Parisian dreams: 5 things we learned at Game Connection 2014


Parisian dreams: 5 things we learned at Game Connection 2014

When I first laid eyes on the Paris Expo Centre, the home of Game Connection Europe 2014, I couldn't help but feel a little overawed.

The venue, much like the show itself, was enormous, and from the first minute to the last the conference hall and the surrounding area was a hub of activity.

The industry was in its element, but juggling all of those meetings, talks, and copious amounts of networking is demanding, so we wouldn't judge you for accidentally letting some of the more important moments slip by.

After all, that's why we're here: to make sure you don't miss out on the lessons that matter.

So, for those of you who decided to sacrifice a talk in the name of a lie in; for those of you who had to choose between seeing that special speaker and closing a deal; and for those of you who simply spent too much time sampling the fine food on offer and exploring the city: here's the five most important things we learned at Game Connection 2014.

Click here to view the list »
  • 5 Expect the unexpected

    This piece of advice isn't necessarily aimed at people who work in the games industry, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth heeding.

    See, whenever you're travelling, it's best to expect the unexpected. If there's such a thing as a conference that goes off without a hitch, I haven't heard of it.

    Whether it's a delayed plane, lost luggage, excruciatingly pricey travel, cancelled talks, or an adverse reaction to some foreign food - frogs legs, anyone? - something, almost always, goes wrong.

    Don't worry though, because as soon as you accept that fact, you might find your experiences on the conference circuit are infinitely more relaxing.

  • 4 Know thyself

    At our Mobile Mixer in Paris we assembled a crack team of industry experts to tackle the mobile industry's killer question: how do you reach consumers and make money?

    Every member of the panel voiced a different opinion, with some putting their faith in advertising, and others suggesting fostering vibrant, loyal communities is the real way forward.

    What I really learned from our insightful gurus though, is that, when it comes to UA and monetisation, there really isn't a one-size-fits-all plan.

    An expert panel with their own opinions

    If you really want to be successful, you have to use techniques that compliment your philosophy. It has to feel right.

    By all means, look towards others for advice and tips, but be wary of simply replicating those techniques, because what worked for one person probably won't work for you.

  • 3 Work hard, play hard

    It's easy to become wrapped up in work when you're at huge shows like Game Connection Europe 2014.

    You'll have a bunch of talks to attend, meetings to arrange, and emails to send.

    Of course, that's the point. You should be excited about your company, so meeting people on the show floor who share your passion, and listening to speakers who could help you reach the next level is an extremely worthwhile endeavour.

    However, after you've closed that last deal, or sent that final email, don't forget to take some time out for yourself.

    Have some fun

    Go forth, attend some parties, and have some fun. You never know who you might meet during that downtime, and some of my most successful 'meetings' have been nothing more than friendly chats over a pint of beer.

  • 2 Know your markets

    With more and more developers looking towards the east, it was perhaps unsurprising to see so many talks at Game Connection Europe 2014 discussing how ambitious studios can crack the Asian market.

    Finding, and consistently replicating success in regions such as China, South Korea, and Japan can bring in big money, giving small, and large, outfits some much needed stability.

    That's why so many people are searching for an elusive secret formula, and, while I doubt that such a sure fire method even exists, I did pick up some tips in Paris that will at least ensure those studios with global ambitions don't go down without a fight.

    “You need to consider where people are downloading apps. In China, Google Play is not working, and Facebook is blocked. It's a jungle. People are downloading from third party app stores. They're the major sellers,” explained TalkingData's Ibrahim Dai, speaking in Paris.

    “There were roughly 500 of them in China last year, but the top 10 control roughly 90 percent of China's mobile game distribution.

    China - growing fast but massively fragmented

    "Over 33 percent of devices have more than one app store installed. As a result, the market is fragmented, so don't just focus on one distribution channel."

  • 1 Oculus is coming

    Despite the obvious potential, and consumer appeal of the Oculus Rift, there are those who refuse to believe that the hardware will ever make it to retail.

    It's not a fear that's unfounded either. After all, since 2012 we've seen two iterations of the Oculus Rift without hearing so much as a whisper about a retail version.

    Aiming to put those fears to rest at this years Game Connection Europe 2014 was Oculus' Aaron Davis, who assured attendees that consumers will be introduced to the world of VR when the time is right.

    "We're thrilled that VR is becoming more and more accessible," said Davis.

    "Our goal as a company is that over the next 10 years want to have over 1 billion people engaged in virtual reality.

    Will it change the world?

    "The Share marketplace is the early backbone of consumerisation. What's happening in the future is that we're going to expand the reach so developers can reach users.

    "The free store for consumers will launch along with Gear VR before Christmas. Once we get users engaged at a consumer level we will build a commerce channel."

What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.