Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Media Company Left Behind-The Gold Rush to Gaming

Brian Stelter at New York Times wrote a very good article on Nickelodeon's casual gaming strategies. I agree with most of the arguements and points he made in the article, including that my 3-year old daughter is a big fan of Dora and she would love to play the character herself. I learnt all the Spanish words I know from that show. However, I have different opinions on a couple of things:
1. Viacom and MTV have made a lot of acquisitions over the past several years and they are certainly becoming a big player in the gaming space but they are certainly not the most aggressive. Other big media companies are also making heavy investments. Vivendi is one of the biggest gaming company in the world and with the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision, the company will become even more powerful. Disney is also heavily invested in gaming and it will likely be the biggest competitor to Viacom in children games. Its acquisition of Club Penguin shows its resolution to play a big role in the space. Time Warner is also making heavy investment in the space. Comibined, billions of fresh dollars will flow into the gaming space from these big media conglomerates. in the next few years.
2. Yahoo! is really not that strong a competitor in the online casual gaming space anymore. The company has struggled over the past several years and its gaming team is turning over people like a windmill. Although it still gets a lot of traffic, its new strategy is likely aligned with the company's strategy-refocusing on advertisement. Going to its gaming site, you'll notice that it links to many other sites, including Gametap. A few years ago, Yahoo! made a big splash entering the Games-on-demand business itself but now its games-on-demand site is rebranded as part of Trygames, which was recently acquired Real Networks. Viacom's competition won't come from Yahoo! Rather, Disney, up-and-coming casual gaming companies such as Miniclip/addictinggames, WildTangent, and BigFish, and established publishers entering the casual space, such as Electronic Arts, are the ones to watch for.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you forget the company in Europe; SPILL GROUP. more then 70 million unique visitors every month.

11:30 AM  

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