by Romania at $122.3 million, Ukraine at $118.6 million, and the Czech Republic at $117.8 million, according to Newzoo. Such revenues place Eastern Europe as a big part of the global games business.
Newzoo CEO Peter Warman said that “submerged” is a better term for the market, as it is like an iceberg with a lot of bulk hidden below the surface. It’s worth noting that Crytek’s Warface free-to-play online shooter game has become successful and profitable in Russia, where the game is one of the top-grossing titles. It was beta tested and released in the former Soviet Union on its launch day.
“Our research reveals Russia holding a far higher priority in the global games industry than currently ascribed,” Warman said.
Warman said that outsiders have misunderstood the complex market. Russia is the largest country by territory in the world, almost double the size of the U.S. and Canada. It spans nine time zones and shares borders with Eastern and Western countries, making for a lot of diversity. Eastern Europe has a relatively high Internet penetration of 62 percent, or 209.6 million online users out of a population of 337.5 million. The online population includes 138.3 million gamers. In Russia, the number of gamers is 61.8 million, ranking it fifth in raw numbers.
“I find the Russian games market to be as intriguing as that of China,” Warman said. “There are actually several striking similarities between the two, making Russia an even more attractive market as gateway to the East. Hard market data and a deeper cultural understanding of the market reveals that Russia deserves to be valued as a primary games market, in many cases boasting more potential than the default route of localizing a game into German, French, or Spanish.”
While there are about 140 million Spanish-speaking gamers compared to 67 million Russian-speaking gamers, the gap is smaller when you focus on paying gamers, Newzoo found. That’s important as game developers decide where to localize their games. Russian gamers are big fans of PC massively multiplayer online games, where that market has the potential to become an even bigger market than Germany. Yet many Russians are dissatisfied with the slowness of how games are localized to their market.
Local businesses like Mail.ru, a rival to Gmail, control the majority of web and social media. And Russia is often a good stepping stone to the Chinese games market, Newzoo said. Piracy has been reduced to the fast growth of free-to-play games in Russia.
Console games on the TV are largely ignored in Russia, with only 32 percent of all gamers playing that way. But about 66 percent of Russian gamers play on tablets and mobile devices. Oddly, Russia was one of the few countries in the world where King’s Candy Crush Saga was not one of the top 10 grossing mobile games in 2013.（source：venturebeat）
2）Analyst: Watch Dogs likely sold more than 5M copies by end of June
French publisher Ubisoft has another megafranchise in its portfolio.
After selling 4 million copies of the new open-world action game Watch Dogs in its first week, analysts Nick McKay, Nick Citrin, and Michael Pacthter for investment company Wedbush Securities predict that the game likely went on to sell another million copies before the end of Ubisoft’s quarter. That would put Watch Dogs at 5 million copies sold through the end of June, which is just over a month after the game’s May 27 release.
“[Ubisoft] previously stated that it expected sales of Watch Dogs to exceed those of the first Assassin’s Creed in its first fiscal year,” Pachter wrote in a note to investors. “[The first Assassin's Creed sold] 6.3 million units. We believe that Watch Dogs is well-positioned to easily surpass that figure by year’s end.”
Ubisoft will report the results of its first quarter for fiscal 2015 on July 10 after the French market closes. In April, the publisher advised investors that it expected to generate $422 million. Wedbush expects Ubisoft to report revenue closer to $429 million, and the analyst says that estimate is “conservative.”
Watch Dogs is a huge success for Ubisoft. It already set a 24 hour sales mark for a game from the publisher. With Watch Dogs resonating, this gives the French publisher the chance to annualize the franchise.
Ubisoft has released a new Assassin’s Creed for consoles and PC every year since 2009′s Assassin’s Creed II. This enables the company to practically guarantee a triple-A blockbuster, which pads its yearly earnings. It will likely attempt a similar strategy with Watch Dogs.（source：venturebeat）
3）Miyamoto: I fear that smartphones are becoming the norm for games
By Mike Rose
“I have a sense of fear in that ‘hand-me-down smartphones’… are becoming hardware systems on which to play games due to their prices being lower than that of our most inexpensive video game system in our history.”
- Shigeru Miyamoto talks smartphones to a room of Nintendo investors.
During the recent Nintendo general meeting of shareholders, the company once again found itself under fire from investors who want to know why Nintendo isn’t making smartphone games.
Miyamoto admitted that he is now fearful of the impact of the mobile industry on Nintendo’s business, but he added that there will always be a place for traditional video games.
“I do not believe that will completely control the future of video games,” he said of mobile games, adding that mobile devices do not provide enough security when used by children, and this is an important factor to Nintendo.
“Taking into consideration that more and more children have a good command of these kinds of media, which help these media to spread, the most important task for Nintendo is how to provide new styles of entertainment by using these technologies, and how to make these new kinds of entertainment yield significant sales and profits,” he added.
Shinya Takahashi, director of Software Planning at Nintendo, added that his company has successfully provided unique entertainment for TVs and handheld devices for many years, and that the company’s current work on smartphones will be no different.
“We are currently developing an application for smart devices,” he said. “Through such an application, we would like to connect with many consumers around the world, including those who do not own Nintendo’s video game systems, and communicate the value of our entertainment offerings.”（source：gamasutra）
4）World of Warcraft frontman Rob Pardo has left Blizzard
By Alex Wawro
Game industry veteran Rob Pardo announced today that he is leaving Blizzard Entertainment, ending a 17-year career with the company.
“With long and careful contemplation, I have made a difficult and bittersweet but ultimately exciting decision to pursue the next chapter in my life and career,” wrote Pardo.
Until today Pardo had prominently served as Blizzard’s chief creative officer, representing the company at numerous public events and industry conferences. Prior to that he served as an executive vice president of game design, and in that time he was named to Time Magazine’s 2006 ‘Time 100′ list for his work as a lead designer on World of Warcraft.
Pardo was also the executive producer of Diablo III and is credited on countless other Blizzard titles. He also played a role in helping broker the deal between Blizzard and Legendary Pictures to produce an upcoming feature film based on World of Warcraft.（source：gamasutra）
5）PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies 2 producer leaves for the siren song of Oculus VR (exclusive)
Bernard Yee just can’t stay put. The senior producer of PopCap Games’ recent Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time has taken a job in the Seattle office of Oculus VR, the virtual reality goggles company that Facebook is acquiring for $2 billion.
Yee said in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat that he fell in love with virtual reality technology after seeing a demo at Valve, which has been developing VR technology in parallel with Oculus.
“I was really blown away by the level of emotional reaction I had to the demo,” he said. “The virtual reality technology was immersive and made you feel present in a way that games have never done.”
Yee has worked on a lot of games over the decades, from Sony’s EverQuest to Bungie’s upcoming Destiny. Now he will be a producer or product manager for Oculus in Seattle, starting in mid-July.
Oculus has attracted a lot of big names in the video game industry including studio head Jason Rubin, tech gurus John Carmack and Mike Abrash, and others.
“The team in Seattle is very talented,” Yee said. “I have to say that Plants vs. Zombies 2 is one of the best things I’ve ever worked on. The PopCap dev team is super passionate and they are as driven as a studio can be. I’m going to miss that part.”
But the siren song of Oculus has lured Yee. He compared the excitement around virtual reality to the rise of massively multiplayer online games a decade ago.
“It’s hard to say no,” he said. “If I can contribute in a little way to make something new, that’s fantastic.”（source：venturebeat）