2013 is over and 2014 well on its way. It is time to look back how Location based games for tablets. performing.
Here is a basic case study from a company that implemented Tablet game on Loquiz platform in 2012. It is a case study about a specific company and not a market as a whole, but hopefully gives some indications of where the market might be heading.
Tablet games first appeared in 2012 and have been quite successful throughout 2013. It has brought sales increase, but also strongly competed with GPS/map based games in their portfolio. Reasons for that are two fold: 1) novelty – customers tend to prefer novel games 2) ease of preparation – instructors tend to prefer easy to provide solutions. New platform opens companies to innovation in more than one way.
Included graph shows the number of games sold in a year. It only includes games that can be carried out with one instructor. Group sizes vary from 10 to 60 pax, with some being higher than 100 pax.
Tablet games include only one Loquiz strategy (Snakes and Ladders) game. GPS/map games contain several games that include navigation using dedicated GPS devices and/or paper maps. Blue area are other games, like photohunts etc. where navigation is not of main concern.
Quick look on the graph shows that:
1. New games have heavily contributed to the sales growth (even though the competitive situation has become tougher)
2. GPS/map games are losing on tablet games – there are several reasons for that
3. Rest of the games have been largely selling on the previous years level.
What is behind the fact that one tablet game contributes to more than half of games portfolio? It is worth mentioning that quite often new games struggle to sell among older and established ones in the portfolio. Here this is not the case. So what contributes to the sales success?
Some claims from instructor interviews:
- It is easier to demo a game for a client on a tablet than explain map/GPS and mechanics.
- Nowadays people actually feel more comfortable using smart devices than paper maps.
- It takes time and work to design high quality paper map. We often customize events for clients and it is much more cost efficient to do that electronically.
- When client is in doubt of what he exactly wants you steer him towards what you know works and is easy to provide.
- I really was not thinking about it before I ran a GPS adventure after working few months only with tablet games. Explaining the GPS and all the papers and trying to make people pay attention.
All in all it seems that reasons are three fold
1. Easier to sell because of the novelty factor and capability to run good demos
2. Surprisingly less intimidating to players than conventional means
3. Less hassle to prepare and carry out
Of those three it seems that third factor is strongest – ease of preparing and running an event.