Hendrik Klindworth is CEO of Innogames.
These are strange times in which we are living in and few could have predicted the ways in which the pandemic would upend our daily lives in the few short weeks it did.
Virtually all aspects of our world have been affected, forcing industries, companies and their employees across the board to quickly adapt. With countries beginning to gradually reopen following lockdowns, life is beginning to offer some semblance of normalcy.
Gaming is one of the few industries that have not been negatively impacted by the crisis. According to NewZoo’s Global Games Market forecast from April 2020, the industry is set to generate revenues of $159.3 billion this year, a 9.3% year-on-year growth.
In short, the quarantine measures have increased consumer play time and money spent on gaming in general. As digital businesses, studios have been quick to implement changes, with companies transitioning to home office and continuing to conduct business around the world.
Although these are unpredictable times, they have also been times of growth and learning. Looking ahead here is how the gaming industry may be different in the future.
Gaming as a Forerunner
Benefits that would be novel in other industries are relative standard in gaming, such as regular home office and flexible working hours. While more traditional industries struggled to switch to remote work, with some even finding it impossible, gaming transitioned rather smoothly, without interruption.
I believe that these flexible, fully transparent environments with a truly free flow of information will become standard in many other companies and industries.Hendrik Klindworth
I am convinced that what we are experiencing now is the future of work. Colleagues able to work from the comfort of their own homes without sacrificing the quality, productivity and collaboration often associated with the office.
This new reality is not without the need for adaptation though. Communication must be delivered through the appropriate channels to ensure the message is properly conveyed and this may vary between colleagues. That is why using a variety of instant messaging and communication tools will increase in importance for teams.
InnoGames colleagues use a variety of these tools each day, with traditional emails and phone calls alongside Slack messages and video calls with one or more people.
Similarly, the value of transparency in a company will increase, keeping in mind that not everyone will be physically gathering in one place at one point in time to receive information.
That is why we at InnoGames have moved our Management Information Sessions to a live digital format, allowing every colleague to tune in and receive information and pose questions in real time, with a recording available after the live event. Similarly, meeting notes and all other work are open information that all colleagues can access, allowing them to see the full picture and make informed decisions
I believe that these flexible, fully transparent environments with a truly free flow of information will become standard in many other companies and industries, allowing entities to work closer together despite the distance.
Worldwide Business… From Home
The future of business travel will likely change following the pandemic as well. During the Covid-19 outbreak, gaming companies around the world have experienced that video calls are often the more efficient choice. They allow for work to continue with quick, instant communication with colleagues and partners regardless of physical location, without sacrificing quality.
At the same time, companies are able to save the time and resources needed for travel, which is not only beneficial to them, but also to the environment by reducing their ecological footprints.
Although nothing can fully capture the essence of a live event or replace in person connections, I believe that the event landscape of the gaming industry will be altered.Hendrik Klindworth
Even long after it is deemed safe to travel freely, companies will likely rethink business travel and opt more for video calls or other virtual formats.
Rise of Virtual Events
Events will also look different for the gaming industry moving forward. This year, many industry events were cancelled or postponed indefinitely, while others were reimagined as virtual events.
Although nothing can fully capture the essence of a live event or replace in person connections, I believe that the event landscape of the gaming industry will be altered. Of course, physical events will continue to exist as they are especially relevant for independent developers to establish and secure partnerships.
However, time will tell if we will see more virtual events in the future either replacing some in-person events or perhaps complementing major events as a digital element, but there will be some changes.
New Take on the Games Industry
Games have served as safe spaces – virtual worlds that bring family, friends and others with similar interests together, promoting fun and interconnectivity in otherwise trying times.
Our mission at InnoGames is to connect people and we hope we are able to do our part by helping our players. Moving forward, we may see that this time has been pivotal to the whole gaming industry and how it is perceived.
Even though it is still not clear how long it will take to get back to normal, we can count ourselves lucky and have proven ourselves as one of the most, if not the most, adaptable industries. We are proud to be a part of such.