Elina Arponen is Chieftain at Tribe Studios, a Finland-based games developer, and is speaking in the Innovate! Track on Day Three of the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We speak to her about fixed and wireless broadband connectivity is changing the gaming landscape.
How are you different from your competitors in your space?
We’ve developed technology for building multiplayer interactive stories. We create the characters and settings and then players play out the story together. Chatting with other characters is an important part of the game and is a kind of gameplay that has not existed before.
As broadband connectivity increases how much growth potential does gaming have?
The growth potential is huge. It means that more content can be streamed to customers and the end devices don’t have to have that much processing power. Even the graphics rendering can be done on remote machines and the image is just streamed to the end user. Increased connectivity means also that synchronous multiplayer games become easier to run.
What principles do you adhere to when building customer-friendly apps and services?
We use iterative lean development. In practice this means that as early as possible we bring the prototype to customers so that we can hear their genuine feedback on the service. You need to be constantly listening to feedback.
What opportunities and challenges do you see for from the proliferation of smart, connected, location aware, devices?
The iPad alone has changed game industry a lot. Now we have a very capable platform with a big enough screen to make fabulous content. At the same time people carry it with them all the time so it’s very accessible. Tablets are a huge new market for games.
To what extent will fast 4G mobile speeds change gaming?
Mobile games that use your location and surrounding reality are becoming easier to enjoy. There are lot of augmented reality and pervasive gaming possibilities that have not been explored.
How might existing business models have to be adapted as consumer connectivity increases?
The business models for games are in constant change. It’s not only the products that are creative, but you can really be creative with the business side as well. Faster connections enable on-demand gaming services, where you don’t even have to install the game but you play it remotely with streaming technologies. Games are already using cloud for storing accounts and player data. These kinds of login-to-play services are good for business because they make piracy and used games sales very difficult.
What new partnerships, such as mobile advertising, do new gaming platforms create?
Now that more and more studios are self-publishing on purely digital formats, we need new distribution models. We can do partnerships in the areas of marketing, promotion and communities. Also cross promotion activities between studios is a very valid methodology because people usually never play just one game.
Why is the Broadband World Forum an important event for you to attend?
I’m looking forward to networking and learning new cool ideas from cool people. We’ve recently soft-launched our product and are interested to meet possible partners on areas of distribution and creating transmedia content. The Benelux countries are also a big market opportunity for us.