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英国游戏市场2019年报告及行业人士对2020年的展望

发布时间:2020-03-30 08:56:25 Tags:,

英国游戏市场2019年报告及行业人士对2020年的展望

原作者: Will Freeman 译者:Vivian Xue

互联网数据情报公司Newzoo预测,英国有望在2019年成为全球第6大游戏市场,以及欧洲第2大游戏市场,英国电子游戏业总收入将于2019年底达到51亿美元,同比增长10%。

对于一个拥有6770万人口的岛国来说,这成绩完全不能算差。当然,英国拥有3790万游戏玩家是一个重要原因,但这样的成功和发展潜力同样归功于该国游戏行业的传统、人才及生态。并且英国非常擅长制作全球热门大作。

20世纪70年代末至80年代,家用电脑普及时,英国便以制作创新并具有商业发展潜力的游戏著称。如今,英国是众多知名工作室的诞生地,主机和PC领域的3A公司有Rockstar North、Travellers Tales、Codemasters、Sony Studios、Sports Interactive、Rare、Ubisoft Reflections、Creative Assembly、Rebellion and Rocksteady等等,其中一些还涉足手游业务。英国独立游戏市场的发展同样欣欣向荣,并且毫无看低手游的心态,拥有像Bossa Studios这样健康发展的中型团队,以及各种类型的发行商。

在手游领域,许多国际化手游公司(比如King)在英国设立总部,Supercell旗下的Space Ape和著名的ustwo games都位于英国,这些是雄心勃勃、创意十足的手游开发商代表,他们不仅引人称赞也创造了可观的收入。

War Robots(from apple.com)

War Robots(from apple.com)

以下是当前英国游戏行业发展的事实概况和数据。

1. 统计数据

根据最新统计,游戏贸易机构Ukie和创新基金会Nesta指出,英国的2285家游戏公司、154家服务型公司和107家大学培养的未来游戏制造商,其中有1510家将手游作为开发或服务目标。相较于该国国土面积而言,这是一个巨大的生态系统。

这一切从某种程度上建立在一个由技术和服务商组成的强大生态系统之上,而这些服务商又诞生于英国悠久的游戏制作历史。

英国对电子游戏业提供税收优惠,2014年制定了电子游戏税收减免政策(VGTR)。根据BFI 2018年的“屏幕商业”报告,2016年VGTR为英国游戏行业创造了9240个全职岗位。与此同时,VGTR支持的游戏开发支出达到3.899亿英镑,占当年英国总开发预算的31%。该政策并不是毫无争议性,特别是近几个月,人们对政策使用的合理性展开了议论。

再来关注英国的玩家群体,Newzoo预测英国玩家数量只会继续增长,2022年游戏收入将达55亿。

鼓舞人心的是,该研究报告指出英国的3790万玩家中手游玩家占94%,也就是3560万人。2019年,英国的智能手机普及率也位列全球第一,达到82.9%,也就是5550万用户,并呈现巨大的增长潜力。

与此同时,85%的英国玩家喜欢玩PC和主机游戏,并且更愿意在游戏中消费,付费玩家比例为62%。相比之下,英国的手游玩家的付费意愿略低,尽管他们的数量更多,付费玩家比例为50%。

2. 行业观点

关系到英国游戏业未来发展的重大因素,显然是脱欧带来的政治不确定性。近期的大选或许让脱欧的日期和结果更可预见,但其带来的影响仍需要我们思考和耐心观察。自2016年公投以来,英国的商业、投资和经济同样面临着这种不确定性。

但英国的游戏制造商和发行商对2019年有何看法呢? 2020年将为手游及其它市场带来哪些挑战和机会呢?我们就此询问了行业人士,下面是他们给出的答复:

Dan Gray,ustwo games首席创意官(CCO)

“过去一年英国游戏行业的发展非常有趣且鼓舞人心。我们有Man of Medan和Bradwell Conspiracy这样优秀的叙事游戏,Knight and Bikes和Wargroove这类纯趣味游戏,还有John Wick Hex这种高水平设计。”

“我感觉英国游戏业开始稳定下来,并逐渐进化成我们今日的规模。好比旧时的大英帝国,曾经行业内一度是3A公司,300人的团队制作大型PC或主机游戏。如今这类游戏少之又少,相反我们成功制作了有风险性的小型创意游戏,它们具有英国特色且难以复制。”

“至于2020年,我想我们应准备好利用跨平台这个市场趋势。市场将寻求有价值、独树一帜的创新。在这方面,我认为没有其它地方做得比英国更好了。”

Mike Willis,Marmalade Game Studio首席执行官

“英国游戏市场比以往任何时候都更有价值。今年对付费下载手游来说意义重大,Apple Arcade出现了,这显然预示着一个良性趋势,市场开始追求高质量的内容。”

“我认为2020年市场会继续向‘质量胜过数量’转变——比如,我们最近发行的Monopoly的市场反响特别好,玩家们乐于见到一款无任何微交易的精美游戏。”

“我预计2020年会出现更多设计优美、令人惊叹的游戏。小型独立工作室将面临与《堡垒之夜》、《我的世界》等大作争夺玩家注意力的挑战,但我相信英国游戏工作室已经准备好了。”

Oscar Clark,Fundamentally Games的创意主管(Curiosity of Chief)

“游戏行业在2019年一如既往地活跃。超休闲游戏震动了整个手游市场,可以说达到了巅峰,但这种单纯靠广告支撑的模式似乎开始侵蚀自身的利润。于是Archero这样的游戏出现了,通过增设内购打破这种纯依赖广告收入的模式,形成一种‘混合休闲’游戏。”

“尽管Epic和Steam打得火热,PC市场似乎未受影响,而主机市场仍旧是一个封闭的生态,我们很难有效触达目标用户。尽管如此,PC和主机平台仍然呈现了令人惊喜的内容。我打了一整周的Star Wars: Fallen Order,一款有趣的游戏,不过有些人觉得它不够新颖。这些使我相当看好这两个市场,但我感觉主机/PC游戏在盈利模式、快速设计和有针对性的用户获取这些方面与手游相比太落伍,而手游在创造持续的情感体验方面与PC/主机游戏相差甚远,二者应该互相取经。尽管脱欧的阴影尚未散去,2020年我们面临的最大挑战仍旧是以玩家为首,提供符合他们需求的、可延伸的内容体验。”

Rob Hewson,Huey Games首席执行官兼创意总监

“尽管存在政治不确定性,2019年对英国游戏行业来说仍旧令人满意的一年,但从某种程度上它像是2020年的预热。新的平台总是能带来新机会,令人欣慰的是英国公司接纳了Apple Arcade、Stadia和Epic Games等新平台。尽管2020年PS5和Xbox Series X的发行必将引发巨大躁动,我觉得更有趣的是Apple Arcade、Stadia、Xbox GamePass、PlayStation Now以及传闻的亚马逊新云平台的发展,这些订阅服务将如何颠覆行业。”

“订阅模式最终将改变主机和云平台的格局,这是毋庸置疑的,但在手游市场,Apple Arcade这样的订阅服务能否撼动处于收入顶端的F2P模式尚无定论。另一方面,手游发行商不应忽略的是订阅式云服务,例如微软的Project xCloud很快将争夺手机以及电视用户的注意力。”

Peter Willington,Auroch Digital创意制作人

“2019年人们似乎更加关心道德问题,这令我十分激动。我们看到媒体不停拷问那些鼓励加班文化的工作室,我们还对战利品宝箱展开了有意义的讨论。我们集体思考了税收减免政策对商业的促进,以及巨头公司利用政策避税获利的问题。这些是积极的现象,我希望2020年得以延续。”

“2020年将为英国游戏行业未来的健康发展奠定基础。由于游戏交易往往需要数月才能达成,游戏项目通常需要数年才能落地结果,整个行业可能需要一段时间才能感受到社会、政治和经济政策变化对整个国家带来的影响。

“无论政客们将如何处理脱欧进程——不脱欧、温和脱欧还是强硬脱欧——它都将产生长期影响,我们在未来几年会感受到。我们能留住来自欧洲各地的优秀人才吗?我们的教育体制足以应对任何人才短缺问题吗?英国的生活质量足够高到吸引人才,乃至投资吗?政府还有钱继续支持游戏开发以及税收减免项目吗?没有苏格兰,‘英国’游戏行业会变成什么样?”

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

At some point in 2019, the UK will have very likely become the sixth-largest games market in the world, and the second biggest in Europe.

That’s according to Newzoo predictions, which also expect that video game industry revenues in the nation will total $5.1 billion by the year’s close; a 10% year-on-year lift. That’s not at all bad for an island that is home to 67.7 million people. It helps that 37.9 million of them are gamers, of course, but the success and potential are also built on heritage, talent and ecosystem. And the UK’s knack for delivering international hits.

The United Kingdom’s reputation for building creative and commercially triumphant games was forged in the home computing era of the late-1970s and early 1980s. Currently, the UK plays home to a bounty of big names from the realm of triple-A console and PC gaming like Rockstar North, Travellers Tales, Codemasters, Sony Studios, Sports Interactive, Rare, Ubisoft Reflections, Creative Assembly, Rebellion and Rocksteady, some of which have dabbled in mobile. There’s equally a proactive and plentiful indie scene that isn’t snobby about smartphone gaming, a healthy spread of mid-sized teams like Bossa Studios, and a diverse range of publisher types.

And then there are the mobile teams. International outfits such as King have made a home in the UK, while the likes of the Supercell-owned Space Ape and the celebrated ustwo games exemplify the kind of ambitious, creative mobile developers that capably attract praise and build tidy revenues here.

You’ll be able to meet the UK games industry at Pocket Gamer Connects London, our live event taking place 20-21 January. And to get you up to speed before then, here’s a dive into the facts and figures of the contemporary scene.

Tallying up

At the last count, games trade body Ukie and innovation foundation Nesta noted 2,285 game companies in the UK, alongside 154 service companies and 107 universities educating future game makers. 1,510 of those game companies in some way serve or target mobile. That is an immense ecosystem relative to the nation’s size.

All of that is founded in part on a robust ecosystem of technology and service providers, who are again born from the UK’s long heritage as a place where games are made.

And then there’s the generous video games tax relief (VGTR) system, provided by the state and launched in 2014. According to the BFI’s 2018 ‘Screen Business’ report, two years previously VGTR had grown to support 9,240 full-time equivalent jobs. Meanwhile, VGTR-supported games accounted for £389.9 million of UK development spend, or 31% of the total development budgets of UK teams for that year. Not that the system has been entirely free of controversy, particularly in recent months, when appropriate use has come under the spotlight.

Returning attention to the consumers playing games in the UK, Newzoo predicts the number of UK residents playing games will only grow, pushing revenues to $5.5 billion by 2022.

Encouragingly, the same study points to the fact that 94% of the UK’s 37.9 million gamers play mobile games; or 35.6 million players. In 2019 the UK also boasted what many assert as the world’s highest reliably recorded smartphone penetration at 82.9% – or 55.5 million people – demonstrating the potential for plenty of further growth.

85% of UK players, meanwhile, enjoy PC and console games, and they are a little more likely to spend than mobile games, presenting a 62% player/payer ratio. The UK’s mobile users, by comparison, are slightly less willing to pay, despite being more numerous; around half are willing to pay.

The industry speaks

The elephant in the room regarding all this potential, of course, is political uncertainty around Brexit. The recent general election may have made the outcome and timing of Brexit easier to predict, but the impact remains a cause for much thought and patience. Equally, in the years since the 2016 referendum, business, investment and the economy in the UK have had to negotiate a period with very little certainty.

But how do the UK’s game makers and publishers feel about how 2019 went? And what do they predict will be the opportunities and challenges in 2020, for mobile and beyond? We asked, and the industry answered:

Dan Gray, Chief Creative Officer, ustwo games

“I really think it’s been an interesting and inspiring year for the UK games industry. We’ve had story-driven moments of excellence in The Man of Medan and Bradwell Conspiracy, utter joy in things like Knights and Bikes and Wargroove, with some quality refined design in things like John Wick Hex.

“I kind of feel like the UK is starting to settle and evolve into our place in the industry. Like the British Empire of yore, it used to be about the gargantuan, the triple-A, the three hundred person teams delivering big PC or console experiences. These experiences are few and far between nowadays, but we’re really acing the risky, small and creative projects with a British flair and personality that’s hard to replicate.

“When it comes to 2020 I think we’re perfectly poised to take advantage of a market that’s moving in a platform-agnostic direction. Partners are going to be looking for nuggets of innovation to separate themselves and there are not many places better than the UK at delivering those.”

Mike Willis, CEO, Marmalade Game Studio
“The UK gaming market is now worth more than ever before, and it was a big year for premium mobile games with the release of Apple Arcade – a clear sign that there’s a healthy appetite for high-quality content.

“I think there’ll be a continuing shift towards quality over quantity next year – for example, our recent Monopoly release was extremely well received by gamers who were happy to see a beautiful game without a trace of microtransactions.

“I expect to see more sleek, jaw-dropping titles cutting through the noise next year. The challenge will be for smaller indie studios to compete with the likes of Fortnite and Minecraft for player’s attention, but I reckon UK games studios are up for it.”

Oscar Clark, Chief of Curiosity, Fundamentally Games
“Games as an industry never rests and 2019 has been no exception. We’ve seen hypercasual design shake-up the mobile space and arguably reach its peak this year, as this ‘pure’ ad-funded model seems to be starting to eat into its own profits. Then a game like Archero turns up showing that it’s possible to make ‘hybrid-casual’ games – with IAP too.

“PC seems to continue unaffected in spite of Epic and Steam throwing punches at each other, and console remains a closed ecosystem where we cannot effectively target users. Despite that, both ecosystems continue to deliver content which can surprise and delight. I lost a week to Star Wars: Fallen Order, a delightful game. Some argue it’s not particularly new – that shows how important execution is. All of this leaves me pretty positive, but I worry that console and PC are too slow to learn from economic levers, rapid design and targeted user acquisition from mobile; while mobile has still a lot to learn from PC/console about how to create sustained emotional experiences. Our biggest challenge for 2020 remains the same despite the clouds of Brexit hanging over us; it is to put players first and create experiences they care about that can scale.”

Rob Hewson, CEO and Creative Director, Huey Games
“2019 has been a positive year for the UK game industry, despite the political uncertainty. But in a sense, it feels like a warmup for 2020. New platforms always bring new opportunities, and it has been encouraging to see UK companies embracing Apple Arcade, Stadia and Epic Store this year. While there will rightly be a lot of noise about PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2020, the more interesting long-term story may turn out to be the ‘subscription disruption’ – the growth of services like Apple Arcade, Stadia, Xbox GamePass, PlayStation Now and, if rumours are to be believed, a new cloud platform from Amazon.

“It seems inevitable that subscription models will ultimately change the landscape on console and cloud platforms, but in the mobile market, the jury is still out on whether the likes of Apple Arcade can challenge the all-conquering free-to-play model in terms of top-end revenue. On the other hand, it should not escape the attention of mobile publishers that subscription-based cloud services like Microsoft’s Project xCloud will soon be competing for core-gamers attention on phones as well as on TV screens.”

Peter Willington, Creative Producer, Auroch Digital
“People seemed more engaged in ethics in 2019, which I was really excited to see. We saw story after story of the media rightly going after studios that encouraged deplorable crunch-based production practices and we had some useful discussions about loot boxes. Collectively we considered where the line was between tax relief to encourage business growth and tax relief to line the pockets of the rich. This stuff is important and I hope it continues in 2020.

“2020 is going to lay the groundwork for the health of the UK industry in a fundamental way. It can take a while for the industry at large to feel the effects of social, political, and economic shifts in policy at a state level, what with games deals often taking months to sign and projects regularly taking years to complete and bear fruit.

“How Brexit – either the remain, soft, or hard versions – is handled by policy makers is going to have long-term repercussions that we’ll feel for many years to come. Will we be able to keep our talented European work force? Has our education system generated enough talent to make up any shortfall? Will quality of life in the UK be high enough to attract talent, and subsequently, investment? Is there still going to be money for the various government-backed games funds and tax relief programs? What does the ‘UK’ games industry look like without Scotland? (source:Pocketgamer.biz

 


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