3）App Annie最新报告显示，今年6月份《TwoDots》、《Angry Birds Epic》以及《Bubble Witch Saga 2》等老牌游戏及续作均进入iOS App Store游戏下载榜单前10名，甚至连《水果忍者》和《Fish Out of Water》这两款老游戏也重返该榜单，而《Don’t Tap the White Tile》和《2048》则是唯一出现在前十名榜单的两款新作。
《水果忍者》发布于2010年，《Fish Out of Water》发布于2013年，这两款游戏的排名晋升令开发商Halfbrick上升了43个名次，在6月份成为下载量排名第三的iOS游戏发行商。
《Bubble Witch Saga 2》（今年6月发布）的成功很大程度上要归结于其发行商King的电视广告策略，它在一系列电视频道播放30秒的游戏广告，令该游戏在App Store和Google Play晋升至游戏下载榜单第6名。这款游戏的出色表现还让6月份的King股价从6月份的16.5美元一路上升至日前的20.6美元，King股价本月初甚至还首次超过了22.5美元。
这两者分别是免费连线消除游戏《Saber’s Edge》和售价2美元的平台游戏《To-Fu Fury》（含IAP功能，以便展示Fire智能手机的“动态视角”功能）。
Fire智能手机的动态视角系统支持开发者设计能够进行脸部追踪和响应玩家目光所在的游戏。目前还不清楚亚马逊游戏工作室在这两款游戏的开发过程中究竟发挥了多大作用，因为HotGen和Hibernum这两家合作伙伴都已具备令人瞩目的开发经验，前者已向iOS App Store发布了多款《To-Fu》系列游戏，后者曾与迪士尼、EA和育碧等大牌公司合作，推出了《Calling All Mixels》、《Disney Infinity: Action! 》和《Pearl’s Peril》等多款手机游戏作品。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
1）Game Developer Salary Survey 2014: The results are in!
By Kris Graft
Gamasutra recently polled over 4,000 game developers worldwide, asking them the question: How much money did you make?
We did this as part of the annual Game Developer Salary Survey — the most extensive survey of its kind in the game industry. This year, the survey was run by Gamasutra in lieu of our beloved sibling magazine, Game Developer.
You can download the meaty eight-page report in PDF form right here. Gamasutra will be releasing Salary Survey highlights throughout the week on our special Salary Survey page.
So, onto the topline stats:
Salaried game developers
In 2013, salaried game developers in the U.S. made an average of $83,060 last year, down 2 percent from the year prior.
Business and management salaries topped all other disciplines once again this year, averaging $101,572, followed by audio professionals ($95,682) and programmers ($93,251). Quality assurance professionals earned the lowest average salary at $54,833.
Here are the rest of the disciplines we covered (U.S.):
Business and management: $101,572
Audio professionals: $95,682
Artists and animators: $74,349
Game designers: $73,864
Quality Assurance: $54,833
In Canada, salaried game developers, including all disciplines, made an average annual salary of USD $71,445 (up 9 percent year-on-year) in 2013, whereas Europe-based game developers made USD $46,232 (flat).
The indie report
Non-salaried solo independent game developers made an average of $11,812 (down 49 percent year-on-year) last year, while individual members of an indie team made an average of $50,833 (up 161 percent). (These averages do not take into account indies who made less than $10,000, or over $200,000.)
The drop in solo salaries seems alarming, while the rise in indie team salaries seems promising — but be careful in making assumptions about this data. We’ve found that average indie salaries are prone to big fluctuations over the years.
Check out the full report!
Conducted in May 2014 for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, Gamasutra gathered well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, with help from market research company Audience Insights.（source：gamasutra）
2）Gender wage gap: How the game industry compares to the U.S. average
By Kris Graft
The gender pay gap is once again a hot topic in the world of U.S. politics, and in the world of video game development, the issue has reared its head.
According to Gamasutra’s Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 [PDF], men working U.S.-based salaried jobs in the game industry made $85,074 on average in 2013, whereas women made an average of $72,882 (excluding students and educators).
That means on average, women made 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the U.S. game industry.
While it’s still an issue that needs to be fixed, the game industry gender wage gap is smaller than the national average: In the U.S. overall, women make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, according figures from a 2012 Census Bureau survey.
The chart below shows the pay gap in various game industry positions. In 2013, game design had the smallest gap, with women making 94 percent of what men do on average in the U.S. Audio professionals had the largest, with women making 68 percent of men on average.
Research beyond the realm of video games has examined possible causes for the gender wage gap. One of the prevailing theories, reported by Pew Research, is that women are more likely to experience career interruption than men, as a higher percentage of women take time off to care for family. Such career interruptions could have an impact on longer-term earnings.
More flexibility in working conditions and hours could hold the key to further closing the wage gap, and perhaps have a greater effect than employee revolt or anti-discrimination laws, experts say.
Harvard University labor professor Claudia Goldin said in a recent paper [PDF], “The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.”
The government this year has made the gender wage gap a sticking point for U.S. politics. In April, President Obama backed directives meant to help close the wage gap by signing legislation that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for disparate pay.
Check out the full report!
Conducted in May 2014 for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, Gamasutra gathered well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, with help from market research company Audience Insights.
You can download the full PDF here, and check out Salary Survey highlights all this week at our special Salary Survey page on Gamasutra.（source：gamasutra）
3）Fruit Ninja and other familiar game brands are bubbling up again on the mobile download charts
While iOS and Android still host a number of unexpected breakout hits, a number of recognizable games and sequels are moving up the charts.
Games like TwoDots, Angry Birds Epic, and Bubble Witch Saga 2 were all in the top-10 most-downloaded games on the iOS App Store in June, according to a report from industry-tracking firm App Annie. Even developer Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja and Fish Out of Water, two games that dominated mobile charts in years past, are back in the top 10 on iOS. This is evidence that established mobile developers are adapting for the ever-changing mobile landscape, and it reveals that surprising hits like 2048 and Don’t Tap The White Tile won’t necessarily crowd out games from developers like King, Rovio, and others.
“TwoDots led the wave of new entrants that swept through the top-10 iOS games by monthly downloads in June,” reads the App Annie report. “Don’t Tap the White Tile and 2048 were the only two apps that stayed in the top 10 from May.”
TwoDots is the sequel to the incredibly popular Dots from developer Betaworks One, and its fans returned for a second round with the game. That brand recognition didn’t just help TwoDots. Rovio’s Angry Birds are back near the top of the charts with the free-to-play Angry Birds Epic action role-playing game on iOS and Android.
Angry Birds Epic debuted on June 12, and it immediately slingshotted into the top-5 games for the combined iOS and Google Play downloads chart worldwide. While Angry Birds games typically do well, some of Rovio’s other recent attempts (like kart racer Angry Birds Go) fizzled out quickly. Epic’s strong first month suggests its success may have a longer tail.
The most surprising return to form for the month of June was definitely Halfbrick and its Fruit Ninja and Fish Out of Water.
“Halfbrick leapt 43 spots and ended June 2014 as the No. 3 iOS game publisher by downloads due to the strong performance in the second half of month,” reads the report. “The Australian game studio sliced the prices for their paid games to free for a limited time, which resulted in substantial growth across their app portfolio. A couple of Halfbrick games rode the free wave all the way into the Top 10 iOS games by monthly downloads the fan-favorite Fruit
Ninja and Fish Out of Water.”
Fruit Ninja debuted way back in 2010 and Fish Out of Water is from 2013. Now that both games are back near the top of the downloads chart, that should help with their visibility on the App Store. The studio may see a boost in its sales now that the games have better discoverability.
Finally, Candy Crush Saga publisher King definitely has that new hit it was looking for. Bubble Witch Saga 2 blew up on both iOS and Android in June. A lot of that success is likely attributable to King’s strategy of downplaying mobile ad spending in favor of television advertisements. The developer is running 30-second spots for Bubble Witch Saga 2 on a number of cable and network channels, and it has Bubble Witch Saga 2 as the No. 6 most downloaded game across both the App Store and Google Play.
The performance of Bubble Witch Saga 2 has King trading up from around $16.50 in June all the way up to $20.60 today. King’s stock price even surpassed $22.50 earlier this month for the first time since its initial public offering.（source：venturebeat）
4）Console and PC game markets doomed to shrink, analyst firm predicts
So much for the enthusiasm around next-generation game machines.
Console and PC game revenues are expected to decline 11 percent from $46.5 billion in 2014 to $41 billion by 2019, according to a report from analyst firm Juniper Research. That’s a steep decline in the current generation of consoles that just got started in 2012 and 2013.
Juniper also said that, despite the rise of mobile games, console and PC games will still account for more than 50 percent of revenues for the game business over the next five years. The gloomy message is that mobile game revenues will not rise fast enough to become bigger than traditional games.
But Juniper said that the level of console and PC game sales in the industry will remain relatively healthy. Game companies, however, shouldn’t believe any hype about endless growth. The report notes an uplift in revenues as Xbox One and PS4 launched in November, 2013 but warns that the corresponding current rise in console software sales is going to be a short-term one.
One bright spot: Cloud games will grow from $281 million in revenues in 2014 to more than $1 billion over five years. That includes revenues from web-based game services such as Sony’s PlayStation Now service.
Juniper said it believes the ninth generation of game consoles will arrive around 2019, assuming the console lifecycle doesn’t change too much. On the PC, multiplayer online battle arena games such as League of Legends will be among the most popular genres. Handheld devices will struggle, shrinking to under 2 percent of the total game industry sales by 2018. And online game streaming platforms such as Twitch will continue to grow, Juniper said.（source：venturebeat）
5）Mobile marketers are turning to video ads to acquire new users (exclusive)
Video ads are now the No. 1 way to acquire new people for top-grossing app developers, according to a developer survey by AdColony.
That’s no surprise, considering AdColony is a provider of video ads. But even considering the source of information, the survey says a lot about the current state of getting mobile users. Bryan Buskas, the senior vice president of sales and performance advertising at AdColony, discloses the survey results at a 1:30 p.m. Pacific session today at the Casual Connect game conference in San Francisco.
AdColony found that 100 percent of developers now use video ads, compared to 92 percent for Facebook ads, 90 percent for interstitials, and 86 percent for banner ads. Display ads are starting to decline in popularity as the volume of installs has become one of the least-important key performance indicators (KPIs) for successful mobile apps.
Indeed, AdColony is not the only one to discover the effectiveness of video ads. VentureBeat broke the news last week that Facebook will soon be rolling out “sequential” targeted video ads in its mobile apps, as advertisers continue clamor for this medium.
Also, AdColony — and mobile video — figure large in VentureBeat’s recent report on the most effective methods for mobile app monetization.
The AdColony survey shows that fewer than 25 percent of developers consider banner ads to be effective at acquiring users. User quality is now the No. 1 factor in evaluating a campaign’s performance, according to 96 percent of developers. Free app networks and offer walls are now the fastest-declining ad formats; they now see use from less than 50 percent of the top-grossing game advertisers.
Ad budgets are growing as the business becomes more global About 88 percent of developers agree that their user acquisition campaigns are larger and more global so far this year.
For 2015, 43 percent of developers are most excited about using video ads for user acquisition. The survey was conducted from June 2 to June 23, and it had a 49 percent response rate.（source：venturebeat）
6）Surprise — Amazon Game Studios is making Amazon Fire phone games
By Alex Wawro
Amazon Game Studios continues to be the leading developer of Amazon platform-exclusive titles, announcing this week that it is partnering with two mobile studios — HotGen and Hibernum Creations — to release a pair of launch games for Amazon’s Fire smartphone ahead of its July 24th debut.
Both games — the free-to-play match-3 game Saber’s Edge and the $2 platformer To-Fu Fury — offer in-app purchases and seem designed to showcase the Fire’s “Dynamic Perspective” feature.
The phone’s Dynamic Perspective system uses the Fire’s four front-facing cameras to do facial tracking and allows developers to design games that can react to where a player is looking or where the phone is in relation to their face.
It’s unclear how deeply Amazon Game Studios was involved in the actual development of these games, as both partner studios have established mobile development track records — HotGen has put out multiple To-Fu games on the iOS App Store, while Hibernum has worked with companies like Disney, EA, and Ubisoft to create mobile titles like Calling All Mixels, Disney Infinity: Action! and Pearl’s Peril.
Given that we already know Amazon Game Studios is working on Sev Zero and other games for the Amazon Fire TV microconsole, it seems likely that the studio — which has been staffing up all year — is digging in to focus primarily on developing showcase games for Amazon hardware.
Earlier this year, Killer Instinct creator Double Helix Games was acquired by Amazon, and shortly thereafter it was announced that designers Kim Swift and Clint Hocking were joining Amazon Game Studios.（source：gamasutra）